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Octopus has raised and invested more than £800 million in Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)-qualifying companies since 2004, through two products:

  • Octopus EIS: invests in smaller, unquoted UK companies and targets capital preservation.
  • Octopus Eureka EIS: invests in early-stage unquoted or AIM-listed UK companies with the potential for significant capital growth.

Both Octopus EIS and Octopus Eureka EIS are currently closed for new investment.

You can still access the details of EIS investments your clients already hold with us. Just call 0800 316 2295, email or visit our secure portal.

Please note that these investments place capital at risk and you may not get back the full amount you invest. EIS shares may also be difficult to sell. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may change in the future, and tax reliefs depend on the EIS maintaining its qualifying status.

You’ll find a more detailed discussion of the risks below.

Reasons to consider investing in an EIS
  • You gain access to investments in early-stage companies.
  • You can claim up to 30% income tax relief, provided the investment is held for a minimum of three years.
  • There’s the potential for 100% relief on inheritance tax (available after you’ve held the investment for two years and provided shares are still held at time of your death).
  • You have the opportunity to defer a capital gain and eliminate it entirely if your EIS shares are still held at death.
What are the risks?

Investment values can fluctuate
An EIS invests in smaller companies. These are considered high risk because they have a higher failure rate than more established businesses. The value of your investment can fall as well as rise, and you might not get back as much as you originally invested.

Smaller company shares can be more volatile
The shares of EIS-funded companies can also change value more quickly and more significantly than the shares of larger companies, such as those listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

An EIS is a long-term investment
If you sell your EIS shares before the three-year minimum holding period ends, you will have to repay any income tax relief you have claimed. You should think of an EIS as a long-term investment.

EIS shares may be difficult to sell
It may be difficult for you, or a fund manager, to find a buyer for your shares, so it may take time to sell your shares and pay you back the proceeds. The companies that an EIS invests in are often unlisted so you may have to wait until the company is sold or has large enough cash reserves to buy back its shares from investors.

Tax rules can change
Rates of tax, tax benefits and tax allowances depend on your own personal circumstances and may change over time. There is no guarantee that companies will always be EIS-qualifying. If a company no longer qualifies for an EIS, you may have to repay any tax relief that you’ve already claimed. It’s also worth remembering that HMRC may change the rules on EIS tax relief in the future.

Related Documents

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Octopus EIS guide to loss relief

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Nothing on this page constitutes investment, tax or legal advice. This product may not be suitable for everyone and it’s important that you fully understand the risks involved. We recommend investors talk to a financial adviser before making investment decisions. You can find a local financial adviser here.