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Aquis Growth Market - are you making the most of the tax incentives available?



June 9, 2023

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At Aquis Stock Exchange, we are dedicated to helping entrepreneurial companies achieve their ambitions, and to providing investors with access to a wide range of companies at a pivotal stage in their development.
A key part of this is balancing the flexibility essential to any growing business with the high regulatory standards that help to ensure investor confidence and protection. Aquis operates two primary markets, to help companies at different stages of development; the Aquis Main Market for larger, more established businesses admitted to the Official List, and the Aquis Growth Market for SMEs.
Given the nature of the Aquis Growth Market, there are often significant tax reliefs available to both investors and founders. Tax reliefs may not be the principal reason for investment of course, and investors should always seek independent professional advice on their own circumstances, but tax is likely to be an important consideration in investment planning. With this in mind, we will be launching our new tax guide in June, in partnership with Crowe, to identify the main qualifying criteria that companies and investors need to meet to take advantage of those reliefs.
A snapshot of the reliefs that could be available on investments in Aquis Growth Market companies can be found below. For tax purposes it’s important to note that companies on a Growth Market, like the Aquis Growth Market, are deemed to be ‘not listed’ or ‘unquoted’.
Tax Incentives
The tax incentives applicable to eligible investments in unquoted companies are as follows:
  • Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)
  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)
  • The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
  • Capital Gains Tax – Gift Relief/Business Asset Disposal Relief
  • Inheritance Tax – Business Property Relief
  • Investors Relief
To benefit from EIS, VCT and SEIS investments and to receive income tax relief and capital gains tax (CGT) relief, investors must satisfy the following conditions:
  • They must be a UK tax payer.
  • They must not be connected with the company as:
    1. An employee, paid director or partner.
    2. A shareholder with more than 30 per cent of the voting rights, ordinary share capital or rights to assets on winding up.
    3. Someone who is able to control the company.
Tax relief is given as a tax reduction against the overall income tax liability in either the tax year of investment or the preceding tax year, or a combination of both.
To receive relief, individuals can invest up to:
  • EIS: £1 million (per tax year) in qualifying EIS companies, or up to £2 million (per tax year) in Knowledge Intensive Companies (KICs).
  • VCT: £200,000 (per tax year) in qualifying VCT companies.
  • SEIS: Individuals can invest up to £200,000 in each tax year in qualifying SEIS companies.
Our full tax guide, which contains more detailed information on eligibility requirements for growth market tax incentives, is available here.
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