Venture Capital Trusts

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are complementary to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), in that both are designed to encourage private individuals to invest in smaller high-risk unquoted trading companies affected by the equity gap. While the EIS requires an investment to be made directly into the shares of the company, VCTs operate by indirect investment through a mediated fund. In effect they are very like the investment trusts that are obtainable on the stock exchange, albeit in a high-risk environment.

What is a VCT?

VCTs themselves are quoted companies which are required to hold at least 70% of their investments in shares or securities that they have subscribed for in qualifying unquoted companies. VCTs have a certain time period in which to meet the percentage test.

Other conditions are:

  •   they must distribute 85% of their income
  •   they must have a spread of investments with no single holding accounting for more than 15% of the value of total.
  • VCTs are exempt from tax on their capital gains and there is no relief for capital losses.
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