Summary of the revised Business Expansion Scheme

This scheme has been revamped and renamed the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS). 

The mandatory holding period was increased in Budget 2015 from 3 years to 4,while the maximum annual relief for an individual remains at €150,000.The relief remains at the individual's marginal tax rate however it is now granted on a phased basis with only 30% relief available initially, with the remaining 10% deferred until the end of year 4 provided the Company meets required employment criteria or R& D goals. Investors availing of the EIIS relief no longer have to include this relief in the calculation of the high earners restriction. In addition an individual must not be "connected" with the Company in the period from two years before the investment until three years after the issue of the shares. This exclusion does not apply where the aggregate amount raised by the Company in Share Capital in the specified period does not exceed €500,000.

The Companies that can qualify for the scheme has been significantly increased compared to the previous BES scheme which was quite restrictive. However certain trades are still excluded such as Companies engaged in land development, operation and management of Nursing homes, financial activities and professional service Companies. The maximum EIIS finance that may be raised by a Company (or group of associated Companies) in its lifetime is €15M, with the annual amount being €5M.


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