The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme [SEIS] and the Enterprise Investment Scheme [EIS] are two UK Government initiatives designed to help grow your business by offering tax reliefs to investors who buy new shares in your company.
The main difference between Advance Assurance and Compliance is the time at which each is done.
Before you start raising, you can request Advance Assurance from HMRC. Advance Assurance is obtained to show potential investors that your business qualifies for the scheme and that they will be able to claim an SEIS (50%) or EIS (30%) income tax relief on their investment.
Advance Assurance is not required by HMRC in order for you to raise S/EIS investment, but is in place to give your investors confidence, and in fact many would want to see this before investing. Plus, even if your investors haven’t asked to see Advance Assurance, it would be a good idea to have this in case they do further down the line or in case you bring investors on at a later stage in your round.
If you are certain your business is not an excluded activity and that your investors are eligible, then you could just submit a Compliance Statement after you close your round. This is the process to issue certificates to your investors so they can claim their tax relief.
Every Company will need to submit a Compliance Statement after their round closes, but not all companies will need to apply for Advance Assurance.