Angel Investment Term Sheet

Angel Investment Term Sheet

The following link takes you to a free Word template download of a sensibly balanced and founder friendly term sheet that is particularly suitable for raising an equity investment round which will qualify for tax relief pursuant to the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”):


A term sheet (traditionally known as ‘heads of terms’ in the UK) reflects the preliminary terms of a deal that have been agreed between parties. They are agreed and signed as a kind of pre-commitment before an investor will begin due diligence and more definitive and comprehensive legal documentation is negotiated and executed. The term sheet should just cover the commercial deal in principle. Its not worth getting into too much detail as the fine print should be reserved for negotiating the final legal agreements.

SEIS Funding

The main reasons why any successful transaction should start off with a good term sheet can be found here. A term sheet is not normally intended to create a legally binding contract (except for terms like confidentiality), but you still need to be careful as it can be difficult to get the other party to budge on a point once it is in writing and your bargaining position will be affected.

For larger investments involving more professional investors, then angels or VCs will usually produce their own term sheet in the first instance, although you should always seek to negotiate on their preferred terms. However, for smaller SEIS level investment rounds investors will often ask the founders to send them their suggested term sheet. This gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to produce a more ‘founder friendly’ term sheet, while taking care it is sufficiently balanced so as to entice and not put off investors.

Pre money and post money

Generally, the investor will agree with the company on a valuation for the company prior to the investment round. This “pre-money” valuation is then used to determine the price per share to be paid by the investor on completion of their investment in the company. The price per share is obtained by dividing the “pre-money” valuation by the fully diluted number of shares of the company immediately prior to completion. For these purposes, the fully diluted share capital of the company will generally include shares that are issued, shares allocated to any employee option pool and any other shares that the company could be required to issue through options, warrants or other convertible debt instruments.

Share option pool

In early stage investments, if the company does not have an employee share option plan (“ESOP”), the investor may insist that one is created. The intention is that the company’s employees are incentivised by allowing them to share in the financial rewards resulting from the success of the company. Generally the investor will require that the company has between 10% and 20% of the share capital of the company to be reserved in an ESOP creating an option pool.

Advance assurance

Most SEIS investors will now make it a condition of the deal that before completion the company first receives advance assurance from HM Revenue & Customs that the company is a qualifying company for the purposes of raising funding pursuant to SEIS. You can watch a helpful video of the application process here from Steve Livingston:

Further reading:

Venture Capital and SEIS and EIS Angel Equity Investment Legal Terms

About Jonathan Lea

Jonathan is a specialist business law solicitor who has been practising for over 18 years, starting at the top international City firms before then spending some time at a couple of smaller practices. In 2013 he started working on a self-employed basis as a consultant solicitor, while in 2019 The Jonathan Lea Network became a SRA regulated law firm itself after Jonathan got tired of spending all day referring clients and work to other law firms.

The Jonathan Lea Network is now a full service firm of solicitors that employs senior and junior solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals and administration staff who all work from a modern open plan office in Haywards Heath. This close-knit retained team is enhanced by a trusted network of specialist consultant solicitors who work remotely and, where relevant, combine seamlessly with the central team.

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