Secret Projects Community Benefit Society Investment Questions and Answers.

 20th Jan 2020 |  Invest |  Fritha Mason


Since taking the decision to place Secret Projects up for sale and beginning to sell shares in Secret Projects Community Benefit Society (Secret Projects CBS) last November, our Directors have spoken to hundreds of people, all of whom have had a myriad of questions about what it actually means to invest in Secret Projects.

A number of similar themes have come up in these conversations and we wanted to highlight them with the answers - a little like a Frequently Asked Questions information sheet!

Following the question and answer section, we thought it would be helpful to explain in a series of short clips put together by Secret Projects CEO, Fritha Mason, exactly what happens when you make an investment of £50, £500, £1000, £10,000 and £15,000.

Question: What is the difference between a community share and a 'normal' share?

Answer: Ordinary shares can be transferred to another person, but Community shares cannot be sold or transferred to another person during the lifetime of the shareholder. An investor holding a community share can get their investment back by applying to the company to withdraw their capital.

Question: If I invest £50, how much money will I make over 5 years?

Answer: If the company makes profit, you will earn between £6 and £7.50 on your £50 investment over 5 years. This is equal to 12% to 15% return on your investment.

Nb. Please see 'Investment levels explained' for more in depth information about this important aspect of investing in Secret Projects.

Question: I have invested in this wonderful business but was wondering if I can keep my interest in with my shares and buy more shares each year?

Answer: Yes you can use your interest to buy more shares.

Question: Is it possible for businesses outside of the UK to invest? What are the advantages for a business to invest?

Answer: Yes, businesses outside the UK can invest. High value is attached by customers, suppliers and employees to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is about a business playing their responsible part and giving back to the society. A business investing in the Secret Projects CBS community share offer can list this under their CSR achievements. In addition, the business will receive interest on the investment just like any other shareholder.

Question: Can you 'gift' the shares?

Answer: Yes, you can gift the shares to anyone (child or adult). You simply back the campaign and once it ends you will be emailed a form that needs filling in for each of the people that you are investing for. Our Membership Administrator will support everyone with the necessary admin.

Question: What is EIS?

Answer: Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is an income tax relief offered by HMRC to individual investors who buy shares in a Social Enterprise that meets certain conditions. The tax relief is 30% off the investor's tax bill for the year.

Examples of EIS tax relief are as follows:

An investment of £1000, can qualify for £300 back in tax relief

An investment of £5000, can qualify for for £1,500

An investment of £10,000 can qualify for £3,000 relief

Nb. Please see 'Investment levels explained' for more in depth information about this important aspect of investing in Secret Projects.

Question: I know this is a special sort of company as this is a social business, can you explain what the difference is?

Answer: This is a great question! Our business is a special sort of business. It is a Community Benefit Society. It is a very old business model that is having a revival at the moment. We are using the Community Benefit Society model in quite a unique way. here is a great video that explains what a Community Benefit Society is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLaflsVoLi8&feature=emb_logo

Question: Do I have to declare any interest made on my tax form?

Answer: We will not deduct tax from any interest paid, so it is your responsibility to declare it on your tax return.

Question: Can I give my shares to someone else?

Answer: The nature of Community Shares is that you cannot give them to anyone once they have been issued to you officially. You can however, sell them back to Secret Projects Community Benefit Society. (Please see the following question for more information on this important issue.)

The only situation where a shareholder can pass their shares onto another person is through a will.

Nb. Please see the following question for further information.

Question: Can I get my money out of the business if I need to?

Answer: Yes. Investors can request to withdraw funds in year 2 (if they have not claimed under EIS) or after year 4 if they have claimed EIS tax relief.

As the CBS rule caps aggregate equity that can be repaid to investors at 10% of total equity of the business per year, equity withdrawal request will be processed on a first come first served basis.

To ensure that the interests of all the stakeholders in the organisation are well considered, withdrawal of equity can be suspended by the directors for a period if it is not prudent to pay out.

Investment level's explained

What happens if I make an investment of £50? 

What happens if I make an investment of £500?

What happens if I make an investment of £1000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

What happens if I make an investment of £10,000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

What happens if I make an investment of £15,000? With details for UK tax payers of how to benefit from EIS tax relief

Our first share offer closes on January 31st 2020. For more information, please email: invest@secretprojects.org

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