Venture capital

Communicating with business investors


Communications with potential investors - eg sending a business plan to them - are classed as financial promotions and regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA).

Under the Act, anyone carrying out a financial promotion must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), although most proposals sent to private equity houses seeking funds are exempt from the restrictions.

Under FSMA rules, you are not allowed to include 'misleading statements' in documents, such as a business plan, designed to induce or persuade people to:

  • enter into investment agreements
  • buy or sell shares in companies

You must be able to prove any statement, promise, or forecast, contained in any communication or document you send to potential investors.

You should consult your legal adviser to ensure compliance with the rules on financial promotions, before approaching potential investors.

Download the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association's (BVCA) guide to private equity (PDF, 1.11MB).