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Family Investment Companies- Funding through Loans vs Subscriptions

1 min read

A Family Investment Company (FIC) is a company structure designed to be owned and managed by family members. If created and run correctly a FIC can be useful in protecting wealth against, for example, divorce.

A FIC can be beneficial if you are seeking to create a legacy from which you can still control and benefit, however ultimately it is designed to pass wealth onto the next generation in a tax effective and wealth protecting manner whilst also facilitating future succession planning. A FIC should generally not be used as a short-term measure or if assets are needed for retirement.

A FIC can hold various forms of investments, including property and shares. A FIC will still need to pay corporation tax, and shareholders will still be liable to income tax on dividends and capital gains tax on giving away shares (unless hold over relief can be used).

A FIC can be funded through various means, two of the most popular ways being through loans and subscriptions.


A FIC can be funded through a loan. A loan can be made with monies or assets.

A loan is appealing as the repayment of the capital loan is tax free. There are, however, rules regarding the payment of interest that should be considered. For example, the FIC will be able to claim corporation tax deductions for interest on loans taken out against the value of its investment where the loan is used for the purposes of the FICs business.

Further to the above, certain tax reliefs are not available when assets are loaned rather than transferred to the FIC in exchange for shares.

If this option of funding is chosen the loan should be documented in a loan agreement, whether this be by assets or monies.


A subscription essentially means exchanging cash or property for shares in the FIC. This is the preferred option for many.

The biggest issue for subscriptions as a source of funding is that capital gains tax reliefs must be managed and considered on introducing assets to a FIC.

The simplest way of creating a FIC is by simply introducing cash into the FIC in exchange for shares.

  • By Nafissa Yousaf, Trainee Solicitor