The Treasury has announced proposals aimed at making it easier for high-tech startups to gain access to private funding.
They come as part of the government push to translate its online enthusiasm into real-life growth for UK plc.
Unveiled by Chancellor Gordon Brown at the Internet Summit in London today, the measures should encourage new companies to seek funding from so-called 'business angels': wealthy individuals who are interested in backing potentially risky startups.
In the past, IT startups in the UK have complained of being hampered by lack of access to cash to finance rapid expansion; unlike their Silicon Valley counterparts, which have easy access to the deep pockets of a thriving venture capital industry.
The consultation document, which forms part of the new Financial Services and Markets Bill, proposes to make it easier for small companies to raise capital via shares or debentures, from individuals with a minimum annual income of £75,000 or assets of up to £300,000.
Gordon Brown said the changes would free startups from unnecessary regulation and make it easier for them to get access to finance.
"Our proposals could save months in an area where this can make the difference between business failure and business success," he said.
"This paper demonstrates our commitment to helping startup companies in the information technology and other rapidly growing business sectors gain access to capital," he said.
Other proposed measures to encourage UK companies to take the lead in the IT race include a tax rebate scheme for small and medium businesses which spend money on research and development, which is expected to be introduced next April.
The consultation process will close on 28 January.
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