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Appointed Representative (AR)

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) define an Appointed Representative as “a firm or person who runs regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm we directly authorise. This firm is known as the ARs 'principal'.“ ShareIn are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA (FRN 603332), and as such we fulfil the role of regulatory principal for our AR clients.


A bond is form of debt-based investment where there is a “promise to pay” the original investment back to the individual or entity who lent this money, usually with an additional interest payment(s) being paid after an agreed-upon period of time.
Some bonds may be ‘asset backed’, meaning there is a physical asset generating money to pay investors’ interest. An asset backed bond may also be ‘secured’, meaning that bondholders have the right to demand that the asset be sold to repay their investment.

Most bonds offered on ShareIn’s clients’ platforms are ‘unlisted’, meaning that they are not traded on a recognised exchange.
Bonds fall under the FCA’s definition of debentures (see link under ‘Resources’ at right).


Crowdfunding is a method of funding a project or organisation by pooling the money of individual investors. It can provide a number of benefits beyond the financial aspect including marketing, audience engagement, and feedback. There are a number of types of crowdfunding but the 3 main categories are:

  • Reward or donation-based crowdfunding (these are not investments)
  • Loan crowdfunding (often referred to as peer-to-peer loans or P2P)
  • Investment crowdfunding (The process whereby people i.e. the 'crowd' invest in a company in exchange for an investment in that company). It could be a share (equity) or a bond or a debenture.


Direct ownership in a company - whether it goes by the name equities, stocks, or shares.
When you buy equity, you own part of the company and become a shareholder. Companies ‘issue’ shares in order to raise money – for example, if they issue 1 million shares at a value of £1 each, they raise £1 million! When the company goes on to make money, or grows in value, the shares grow in value, making the shareholders' initial £1 worth more. Obviously share can drop in value also!
Equity can only be ownership of a company, not of an actual physical asset. Some of our clients are involved in property but in this case the underlying asset is owned by a company called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), and investors own equity in the SPV, not the underlying asset.


The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. They are an independent regulatory agency and are accountable to the UK Treasury. The FCA work to ensure that businesses operate in accordance with financial regulations, keeping investors safe from harmful practice.

ShareIn are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA (FRN 603332), meaning we have direct permission to carry on a range of investment related activities, and our Appointed Representative (AR) clients can also undertake these permissions. Supervising an AR is an area which the FCA pays particular attention to. We take on the full responsibility for an AR’s actions, compliance and competence.


A modern abbreviation and umbrella term for businesses that combine finance and technology to bring products to market. These products are generally seen as a disruptive and innovative force in the financial services industry. A rapidly growing industry, PwC report over US$40 billion investment over the past four years.

KYC/KYB (Know Your Customer/Business)

The term refers to a set of due diligence procedures undertaken by a regulated entity to try and establish that the person they are dealing with is who they say they are. KYC processes vary between companies and countries but the end goal is the same to monitor customer risk and comply with relevant laws and regulations.


The degree of liquidity which an asset or security has describes how easy it is to turn this asset or security into cash (to make it “liquid”). The crowdfunding equity and debt investments made available on ShareIn’s clients’ platforms are illiquid in nature, meaning that it is not easy to get your money out of an investment before the end of the investment term.

Private Company

Private companies are held under private ownership. They may issue shares, but those shares are not traded on public exchanges and are less liquid than publicly traded shares. All companies start out as private companies, and don’t have the same reporting burden as public companies. Equity offered by ShareIn’s clients is always in private companies.

Public Company

A public company has shares that can be bought and sold on public markets, such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Nasdaq, or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Public companies are subject to high levels of governance, have stringent reporting requirements, and are generally more transparent than private companies.


An SPV, or Special Purpose Vehicle, is a legal entity (usually a limited company), formed for a specific or temporary purpose. In crowdfunding, SPVs are usually used to hold a single asset – a buy-to-let house, for example – with shares issued to investors. In the buy-to-let example, any rental income would be paid to the SPV which, once costs like insurance and maintenance are paid, pays dividends to the investors.


Established in 2013, the UK Crowdfunding Association is a trade body that lobbies the government about crowdfunding regulation and best practices, promoting the interests of crowdfunding platforms, and their investors and clients. ShareIn are a founder member, and our very own Mark Howitt was appointed as a director in June 2018!

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