Category: Regulation A

Regulation A: The first issuer has completed the NASAA coordinated review process to qualify to sell securities in multiple states under Regulation A. As the first and only issuer to complete this process, the issuer (Groundfloor Finance, Inc.) took the time to write a comment letter to the SEC with respect to its Regulation A+ rulemaking and in particular to discuss its experience with the NASAA coordinated review process. The issuer’s comment letter was followed by a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White from the House Financial Services Committee requesting that the SEC study the NASAA Coordinated Review Program…

Dec302014

First Issuer Completes NASAA Coordinated Review For Regulation A Offering

 ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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The first issuer has completed the NASAA coordinated review process to qualify to sell securities in multiple states under Regulation A.  As the first and only issuer to complete this process, the issuer (Groundfloor Finance, Inc.) took the time to write a comment letter to the SEC with respect to its Regulation A+ rulemaking and in particular to discuss its experience with the NASAA coordinated review process.  The issuer’s comment letter was followed by a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White from the House Financial Services Committee requesting that the SEC study the NASAA Coordinated Review Program.

 The Coordinated Review Process 

The NASAA coordinated review process is well put together and seems to have a focus on both investor protection and supportive assistance for the issuer.  An issuer elects to complete the coordinated review process by completing a Form CR-3b and submitting the application together with a copy of the completed Form

Dec022014

Private Offering Rule Changes Since JOBS Act

ABA Journal’s 10th Annual Blawg 100

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As the end of 2014 approaches, I find myself reflecting on the significant successes and failures in the private offering arena since the enactment of the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”) on April 5, 2012.  Some provisions under the JOBS Act became law without further rule-making action on the part of the SEC; others took time to pass; and significantly, Title III Crowdfunding, the most anticipated change in capital market access, has completely stalled.  This blog is a summary of the in-depth detailed blogs I’ve previously written on each of these topics with some added commentary.

506(c) – The Elimination of the Prohibition Against General Solicitation and Advertising in Private Offerings to Accredited Investors; Broker-Dealer Exemption for 506(c) Funding Websites

The enactment of new 506(c) resulting in the elimination of the prohibition against general solicitation and advertising in private offerings to accredited investors has been a slow but sure success.  Trailblazers

Aug192014

NASAA and US Senate Oppose State Law Pre-Emption in Proposed Regulation A+

On December 18, 2013, the SEC published proposed rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act, commonly referred to as Regulation A+.  Since that time there has been very little activity towards the advancement of a final rule.  The comment period closed March 24, 2014, and presumably the SEC is analyzing the information and deciding on the next reiteration.

NASAA

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group whose members are comprised of state securities regulators, while supportive of the Regulation A+ concept as a whole, has been vocal of its opposition of the proposed state law pre-emption provisions.

Notably, on April 8, 2014, Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, the NASAA liaison, gave a speech at the North American Securities Administrators Association commenting on the NASAA’s position.  In the speech Mr. Aguilar praised the concept of the rule itself, including the two-tier structure, offering amount limits and importantly ongoing reporting requirements.  He expressed agreement with many of the same

Jun162014

SEC Chair Mary Jo White Speaks on Equity Market Structure

On June 5, 2014, Mary Jo White gave a speech at a conference on the topic of the structure of equity markets, the entire text of which is available on sec. gov.  The speech was very high-level and broad-based with few specific initiative announcements.  However, it does provide some insight into the direction of planned market structure initiatives and rule releases.  This blog is a summary of her speech.

Ms. White began her speech by acknowledging that the SEC agrees with the basic premise that “investors and public companies benefit greatly from robust and resilient equity markets.”

Ms. White announced that she is recommending additional measures to “further promote market stability and fairness, enhance market transparency and disclosures, and build more effective markets for smaller companies.”  In addition, she will request that the SEC create a new Market Structure Advisory Committee of experts to review specific initiatives and rule proposals.

Current Market Structure

As noted in Ms. White’s speech, today’s

Feb252014

SEC Proposes Rules for Regulation A+

On December 18, 2013, the SEC published proposed rules to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act, commonly referred to as Regulation A+.  The proposed rules both add the new Section 3(b)(2) (i.e., Regulation A+) provisions and modify the existing Regulation A.  This blog is limited to a discussion of the new Regulation A+.

Background

Title IV of the JOBS Act technically amends Section 3(b) of the Securities Act, which up to now has been a general provision allowing the SEC to fashion exemptions from registration, up to a total offering amount of $5,000,000.  Regulation A is and has historically been an exemption created under the powers afforded the SEC by Section 3(b).

Technically speaking, Regulation D, Rule 504 and 505 offerings and Regulation A offerings are promulgated under Section 3(b), and Rule 506 is promulgated under Section 4(a)(2).  This is important because federal law does not pre-empt state law for Section 3(b) offerings, but it does so for Section

Jun192013

Crowdfunding Using Regulation A? Yes, You Can- Right Now!

As everyone waits for the SEC to begin rule making on Title III of the JOBS Act, a few innovative entrepreneurs are using Regulation A as a vehicle to crowdfund today.Although the procedure, as described in this blog, is not the crowdfunding procedure that will be implemented under Title III of the JOBS Act, it does allow for the use of social media and the Internet to solicit and obtain equity investment funds from the general population including unaccredited investors, of a particular state or states.

Moreover, the laws that allow for this method of fundraising are not new.The vehicle of choice is Regulation A—the existing Regulation A, not the new Regulation A+, which will be implemented under Title IV of the JOBS Act. Using Regulation A to offer securities involves the time and expense of a registered offering; however, the registered securities are free trading and may be offered to unaccredited investors.Regulation A does not preempt state

Jul302012

Regulation A+; A Brief History

Title IV of the JOBS Act – Small Capital Formation – is quickly being called the new Regulation A+.  Title IV of the JOBS Act technically amends Section 3(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, which up to now has been a general provision allowing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fashion exemptions from registration, up to a total offering amount of $5,000,000.  The new provision will be Section 3(b)(2) with the old statutory language remaining and being relabeled as Section 3(b)(1).

Technically speaking Regulation D, Rule 504 and 505 offerings and Regulation A offerings are promulgated under Section 3(b) and Rule 506 is promulgated under Section 4(2).  This is important because federal law does not pre-empt state law for Section 3(b) offerings but it does so for Section 4(2) offerings.  The cost of compliance with the various and varied state laws can be prohibitive with an offering limit of $5,000,000.  Moreover, although Regulation A is technically

Apr172012

The JOBS Act Is Not Just Crowdfunding

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law.  In my excitement over this ground-breaking new law, I have been zealously blogging about the Crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act.  However, the JOBS Act impacts securities laws in many additional ways.  The following is a summary of the many ways the JOBS Act will amend current securities regulations, all in ways to support small businesses.

A.       The New “Emerging Growth Company” Category

The JOBS Act will create a new category of companies defined as “Emerging Growth Companies” (EGC).  An EGC will be defined as a company with annual gross revenues of less than $1 billion, that has been public and reporting for a minimum of five years and whose non-affiliated public float is valued at less than $700 million.  EGC’s will have reduced requirements associated with initial public offerings (IPO’s) and ongoing reporting requirements.  For many purposes, EGC’s will be allowed to use the less

May122010

Regulation A – An Exemption By Any Other Name Is A Short Form Registration

Although Regulation A is legally an exemption from the registration requirements contained in Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as a practical matter it is more analogous to registration than any other exemption. In particular, Regulation A provides for the filing of an offering prospectus which closely resembles a registration statement, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC then can, and often does, comment on the filing. Practitioners often refer to Regulation A as a short form registration.

Moreover, although the Regulation A offering prospectus does not go “effective” the regulation calls for “qualification” of the offering prospectus under circumstances that mirror those for effectiveness of a registration statement. For example, Rule 252(g) provides for the technical possibility of automatic qualification twenty days after filing the offering prospectus much the same as Section 8(a) for registration statements. Rule 252(g) also provides for a procedure to delay such effectiveness until the SEC declares the offering “qualified” much

Dec072009

Regulation A and Rule 504

Section 3(b) of the Securities Act gives the SEC authority to exempt from registration certain offerings where the securities to be offered involve relatively small dollar amounts. Under this provision, the SEC has adopted Regulation A, a conditional ex-emption for certain public offerings not exceeding $5 million in any 12-month period. An offering statement (consisting of a notification, offering circular, and exhibits) must be filed with the SEC Regional Office in the region where the company’s principal business activities are conducted. Although Regulation A is technically an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act, it is often referred to as a “short form” of registration since the offering circular (similar in content to a prospectus) must be sup-plied to each purchaser and the securities issued are freely tradeable in an aftermarket.

The principal advantages of Regulation A offerings, as opposed to full registration on Form S-1, SB-1 or SB-2, are:

  1. Required financial statements are simpler and need not
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