Category: Regulation D

Regulation D: Last month the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued guidance on the granting waivers for the bad actor disqualifications under Regulation A and Rules 505 and 506 of Regulation D…

Apr162012

Crowdfunding Act Signed Into Law

On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law.  In accordance with the JOBS Act requirement that all crowdfunding platforms (i.e. websites and intermediaries)  be a member of a national securities association, the new self regulatory organization (SRO), The Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Association (CFIRA) has already been formed.   The CFIRA will be charged with ensuring investor protection and market integrity.  The CFIRA will have members from crowdfunding investor intermediaries as well as related industries such as venture capital firms.  In addition to regulating its members, the CFIRA will provide investors with information such as learning about crowdfunding and its risks.

Opportunity For All Americans

Crowdfunding provides an opportunity for all Americans, whether accredited or not, and whether connected with an elite investment banking firm or not, to invest small amounts of money in small businesses that they know or just believe in.  Small businesses provide jobs and sometimes small businesses become big businesses.  For the first time

Apr162012

Big Changes Are Coming

I’ve been practicing securities law for 19 years this year (phew!) and for the first time in my career I am excited about changes, big changes, on the horizon for small businesses.  I’m talking about the JOBS Act and its ground breaking crowdfunding bill which has now been signed into law.

A Whole New Exemption

Over the years I have consistently received calls from potential clients that wish to use the exemptions provided for in Regulation D to raise money for small or start up ventures.  Many of these individuals believe, mistakenly, that Regulation D provides them with a method to raise money.  It does not.  Regulation D only lays out rules to follow to utilize an exemption from the registration requirements in the Securities Act of 1933.  These rules include such items as limitations on the dollar amount raised; who you can raise money from, how you can raise money, prohibitions on advertising and solicitation, disclosure documents required,

Feb142011

Basic Refresher On The Private Placement Exemption

Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as Amended (“Securities Act”) provides the statutory basis for private placement offerings. In particular, Section 4(2) exempts “transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering.” The key components of this statutory exemption are that the offering must be by the Issuer, not an affiliate, agent or third party, and that the transactions must not involve a public offering. In order to determine if there is a public offering, practitioners must consider Section 2(11) of the Securities Act which defines an underwriter. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and courts limit the scope of Section 4(2) by preventing indirect public offerings by issuers and control persons through third parties. Accordingly, if an investor acts as a link in the chain of transactions resulting in securities being distributed to the public, they are an underwriter, and the exemption under Section 4(2) is not available.

The Ralston Purina Standard

The leading case interpreting Section

Aug132010

Dodd-Frank Act Changes Definition Of Accredited Investor Effective Immediately

On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). After many revisions, the final Dodd-Frank Act has only minor effects on securities Issuers and their investors. The primary change, which takes effect immediately, is a modification to the definition of “accredited investor” contained in the Securities Act of 1933. In particular: (i) as it relates to natural persons, the $1,000,000 net worth standard must now be calculated excluding the value of the primary residence of such natural person; and (2) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been mandated to review the entire accredited investor definition within four (4) years and make appropriate changes within that time, without additional act of Congress.

Increased Net Worth Requirements

This change effectively increases the net worth requirements for investors, whose largest asset is often their primary residence. Although the SEC has not yet issued any guidance or other information on the change,

Jun162010

Direct Public Offerings And The Internet

In today’s financial environment, many Issuers are choosing to self underwrite their public offerings, commonly referred to as a Direct Public Offering (DPO). Moreover, as almost all potential investors have computers, many Issuers are choosing to utilize the Internet for such DPO’s. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published rules for utilizing the Internet for an offering.

To comply with the SEC rules for electronic use, an Issuer must comply with the following minimum rules, among others:

  • An electronic prospectus must provide the same information as a paper written prospectus;
  • The Investor must elect to receive electronic delivery of the prospectus and must be provided with personal access codes to access electronic materials over the Internet;
  • The Investor must pre-qualify to receive the offering materials (such as being in a particular state, being accredited, etc.) prior to receiving access codes;
  • The Investor must be immediately notified of any amendments or changes in the offering documents; and
  • The Issuer must
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Jan082010

Overview of Recognized Exemptions From Section 5

The Securities Act of 1933 recognizes two broad types of exemptions to the registration requirements of Section 5, exempt securities and exempt transactions.

The Exempt securities are set forth in Sections 3(a)(1) – (8), (13) and (14) of the Securities Act. Exempt securities are continuously exempt from the registration requirements regardless of the nature of the transaction in which they may be offered, issued, sold or resold. Examples of exempt securities which may be publicly offered, issued, sold and resold by their issuers or any other person without registration include:

  • Securities issued or guaranteed by the federal government;
  • Any security issued or guaranteed by a bank;
  • Commercial paper with a maturity of nine months or less;
  • Securities issued by non-profit religious, educational or charitable organizations; and
  • Insurance contracts

Exempt Transactions

The exempt transactions are set forth in Sections 3(a)(9), 3(b) and Section 4 of the Securities Act. Exempt transactions allow a security to be offered or sold in a particular

Nov032009

SEC Rule 144: Resale Conditions and Exempt Transactions

There are many questions regarding the application of Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) Rule 144 for the resale of securities. Section 4(1) of the Securities Act provides an exemption for a transaction “by a person other than an issuer, underwriter, or dealer.” Therefore, an understanding of the term “underwriter” is important in determining whether or not the Section 4(1) exemption from registration is available for the sale of the securities. Rule 144 provides a safe harbor from the definition of “underwriter”. If all the requirements for Rule 144 are met, the seller will not be deemed an underwriter and the purchaser will receive unrestricted securities.

As Rule 144 only addresses the resale of restricted securities, the rule first defines “restricted securities”. Restricted securities include: (i) securities acquired directly or indirectly from the Issuer, of from an affiliate of the Issuer (affiliate includes spouses and family members living in the same household), in a transaction or chain of transactions not