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Regulation A

Non-Fungible Tokens

This one has been on my list for a while and I’m finally ready to dive in – non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  In July 2017, the world of digital assets and cryptocurrency literally became an overnight business sector for corporate and securities lawyers, shifting from the pure technology sector, when the SEC issued its Section 21(a) Report on the DAO investigation finding that a cryptocurrency is, in most cases, a security HERE.  The SEC’s Section 21(a) Report relied on the analysis in SEC v. W.J. Howey Co. to determine when a crypto is a security, building the guardrails to conclude that all, or almost all, cryptocurrencies at that time were/are indeed a security.  For more on the Howey analysis, see HERE.

Later in June 2018, the SEC gave some relief to the crypto world by announcing that Bitcoin and Ether were likely decentralized enough as to no longer be considered a security, hedging on the conclusion as

SEC Fall 2021 Regulatory Agenda

In mid-December, the SEC published its semiannual regulatory agenda and plans for rulemaking.  The Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions contains the Regulatory Plans of 28 federal agencies and 68 federal agency regulatory agendas. The Fall 2021 Agenda (“Agenda”) met with criticism from Commissioner Hester M. Peirce and now former Commissioner Elad L. Roisman as failing to provide any items intended to facilitate capital formation – one of the main tenets of the SEC.  The Agenda is published twice a year, and for several years I have blogged about each publication.

The Agenda is broken down by (i) “Pre-rule Stage”; (ii) Proposed Rule Stage; (iii) Final Rule Stage; and (iv) Long-term Actions.  The Proposed and Final Rule Stages are intended to be completed within the next 12 months and Long-term Actions are anything beyond that.  The number of items to be completed in a 12-month time frame jumped up to 52 items since Spring, which had only 45

Finders – Part 3

Following the SEC’s proposed conditional exemption for finders (see HERE), I’ve been writing a series of blogs on the topic of finders.  New York recently proposed, then failed to adopt a new finder’s regulatory regime.  California and Texas remain the only two states with such allowing finders for intra-state offerings.   Also, a question that has arisen several times recently is whether an unregistered person can assist a U.S. company in capital raising transactions outside the U.S. under Regulation S, which I addressed in the second blog in this series (see HERE).  This blog will discuss the New York, California and Texas rules.

New York

On December 1, 2020, the state of New York adopted an overhaul to some of its securities laws including modernizing registration and filing requirements with the Investor Protection Bureau and the Office of the Attorney General.  Although the proposed rules would have adopted a new definition of “finder” and required licensing and examinations

SEC Final Rule Changes For Exempt Offerings – Part 5

On November 2, 2020, the SEC adopted final rule changes to harmonize, simplify and improve the exempt offering framework.  The new rules go into effect on March 14, 2021. The 388-page rule release provides a comprehensive overhaul to the exempt offering and integration rules worthy of in-depth discussion.  As such, like the proposed rules, I am breaking it down over a series of blogs with this final blog discussing the changes to Regulation Crowdfunding.  The first blog in the series discussed the new integration rules (see HERE).  The second blog in the series covered offering communications (see HERE).  The third blog focuses on amendments to Rule 504, Rule 506(b) and 506(c) of Regulation D (see HERE).   The fourth blog in the series reviews the changes to Regulation A (see HERE).

Current Exemption Framework

The Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) requires that every offer and sale of securities either be registered with the SEC or exempt

SEC Final Rule Changes For Exempt Offerings – Part 4

On November 2, 2020, the SEC adopted final rule changes to harmonize, simplify and improve the exempt offering framework.  The new rules go into effect on March 14, 2021. The 388-page rule release provides a comprehensive overhaul to the exempt offering and integration rules worthy of in-depth discussion.  As such, like the proposed rules, I am breaking it down over a series of blogs with this fourth blog discussing the changes to Regulation A.  The first blog in the series discussed the new integration rules (see HERE).  The second blog in the series covered offering communications (see HERE).  The third blog focuses on amendments to Rule 504, Rule 506(b) and 506(c) of Regulation D (see HERE.

Background; Current Exemption Framework

The Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) requires that every offer and sale of securities either be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration.  Offering exemptions are found in Sections 3 and 4 of the

SEC Final Rule Changes For Exempt Offerings – Part 3

On November 2, 2020, the SEC adopted final rule changes to harmonize, simplify and improve the exempt offering framework.  The new rules go into effect on March 14, 2021. The 388-page rule release provides a comprehensive overhaul to the exempt offering and integration rules worthy of in-depth discussion.  As such, like the proposed rules, I am breaking it down over a series of blogs with this second blog discussing offering communications including new rules related to demo days and generic testing the waters.  The first blog in the series discussed the new integration rules (see HERE).  The second blog in the series covered offering communications (see HERE).  This third blog focuses on amendments to Rule 504, Rule 506(b) and 506(c) of Regulation D.

Background

The Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) requires that every offer and sale of securities either be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration.  The purpose of registration is to provide investors

SEC Final Rule Changes For Exempt Offerings – Part 2

On November 2, 2020, the SEC adopted final rule changes to harmonize, simplify and improve the exempt offering framework.  The new rules go into effect on March 14, 2021. The 388-page rule release provides a comprehensive overhaul to the exempt offering and integration rules worthy of in-depth discussion.  As such, like the proposed rules, I am breaking it down over a series of blogs with this second blog discussing offering communications including new rules related to demo days and generic testing the waters.  The first blog in the series discussed the new integration rules (see HERE).

Background

The Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) requires that every offer and sale of securities either be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration.  The purpose of registration is to provide investors with full and fair disclosure of material information so that they are able to make their own informed investment and voting decisions.

Offering exemptions are found in Sections 3

SEC Final Rule Changes For Exempt Offerings – Part 1

On November 2, 2020, the SEC adopted final rule changes to harmonize, simplify and improve the exempt offering framework.  The SEC had originally issued a concept release and request for public comment on the subject in June 2019 (see HERE).  For my five-part blog series on the proposed rules, see HERE,  HERE, HERE, HERE  and HERE.  The new rules go into effect on March 14, 2021.

The 388-page rule release provides a comprehensive overhaul to the exempt offering and integration rules worthy of in-depth discussion.  As such, like the proposed rules, I will break it down over a series of blogs, with this first blog focusing on integration.

Current Exemption Framework

As I’ve written about many times, the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) requires that every offer and sale of securities either be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration.  The purpose of registration is to provide investors with full and fair disclosure

OTCQB And OTCQX Rule Changes

Effective October 1, 2020, the OTCQB and OTCQX tiers of OTC Markets have instituted amendments to their rules, including an increase in fees.

The OTC Markets divide issuers into three (3) levels of quotation marketplaces: OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Open Market. The OTC Pink Open Market, which involves the highest-risk, highly speculative securities, is further divided into three tiers: Current Information, Limited Information and No Information. Companies trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Current Information tiers of OTC Markets have the option of reporting directly to OTC Markets under its Alternative Reporting Standards.  The Alternative Reporting Standards are more robust for the OTCQB and OTCQX in that they require audited financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and audited by a PCAOB qualified auditor in the same format as would be included in SEC registration statements and reports.

As an aside, companies that report to the SEC under Regulation A and foreign companies that

SEC Adopts Amendments To Disclosures Related To Acquisitions And Dispositions Of Businesses

One year after proposing amendments to the financial statements and other disclosure requirements related to the acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, in May 2020 the SEC adopted final amendments (see here for my blog on the proposed amendments HERE).  The amendments involved a long process; years earlier, in September 2015, the SEC issued a request for public comment related to disclosure requirements for entities other than the reporting company itself, including subsidiaries, acquired businesses, issuers of guaranteed securities and affiliates which was the first step culminating in the final rules (see HERE).

The amendments make changes to Rules 3-05 and 3-14, 8-04, 8-05, and 8-06 of Regulation S-x, as well as Article 11.  The SEC also amended the significance tests in the “significant subsidiary” definition in Rule 1-02(w), Securities Act Rule 405, and Exchange Act Rule 12b-2.  Like all recent disclosure changes, the proposed rules are designed to improve the information for investors while reducing complexity

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