As the expected deadline for the SEC to publish rules and regulations enacting the Crowdfunding Act (Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act)) grows nearer, it is a good time for a complete overview of crowdfunding. New Sections 4(6) and 4A of the Securities Act of 1933 codify the crowdfunding exemption and its various requirements as to Issuers and intermediaries. The SEC is in the process of drafting the underlying rules and regulations which will implement these new statutory provisions.
A. WHAT IS CROWDFUNDING?
The Crowdfunding Act amends Section 4 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the Securities Act) to create a new exemption to the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act. The new exemption allows Issuers to solicit “crowds” to sell up to $1 million in securities as long as no individual investment exceeds certain threshold amounts.
The threshold amount sold to any single investor cannot exceed (a) the greater of $2,000
The SEC is still on track and expects to meet the 270 day deadline to draft rules and enact Title III of the JOBS Act creating the new crowdfunding exemption.
As I wrote about before the July 4th holiday, on June 25th, in prepared testimony, Mary Schapiro told a U.S. House oversight panel that certain rule writing deadlines imposed by the JOBS Act “are not achievable.” In particular, the SEC could not meet the 90 day deadline to amend Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Regulation D promulgated there under, to eliminate the prohibition on general solicitation and general advertising in a Rule 506 offering, so long as all purchasers in such offering are accredited investors. “The 90-day deadline does not provide a realistic timeframe for the drafting of the new rule, the preparation of an accompanying economic analysis, the proper review by the commission, and an opportunity for public input,” she said.
On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. Part of the JOBS Act is the Crowdfunding Act, the full title of which is the “Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act of 2012”. The Crowdfunding Act, creates a new exemption to the registration requirements under a newly designated Section 4(6) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
On May 23, 2012 I blogged about crowdfunding requirements for Issuers as summarized in the text of the Crowdfunding Act (the “Act”). This blog continues that discussion providing further information from the Act.
The new crowdfunding exemption allows Issuers to raise up to $1 million in a twelve month period, as long as no individual investment exceeds certain threshold amounts. The threshold amount sold to any single investor, cannot exceed (a) the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the annual income or net worth of such investor, if their annual income or next worth