As required by Title III of the JOBS Act, on October 23, 2013, the SEC has published proposed crowdfunding rules. The SEC has dubbed the new rules “Regulation Crowdfunding.” The entire text of the rule release is available on the SEC website. In a series of blogs, I am summarizing the lengthy rule release. This Part III in my series continues a discussion of the in-depth disclosure requirements for Issuers for use in their offering statements. Part IV will discuss financial disclosure obligations.
Summary Breakdown of Proposed New Rules – Requirements on Issuers
Pursuant to the CROWDFUND Act as set forth in the JOBS Act, an Issuer who offers or sells securities in a crowdfunding offering must file with the SEC and provide investors and the funding intermediary (whether a funding portal or broker-dealer) and make available to potential investors:
(a) The name, legal status, physical address, and website address of the Issuer (discussed in Part II of
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