SEC Advisory Committee On Small And Emerging Companies Recommends Modernizing Rule 147 for Intrastate Crowdfunding Offerings
On September 23, 2015, the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) met and finalized its recommendation to the SEC regarding the modernization of the Rule 147 Intrastate offering exemption. The recommendations are focused on facilitating recently enacted and future state-based crowdfunding initiatives.
I have written about the Advisory Committee on numerous occasions, but by way of reminder, the Committee was organized by the SEC to provide advice on SEC rules, regulations and policies regarding “its mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitating capital formation” as related to “(i) capital raising by emerging privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization; (ii) trading in the securities of such businesses and companies; and (iii) public reporting and corporate governance requirements to which such businesses and companies are subject.”
In formulating its recommendations, the Advisory Committee gave specific consideration to the belief
Florida Has Passed Intrastate Crowdfunding Legislation
As the country waits for the SEC to publish final Title III crowdfunding rules as required by the JOBS Act, states continue to enact and introduce state-specific crowdfunding legislation. As of today, it is unclear when the final federal rules will be released and passed into law though SEC Chair Mary Jo White has publicly stated on several occasions that it will be this year. Upon passage of the final rules, there will be a period of ramping up time in which crowdfunding portals complete the process of registering with the SEC, becoming members of FINRA and completing the necessary steps to ensure that their portal operates in compliance with the final rules. Federal crowdfunding is coming, but it is a slow process.
Florida is the newest state to pass intrastate crowdfunding legislation. The new Florida Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption takes effect October 1, 2015. As a Florida resident, I have a personal
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As required by Title III of the JOBS Act, on October 23, 2013, the SEC published proposed crowdfunding rules. The SEC has dubbed the new rules “Regulation Crowdfunding.” The entire 584-page text of the rule release is available on the SEC website. As of today, it is unclear when final rules will be released and passed into law and what changes those final rules will have from the proposed rules. Moreover, upon passage of the final rules, there will be a period of ramping-up time in which crowdfunding portals complete the process of registering with the SEC, becoming members of FINRA and completing the necessary steps to ensure that their portal operates in compliance with those final rules. Federal crowdfunding is coming, but it is a slow process.
In the meantime, several states have either enacted or introduced state-specific crowdfunding legislation.
Federal Authority for State Crowdfunding Legislation
Both the federal government
The SEC has yet to publish proposed rules under Title III of the JOBS Act – the Crowdfunding Act. The Crowdfunding Act amends Section 4 by 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 or 5% of the annual income or net worth of such investor, if their annual income or net worth is less than $100,000; and (b) 10% of the annual
Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (Securities Act) provides an exemption from the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act for “[A]ny security which is a part of an issue offered and sold only to persons resident within a single State or Territory, where the issuer of such security is a person resident and doing business within or, if a corporation, incorporated by and doing business within, such State or Territory.” (“Intrastate Exemption”) Rule 147 promulgated under the Securities Act provides for further application of the Intrastate Exemption.
Rule 147, Issuers and Corporate Counsel
In addition to complying with Rule 147, Issuers and their counsel need to be cognizant of and comply with applicable state securities laws regulating intrastate offerings. The Intrastate Exemption is only available for bona fide local offerings. That is, the Issuer must be a resident of, and doing business, within the state in which all offers and sales are made