On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. In my excitement over this ground-breaking new law, I have been zealously blogging about the Crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act. However, the JOBS Act impacts securities laws in many additional ways. The following is a summary of the many ways the JOBS Act will amend current securities regulations, all in ways to support small businesses.
A. The New “Emerging Growth Company” Category
The JOBS Act will create a new category of companies defined as “Emerging Growth Companies” (EGC). An EGC will be defined as a company with annual gross revenues of less than $1 billion, that has been public and reporting for a minimum of five years and whose non-affiliated public float is valued at less than $700 million. EGC’s will have reduced requirements associated with initial public offerings (IPO’s) and ongoing reporting requirements. For many purposes, EGC’s will be allowed to use the less
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
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,