As everyone waits for the SEC to begin rule making on Title III of the JOBS Act, a few innovative entrepreneurs are using Regulation A as a vehicle to crowdfund today.Although the procedure, as described in this blog, is not the crowdfunding procedure that will be implemented under Title III of the JOBS Act, it does allow for the use of social media and the Internet to solicit and obtain equity investment funds from the general population including unaccredited investors, of a particular state or states.
Moreover, the laws that allow for this method of fundraising are not new.The vehicle of choice is Regulation A—the existing Regulation A, not the new Regulation A+, which will be implemented under Title IV of the JOBS Act. Using Regulation A to offer securities involves the time and expense of a registered offering; however, the registered securities are free trading and may be offered to unaccredited investors.Regulation A does not preempt state
Although Regulation A is legally an exemption from the registration requirements contained in Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as a practical matter it is more analogous to registration than any other exemption. In particular, Regulation A provides for the filing of an offering prospectus which closely resembles a registration statement, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC then can, and often does, comment on the filing. Practitioners often refer to Regulation A as a short form registration.
Moreover, although the Regulation A offering prospectus does not go “effective” the regulation calls for “qualification” of the offering prospectus under circumstances that mirror those for effectiveness of a registration statement. For example, Rule 252(g) provides for the technical possibility of automatic qualification twenty days after filing the offering prospectus much the same as Section 8(a) for registration statements. Rule 252(g) also provides for a procedure to delay such effectiveness until the SEC declares the offering “qualified” much