Multiple Changes To Private Offering Compliance And Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI)
The SEC has been fine-tuning its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI), making multiple amendments, additions and deletions on September 20, 2017. The SEC made revisions to reflect changes to Rules 147 and 504, the repeal of Rule 505, as well as numerous non-substantive revisions throughout the C&DI to update for current rules and statutory references. Likewise, several C&DI have been removed that did not accurately reflect current rules.
On October 26, 2016, the SEC passed new rules to modernize intrastate and regional securities offerings. The final new rules amended Rule 147 to reform the rules and allow companies to continue to offer securities under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”). The SEC created a new Rule 147A to accommodate adopted state intrastate crowdfunding provisions. New Rule 147A allows intrastate offerings to access out-of-state residents and companies that are incorporated out of state, but that conduct business in the state in which the offering is being
SEC Issues Report On Accredited Investor Definition
On December 18, 2015, the SEC issued a 118-page report on the definition of “Accredited Investor” (the “Report”). The report follows the March 2015 SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “Advisory Committee”) recommendations related to the definition. The SEC is reviewing the definition of “accredited investor” as directed by the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires that the SEC review the definition as relates to “natural persons” every four years to determine if it should be modified or adjusted.
The definition of “accredited investor” has not been comprehensively re-examined by regulators since its adoption in 1982; however, in 2011 the Dodd-Frank Act amended the definition to exclude a person’s primary residence from the net worth test of accreditation.
Although the Report contains detailed discussions on the various aspects of the definition of an accredited investor, the history of the different aspects of the definition, a discussion of different approaches taken in other U.S. regulations and in foreign
SEC Proposes Amendments Related To Intrastate And Regional Securities Offerings- Part II- Rules 504 And 505
On October 30, 2015, the SEC published proposed rule amendments to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings. The SEC has proposed amendments to Rule 147 to modernize the rule and accommodate adopted state intrastate crowdfunding provisions. In addition, the SEC has proposed amendments to Rule 504 of Regulation D to increase the aggregate offering amount from $1 million to $5 million and to add bad actor disqualifications from reliance on the rule. The SEC has also made technical amendments to Rule 505 of Regulation D.
In Part I of the blog, I discussed the Rule 147 amendment, and in this Part II will discuss the changes to Rules 504 and 505. I have never really written about either Rules 504 or 505 in the past, the simple reason being that they are rarely used exemptions. Perhaps with the current proposed changes, Rule 504 will have a new life. I do not think Rule 505 will gain favor, and in fact,
SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues Guidance On Bad Actor Waivers
Last month the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued guidance on the granting waivers for the bad actor disqualifications under Regulation A and Rules 505 and 506 of Regulation D.
The Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to implement rules which disqualify certain Rule 506 offerings based on the individuals involved in the issuer and related parties. On July 10, 2013, the SEC adopted such rules by amending portions of Rules 501 and 506 of Regulation D, promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933. The new rules went into effect on September 23, 2013. The rule disqualifies the use of Rule 506 as a result of certain convictions, cease and desist orders, suspensions and bars (“disqualifying events”) that occur on or after September 23, 2013, and adds disclosure obligation in Rule 506(e) for disqualifying events that occurred prior to September 23, 2013.
On July 31, 2013, I summarized the final rules, which summary can be read HERE. On December 4,
Crowdfunding Act – What about state securities laws?
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 SEC has been mandated with the task of drafting the crowdfunding rules and regulations by early 2013.
In addition to federal securities laws, each state has its own securities laws and governing body which oversees and enforces such laws. The individual state securities statutes are not uniform – every state is different. However, many aspects of federal securities law pre-empt state securities laws. This is a major advantage to issuers because abiding by the myriad of disclosure and pre and post-filing requirements of the federal statutes and individual state statutes concurrently is an arduous and expensive effort.
For instance federal law does not pre-empt state law for a Rule 505 offering, but it does for a Rule 506
Section 4(6) Registration Exemption for Accredited Investors
Section 4(6) provides a registration exemption for offerings to accredited investors, if the aggregate offering amounts up to the dollar limit of Section 3(b) (currently $5,000,000), if there is no advertising or public solicitation in connection with the transaction by the Issuer or anyone acting on the Issuer’s behalf.
The term accredited investor is defined in section 2(a)(15) and generally includes:
- Banks, insurance companies and pension plans;
- Corporations, partnerships and business entities with over $5 million in assets;
- Directors, executive officers and general partners of the issuer;
- Natural persons with over $1 million net worth or over $200,000 in annual income for two years; and
- Entities, all of whose equity owners are accredited.
In addition, the SEC has the power to define as an accredited investor any person, who, on the basis of such factors as financial sophistication, net worth, knowledge, and experience in financial matters, or amount of assets under management qualifies as an accredited investor.
Section 4(6) and