The SEC Establishes Key Exemption to the Broker-Dealer Registration Requirements for M&A Brokers
On January 31, 2014, the SEC Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter in favor of entities effecting securities transactions in connection with the sale of equity control of private operating businesses (“M&A Broker”). The SEC stated that it would not require broker-dealer registration for M&A Brokers arranging for the sale of private businesses, in accordance with the facts and circumstances set forth in the no action letter, as described below.
For many years the SEC has maintained a staunch view that any and all activities that could fall within the broker-dealer registration requirements set forth in Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), require registration. See also the SEC Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration (2008) on the SEC website.
In accordance with the SEC Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration, providing any of the following services may require the individual or entity to be registered as a broker-dealer:
- “finders,” “business brokers,” and
Proposed Crowdfunding Rules – Part IV
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 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 IV of my series continues a discussion of the in-depth disclosure requirements for Issuers for use in their offering statements. In particular, Parts II and III addressed the Issuer disclosure requirements, other than financial disclosures. This Part IV in the series discusses Issuer financial disclosure obligations.
Summary Breakdown of Proposed New Rules – Requirements on Issuers
Pursuant to the CROWDFUND Act as set forth
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