Rule 701 – Exemption for Offers and Sales to Employees of Non-Reporting Entities

While the issuance of small numbers of shares as prizes or awards to employees may be made without Securities Act Registration, if such awards are tied to the achievement of specific goals (eg. sales goals) by individual employees, an offer or sale requiring registration may be involved. When tied to the achievement of specific goals, the share awards may constitute compensation for services performed or to be performed by the employees that would amount to a disposition of the shares for value and a “sale” of the shares to employees requiring either registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933.

Although many exemptions may be available for the issuance of securities to employees, Rule 701 provides an excellent exemption for non-reporting entities. In particular, Rule 701 is only available to issuers that are not subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act 1934. The beauty of Rule 701 is that ninety days after the

Section 3(a)(9) Exchanges Evaluated

Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act of 1933, provides an exemption from the registration requirements for “[E]xcept with respect to a security exchanged in a case under title 11 of the United States Code, any security exchanged by the issuer with its existing security holders exclusively where no commission or other remuneration is paid or given directly or indirectly for soliciting such exchange.” Generally, in an exchange offer, the issuer offers to exchange new debt or equity securities for its outstanding debt or equity securities.

Since Section 3(a)(9) is a transactional exemption, the new securities issued are subject to the same restrictions on transferability, if any, of the old securities, and any subsequent transfer of the newly issued securities will require registration or another exemption from registration. However, since the new securities take on the character of the old securities, tacking of a holding period is generally permitted allowing for subsequent resales under Rule 144 (assuming all other conditions have