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CrowdCheck Blog

Insights and information for online capital formation

 
August 15, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
A few weeks ago, the State of Ohio was thrust into notoriety in the crowdfunding community because the state issued notices to Reg CF issuers organized in the state that they would be required to pay a notice filing fee for their offerings. In response to those notices, CrowdCheck sent a letter to the Ohio Division of Securities (the “Division”) requesting clarification of the filing rules and fees, as well as asking the Division to ease the process for Reg CF issuers. The Division has replied to that letter and provided guidance for Ohio based issuers offering securities under Reg CF. The full letter is available here. First, the Division makes clear that...
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August 08, 2016 by Diana Leung
*Our summer intern, Diana Leung, who will be heading to Georgetown University in the fall, weighs in on disclosure compliance.   The brilliant start-up companies that define crowdfunding are transforming the meaning of the American Dream. Citizens not only have an equal opportunity to achieve prosperity through the traditional conduits of society but can now do so through their own original thoughts and ideas. Entrepreneurial success is no longer limited by the confines of well-established industries nor to the incredibly wealthy – from biodegradable toothbrushes to microwavable notebooks, crowdfunding is bringing creativity to fruition. But, crowdfunding still...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, Due Diligence, Securities Law, Blog
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July 26, 2016 by Andrew Hanks
Read CrowdCheck General Counsel Huiwen Leo's article featured on Locavesting! http://www.locavesting.com/featured/for-investors-the-key-to-crowdfunding-success-is-due-diligence/
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July 20, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
Many small companies considering undertaking an offering under Tier 2 of Regulation A may find it advantageous to conduct their offering without the use of a registered broker-dealer. Perhaps they have a core base of supporters that would be interested in investing, or they have the ability to undertake their own online, and offline, marketing campaign to get investor interest. However, one potential pitfall of this strategy is that a handful of states require the company to register with the state as an issuer-dealer — essentially the company itself must be registered like a broker-dealer in the state.  CrowdCheck has put together a helpful summary of the...
This entry is filed under Bad Actor, Regulation A, Securities Law, Blog
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June 08, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
After extensive time spent reviewing the communication rules under Regulation CF and their interplay with other securities laws, as well as consulting with the SEC, CrowdCheck has released its comprehensive memo on communications and publicity by issuers prior to and during a Regulation CF offering.  The communication rules for Regulation CF differ substantially from corresponding communication rules for offerings under Regulation A and Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, and from IPOs. We hope this memo will bring some clarity to the communications rules for platforms and issuers.
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Securities Law, Blog
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May 23, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
As we have previously discussed, the Regulation CF disclosure requirement for the financial condition of the issuer has the potential to get inexperienced companies in trouble. It is in this section of the disclosure that optimistic entrepreneurs may provide misleading information by not providing the full details of performance measurements, or by not including information on the assumptions underlying any financial projections. Such statements may be misleading in their own right, or may omit information necessary to make the provided information not misleading – also known as securities fraud (see paragraph (c)). As we have also previously discussed,...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, Fraud, Offering materials, SEC, Blog
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May 19, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
Being in the crowdfunding space, my Twitter feed regularly fills up with “how-to” information on promoting crowdfunding campaigns, and who to hire for their experience running social media campaigns. While these outfits may know what they are doing when it comes to donation/rewards crowdfunding, much of what they offer is not compliant with Regulation CF. Social media campaigns and promoting the offering are very important for a successful raise under Regulation CF, but there are strict rules about what can be said and issuers need to be careful to not turn their entire website into an offer of securities. The underlying rationale for the advertising rules...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Regulation A, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Blog
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May 09, 2016 by Sara Hanks
With one week to go we are hearing that a number of companies are realizing their financial statements are not going to be reviewed in time by their accountants. But they really want to launch on May 16! So they are planning to file on Form C for amounts less than $100,000 and "certifying" the financials, with a view to filing an amendment later. Think about this carefully before you do it. The financial statements (for any level of raise) are required to be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), reflecting all the requirements of GAAP with respect to revenue recognition, capitalization or expensing, and all that other...
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April 29, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
One of the best practices that has developed in the realm of donation/reward crowdfunding is to provide regular updates to campaign backers over email in addition to publishing them on the crowdfunding platform. These updates are important — they keep backers informed about the status of the campaign, and provide information about company events relevant to the success of the idea. When it comes to Regulation CF, however, this practice can’t be adopted for equity backers (otherwise known as investors) in exactly the same manner as for donation/reward crowdfunding. Title III of the JOBS Act is not very friendly to communications being made by individual issuers...
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April 21, 2016 by Andrew Hanks
With all the work that surrounds preparing to file with the SEC (whether you are making a Regulation A or a Regulation CF filing) it can be easy to overlook one of the simplest things you need in order to file. A CIK code is your company’s distinct fingerprint on the SEC’s filing site EDGAR, and it will be the public number used to track your filings. You or a filing agent will need to use your CIK code to log into the EDGAR system from your first to final filing and any amendments and correspondence that come in between. This is also where your company’s basic information that is presented to the public, such as your primary address, FEIN and telephone number...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, SEC, Blog
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