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CrowdCheck Blog

Insights and information for online capital formation

 
March 08, 2017 by Jamie Ostrow
If you are about to launch a crowdfunding offering under Regulation CF, you should make sure you know when your financial statements will go “stale” (i.e., become too old). Under the disclosure requirements of Regulation CF, to “conduct” an offering (meaning to have an offering open and able to take investments) you must be using financials that are no older than a year and 120 days since your previously completed fiscal year.  This means, if your fiscal year is a calendar fiscal year, and you are using December 31, 2015 financials, the offering can only stay open until May 1 of this year (120 days since the end of the 2016 fiscal year, adjusted since April 30...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Blog
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February 13, 2017 by Andrew Stephenson
So far, Regulation Crowdfunding appears to be doing what it was always intended to do. Small businesses are able to raise funds to begin or expand their business operations. Some companies could be categorized as innovative growth companies, others more main street. In any case, a common theme is that issuers are in need of cash and see crowdfunding as a method that provides additional benefits over traditional loans or angel investment – if those options were even available to the issuer to begin with. As offerings under Regulation Crowdfunding can take a few months, often with substantial upfront costs, many issuers find themselves in the position of needing...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Securities Law, Blog
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February 03, 2017 by Andrew Stephenson
One of the great benefits to issuers under the SEC’s rules for offerings under Tier 2 of Regulation A, effectively created by the JOBS Act, is the preemption of state requirements for registration of the offer and sale of securities. Known as “Blue Sky Laws”, these state specific rules added considerable cost to qualifying an offering under Regulation A. The SEC determined it was appropriate to preempt state qualification rules by deeming securities offered and sold under Tier 2 of Regulation A to be sold to “qualified purchasers” under Section 18 of the Securities Act. Under Section 18, states are still given the authority to require filing fees and notice...
This entry is filed under Regulation A, Securities Law, Blog
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December 19, 2016 by Sara Hanks
If you raise capital online, you're probably a New Economy, Internet 4.0 type of company, right? Leverage the cloud, move fast, break rules (not securities rules), create synergies, it's all about the hustle. Right? Maybe. Some of you new era companies should be huddling in your hoodies for shame, 'cos some of you have distinctly old school bylaws when it somes to stock certificates. Yes, stock certificates. Those bits of paper with incomprehensible things written on them that say who owns shares in your company. Some of you still have bylaws that say that paper stock certificates MUST be issued. And you are engaging great new transfer agents who do everything...
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November 16, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
Funding portals are governed by unique communication rules under Regulation CF and FINRA’s Funding Portal Rules. These rules derive from the restrictions on funding portals regarding soliciting investors and providing investment advice. Additional information can be found in the memo here. 
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, FINRA, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Securities Law, Blog
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November 09, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
Just as with issuer compliance, investment platform compliance with Regulation CF has been all over the map since Regulation CF went into effect in May. Under Rules 300 to 305 of Regulation CF, all intermediaries in Regulation CF offerings have specific requirements that they must meet. For instance, they must register with the SEC and FINRA, take measures to reduce the risk of fraud in transactions, provide educational materials to investors, and comply with process requirements for each offering. It is in the processes for each offering, Rule 303, that we see the most variation in compliance. In particular, under Rule 303, all platforms are required to make...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, FINRA, SEC, Blog
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October 06, 2016 by Andrew Hanks
CrowdCheck CEO Sara Hanks was quoted in The Hill's covereage of the recent SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies meeting. Sara Hanks is the Co-Chair of ACSEC. http://bit.ly/2dV8c4V
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, In The News, SEC, Blog
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September 28, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
On September 16, 2016, the SEC filed its first suspension of the Regulation A exemption against an issuer for failure to file its required annual statement. A suspension of the Regulation A exemption is a Bad Act, disqualifying the company from raising capital under Regulation A, Regulation CF, and Rule 506 of Regulation D. The order notes that under Rule 257 of Regulation A, issuers whose offering statements have been qualified under Tier 2 must file annual reports on Form 1-K for the fiscal year in which the offering statement became qualified and for any fiscal year thereafter. This requirement continues until the issuer meets the requirements to no longer...
This entry is filed under Bad Actor, Disclosure, Regulation A, SEC, Securities Law, Blog
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September 22, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
While never intended to be the type of discussion that accompanies the management’s discussion and analysis of a registered securities offering, the SEC expects issuers making offerings under Regulation CF to discuss all the material information regarding their current liquidity and capital resources. Under Rule 201(s), this discussion must cover each period for which the issuer has provided financial statements as well as identification of any material changes that have occurred after the end of the periods covered by the financial statements. In practice, the discussion would include items like cash on hand, burn rate, and availability of other sources of...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, SEC, Section 4(a)(6), Blog
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September 18, 2016 by Sara Hanks
  We live in a world without borders. Securities laws, however, have clearly-defined jurisdictional limits, many of them inconsistent across countries. We live in a world where information wants to be free. Securities laws, however, have very clear ideas about how where information is allowed to go and who is responsible for it. This is all becoming evident in the area of securities crowdfunding. I’ve come across a couple of issues recently which underline the need for a clear, comprehensible, cross-jurisdictional agreement as to whose laws will apply to what transactions and when people should be allowed to invest in an offering being made in another country....
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