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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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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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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 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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September 12, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
The financial statements and corresponding discussion of financial condition of an issuer undertaking a securities offering under Regulation CF is arguably the most important set of information for an investor to make an informed investment decision. While the story of the company is critical for gaining investor interest, it is the financials that help an investor understand the potential for financial return. The financial statements and discussion are required disclosures under Rule 201 of Regulation CF. However, according to CrowdCheck’s research, approximately 35% of Regulation CF issuers are conducting, or have conducted, offerings with non-compliant...
This entry is filed under Crowdfunding, Disclosure, SEC, Securities Law, Blog
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September 06, 2016 by Andrew Stephenson
The overlooked Reg A requirement that could land you in hot water
This entry is filed under Bad Actor, Regulation A, Securities Law, Blog
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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 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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