Choosing the right lawyer for your startup can be overwhelming, given the important role that relationship will play in the evolution of your company. However, finding the right fit at the earliest stages can save you lots of pain (and cost) down the road. Accordingly, I thought it would be helpful to share my observations on how to optimize the selection process and ensure a strong long-term relationship with your lawyer.

While all of the below considerations are obviously important, in my experience, individual founders put different weight on each
Continue Reading How to Choose Your Startup Lawyer

Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Christine Daya, Thomas M DeButts, Danish Hamid, Sarah E. Kahn, Richard Newcomb, Ignacio E. Sanchez, Lawrence E. Levinson and Dana Zelman; originally published here: https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2020/01/new-regulations-reinforce-cfius-expanded-role/.

On January 13, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury released two sets of new regulations that comprehensively implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) – a law that strengthens the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is an interagency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and is responsible for screening foreign investments into the United States to determine if they could impair US national security. The new CFIUS regulations will become effective on February 13, 2020 and are titled (i) Provisions Pertaining to Certain Investments in the United States by Foreign Persons (31 CFR Parts 800 and 801) and (ii) Provisions Pertaining to Certain Transactions by Foreign Persons Involving Real Estate in the United States (31 CFR Part 802).  These CFIUS regulations reflect the Treasury Department’s response to comments provided after its issuance of certain proposed rules in September 2019, as described in our previous alert. Among various developments, the new regulations:
Continue Reading New regulations reinforce CFIUS’s expanded role with respect to foreign investments in the US

Just a reminder to those who have Delaware corporations: your annual report and franchise tax payment are both due by March 1 (which is a Sunday, so plan accordingly). At this point, you have likely already received from Delaware your notification of annual report and franchise tax due, which is sent to a corporation’s registered agent in December or January of each year. Delaware requires these reports to be filed electronically.

There are two methods that you can use to calculate the amount of Delaware franchise tax due for
Continue Reading Delaware Franchise Tax due date: a reminder for Delaware corporations

Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Larry W. Nishnick, Bradley E. Phipps, and David Kurlander; originally published here: https://www.dlapiper.com/en/asiapacific/insights/publications/2020/01/sec-proposes-changes-to-accredited-investor-definition/.

The SEC recently proposed amendments to the long-standing definition of “accredited investor,” an important qualification standard under the securities laws that determines what types of investors may invest in certain kinds of private securities offerings, including securities offerings conducted pursuant to Rules 506(b) and 506(c) of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933 and other important federal and state securities law exemptions.

The current definition of “accredited investor” has been in place without any significant update since 1985. At a high level, the proposal would expand the number of natural person investors that qualify by adding categories of eligibility based on their professional knowledge, experience or certifications. The proposal would also expand the types of entities that qualify as “accredited investors.” The proposed changes would allow additional persons and entities to qualify as “accredited investors,” thereby allowing them to purchase securities through private offerings, including shares and interests in certain private investments funds.

Notable changes
Continue Reading SEC proposes changes to “accredited investor” definition

Although entrepreneurs and venture investors typically drive the negotiation of the term sheet for a venture financing, once the term sheet is executed, the commercial parties (especially those who have not been through the process many times) often feel sidelined in the ensuing process to close and uncomfortable with their lack of visibility into and control over the timeline. Accordingly, I thought it would be helpful to provide a high-level overview of a standard venture financing timeline.
Continue Reading How Long Should it Take to Close my Venture Financing?

Compliments of our colleague Sanjay M. Shirodkar.

The SEC is open for business – first come, first served.

The Division of Corporation Finance is returning to normal operations. The SEC staff has indicated that, absent compelling circumstances, it expects to address matters in the order in which they were received. Staff members are available to answer questions relating to filings and other federal securities law matters, but their response take some time.

The SEC Staff has created an avenue for expedited basis assistance. Such requests should be directed to
Continue Reading The SEC opens; short-term outlook

By Trent Dykes, Ossie Ravid and Jennifer Tornow

Just a reminder to those who have Delaware corporations: your annual report and franchise tax payment are both due by March 1. At this point, you have likely already received from Delaware your notification of annual report and franchise tax due, which is sent to a corporation’s registered agent in December or January of each year. Delaware requires these reports to be filed electronically.

There are two methods that you can use to calculate the amount of Delaware franchise tax due
Continue Reading Delaware Franchise Tax due date: a reminder for Delaware corporations

Yesterday, the SEC issued an enforcement order regarding Munchee’s token offering and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton released a general public statement on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.  For those who previously read our post about the SEC’s report in the DAO, much of this might not be a surprise – although the SEC staff did answer the call of discussing so-called “utility tokens.”
Continue Reading The SEC has the Munchees: Eating away at the “utility token” theory

Compliments of over 100 of our DLA Piper colleagues around the world, DLA Piper has launched Finance Rules of the World, which gives you answers to key legal questions that you may consider when initially looking at financing or investing in particular jurisdictions. The interactive Finance Rules of the World website lets you compare regimes across more than 35 jurisdictions in EMEA, Asia Pacific and the US in the areas of borrowing and lending; issuing and investing in debt securities; establishing, investing in, marketing and managing hedge funds and
Continue Reading Finance Rules of the World: see how different jurisdictions allow for finance & investment

Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Luke Gannon, Scott Thiel and Hayden Lau; originally published here:
https://www.dlapiper.com/insights/publications/2017/09/the-sfc-comments-on-icos/

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (the SFC) has debunked the myths that no securities laws apply to ICOs. In its first direct statement on the subject, the SFC fired a warning shot at issuers and intermediaries of ICOs and token offerings, reminding them that they may be conducting regulated activities and therefore, may be required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC, irrespective of where they are located.
Continue Reading The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong comments on ICOs

One of the more interesting phenomena in early-stage investing is the recent emergence of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”), token generation events (“TGEs”), or similar distributed ledger or blockchain-enabled means for raising capital. Much has been written, including by many skilled lawyers in the technology sector, about whether the tokens issued in these structures involve “securities” – and, frankly, some of it is unhelpful. Hungry for something that seems like crowdfunding, but that actually works to raise meaningful capital for promising technology initiatives, many in the technology space really want these
Continue Reading SEC Report on Tokens as Securities: Seven Takeaways