Bill Carleton has a good post regarding the recent comments from Keith Higgins, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, who spoke at the 2014 Angel Capital Association Summit.  Higgins discussed the SEC’s principles-based approach with respect to meeting the requirements of new Rule 506(c). 

Since the SEC’s adoption of new Rule 506(c) in September 2013 allowing general solicitation by issuing companies in certain circumstances, angel investors have been concerned about the accredited investor verification standards set forth in those new rules.  The debate has centered around what actions
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Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Evan M. Migdail and Bruce Thompson; originally published here: http://www.dlapiper.com/camp-unveils-major-tax-reform-plan-today/.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) today unveiled his comprehensive tax reform proposal. Released as draft legislation, the Camp proposal calls for the most fundamental reform of the tax code in 27 years.

Upon releasing the plan, Camp said his reforms would make the tax code simpler and fairer for families and job creators, spur economic growth, create jobs, and put money back in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers.

The proposal would reduce the top individual tax rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent and the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent. The seven individual tax brackets would be reduced to two brackets of 10 and 25 percent, and a 10 percent surtax would be imposed on certain income above $450,000. Capital gains and dividends would be taxed as ordinary income, with a 40 percent exclusion.

The lower tax rates would be offset by eliminating or limiting a long list of individual and corporate tax deductions, exclusions and credits.
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Compliments of our DLA Piper colleagues in the data protection and privacy practice, and co-editors Kate Lucente and Paul McCormack, here is the DLA Piper 2014 Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook.  This new online edition of the handbook offers a high-level snapshot of selected features of international laws as they currently stand in 72 jurisdictions across the world.  For example, here is a heat map that provides a visual representation of the privacy challenges faced in certain jurisdictions.

Here is a .pdf of the full 349-page handbook
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Just a reminder to those who have Delaware corporations, your annual report and franchise tax payment are both due on or before March 1 (which falls on a Saturday this year). 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.

As you will notice, there are two methods that you can use to calculate the amount of Delaware franchise tax due for your corporation (i.e., the “Authorized Shares Method” and the “Assumed Par Value Capital Method”), which result in vastly different amounts due. The default payment amount listed on your notification is set by Delaware using the Authorized Shares Method, which method will almost always result in a much high amount due for startups with limited assets. The minimum franchise tax is $75 and the maximum franchise tax is $180,000.

Franchise taxes are generally due in arrears for the prior calendar year. However, note that Delaware requires corporations owing $5,000 or more for the prior year to make estimated payments for the current (going-forward) year’s franchise tax with 40% due June 1, 20% due by September 1, 20% due by December 1, and the remainder due March 1.

Here are some examples showing how the different methods can dramatically impact the amount of Delaware franchise tax due:


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According to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), venture capitalists invested $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals in 2013, an increase of 7% in dollars and a 4% increase in deal volume over 2012 levels.  The full Q4 and FY 2013 investing trends are available here.

A couple of interesting highlights for 2013:

  • Internet-specific companies captured $7.1 billion, marking the highest level of Internet investment since 2001.
  • Investments into the software industry also reached their highest level since 2000 with $11.0 billion flowing


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As we’ve previously blogged, in July 2013 the SEC adopted rules that permit general solicitation and general advertising in connection with certain offerings of securities to accredited investors.  Yesterday, to help the markets understand some common interpretative questions associated with these new rules, the SEC issued several new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations.  The new interpretations mainly address:

  • when and how companies may switch between “old” Rule 506(b) (no general solicitation) and new 506(c) (general solicitation permitted),
  • the need to amend Form D if such changes are made,
  • the


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Just a reminder that the temporary 100% exclusion for Federal capital gains tax on the sale of “qualified small business stock” (“QSBS”), under Section 1202 of the IRS regulations, is set to expire at the end of calendar year 2013.

The QSBS tax exemption was originally enacted to incentivize investment in certain small businesses by providing (non-corporate) investors the opportunity to exclude all or a portion of their gains from Federal capital gains tax in certain circumstances.

In order to qualify as QSBS, stock must be purchased from a domestic C corporation that (i) is engaged in an active trade or business (as defined by the IRS regulations) and (ii) has gross assets which do not exceed $50 million (measured when the stock is purchased). Further, in order to qualify for the tax exemption, the investor must hold the qualified stock for at least five years from the date of purchase. In addition, the timing of an investor’s purchase of the qualified stock will impact the amount excluded from Federal capital gains tax that may later apply when the stock is ultimately sold, according to the following percentages:
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CONTRIBUTED BY Trent Dykes and Nathan Luce

Earlier today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took an important step in making securities-based crowdfunding a reality for many small companies with the release of its proposed rules governing crowdfunding. The proposed rules, called “Regulation Crowdfunding,” were drafted in connection with Title III of the JOBS Act. Whereas traditional crowdfunding involves a company offering things like advanced product or information releases, premium services or the ability to contribute to a given cause in exchange for an investment, Regulation Crowdfunding would allow those same companies to issue actual securities (i.e., debt or equity) in exchange for investments—a dramatic shift from what has become fairly common practice on websites such as Kickstarter or Microryza over the past few years.

The SEC’s Regulation Crowdfunding proposal would implement rules governing the offer and sale of securities under new Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Section 4(a)(6)). The proposal also provides a framework for the regulation of registered funding portals and brokers, whom issuers must use as intermediaries in their crowdfunding efforts pursuant to Section 4(a)(6). In addition, the proposal would exempt securities sold pursuant to Section 4(a)(6) from the registration requirements of Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Evan M. Migdail and Steven R. Phillips; originally published here: http://www.dlapiper.com/shutdown-likely-to-drag-on-as-issues-grow-more-complicated/.

The federal government shutdown, now in its fourth day, appears likely to continue a while longer as the list of issues under discussion between the President and Congressional leaders, and within the Congress, becomes longer and more complex.

Congress faced two major fiscal deadlines as October approached: the expiration of funding for most government operations on October 1, and the October 17 deadline reported by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at which the United States is at risk of defaulting on its obligations absent the authority to borrow above the current debt limit of US$16.7 trillion. While discussions in late September focused on the spending deadline, the proximity of the October 17 deadline has forced a practical merger of the two issues. A resolution of the spending shutdown appears virtually unachievable without a formula on the debt issue as well.
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Megan Muir.jpgCONTRIBUTED BY
Megan Muir

Earlier this summer, together with some of my partners within DLA Piper (Christopher Paci, Jason Harmon, Darryl Steinhause and Wesley Nissen), I wrote an article about new SEC regulations concerning private offerings. The final rules issued in July 2013 by the SEC go into effect on September 23, 2013. Below is a summary of the changes with respect to the disqualification of certain “bad actors” in connection with private offerings.  Also, attached is a sample Rule 506 Covered Person Questionnaire seeking information about potentially disqualified individuals and entities. The full article also contains a discussion of new rules allowing general solicitation in certain private fundraising as well as a discussion of certain proposed private offering rule changes that are not yet final. That piece may be found here.

The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in 2010, required the SEC to adopt rules to prohibit use of the Rule 506 exemptions under Regulation D for securities offerings in which certain “bad actors” are involved, whether or not general solicitation or general advertising are used in the offering. Rule 506 is the exemption from registration requirements used in many private offerings, including most startup financings. To fulfill this Dodd-Frank requirement, the SEC has adopted rules that disqualify an issuer from selling securities in reliance upon the Rule 506 exemption if the issuer, its board members, certain of its officers and its large shareholders, among others covered by the rule, have experienced a “disqualifying event.” This is similar to existing bad actor rules, such as those found in Rule 505 of Regulation D, which relies on the disqualification provisions set forth in Rule 262 of Regulation A.

Disqualifying events include criminal convictions in connection with sales of securities, certain SEC civil and administrative actions and certain other orders from financial service industry regulatory authorities. If the issuer or other covered person is deemed a bad actor under this rule, the Rule 506 exemption will not be available to the issuer.


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