Yesterday the SEC adopted rules intended to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings.  The SEC made general updates and modernized old Rule 147, the safe harbor exemption for intrastate securities offerings under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act. The SEC also adopted a new exemption in Rule 147A, which differs from Rule 147 primarily in that it expressly permits general solicitation and does not require the issuer to be formed in the same state as its principal place of business and investors.  This should allow Rule 147A to work more effectively with state-level crowdfunding exemptions.  (We have previously blogged about the challenges of crowdfunding under Rule 147.)

The SEC also revised Rule 504 to increase the aggregate offering amount limitation from $1m to $5m and to add “bad actor” disqualifications (aligning it with recent updates to Rule 506). In addition, the SEC repealed the little used and now largely redundant to Rule 505.

These rules have various effective dates tied to publication of the rules in the Federal Register, which will likely occur next week:

  • Revised Rule 147 – 150 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • New Rule 147A – 150 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • Revised Rule 504 – 60 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • Repeal of Rule 505 – 180 days after publication in the Federal Register

Continue Reading New SEC exemption rules for intrastate and regional offerings

Trent Dykes, Megan Muir and Kiran Lingam (guest contributor from SeedInvest)

I. Introduction / Background

With the passage of the JOBS Act, the regulation governing most private securities offerings is undergoing a dramatic makeover. Congress tasked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with developing new rules allowing companies to generally solicit funds, subject to restrictions as determined by the SEC. In July 2013, the SEC issued final rules on this topic and also proposed additional rules that are not yet final. Managers of incubators, accelerators, angel groups and others involved in startup capital raising have expressed great concern about how the revised regulations will affect them, particularly with respect to their public-facing events.

Whether presenting at a demo day event, angel group meetings or business plan competitions constitutes “general solicitation” is a question that has caused great concern among many angel groups, incubators and other event organizers around the country. This post is designed to provide practical tips to event organizers on how to structure their demo day, pitch event or angel group meeting event in light of new federal rules and the current regulatory landscape.

Starting today, September 23, 2013, the final rules published by the SEC in July go into effect and companies can use general solicitation (or advertising) in connection their securities offerings under the new Rule 506(c) of Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933, adopted under Title II of the JOBS Act. However, the companies that choose to take advantage of general solicitation under the new rules will have to take steps they did not need to take in the past, including additional verification of accredited investor status. If the proposed rules go into effect, there are a further steps that would be imposed on companies choosing to generally solicit, including making advance filings of a Form D, filing with SEC the materials used in the general solicitation and including specific language (referred to as “legends”) in written solicitation materials.
Continue Reading Demo Days, Pitch Events and the New Reg D