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.
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.
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.
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.
Being in the crowdfunding space, my Twitter feed regularly fills up with “how-to” information on promoting crowdfunding campaigns, and who to hire for their experience running social media campaigns. While these outfits may know what they are doing when it comes to donation/rewards crowdfunding, much of what they offer is not compliant with Regulation CF.
Sure, there has been a lot of talk of Regulation A.
Since the SEC’s adoption of its Regulation A+ rules, creating two tiers of Reg A offerings and two sets of procedures to follow, CrowdCheck has worked with a few companies seeking to qualify offering under Reg A. These companies have found themselves to be guinea pigs for state regulators. In the case of Tier 1, it was working through the coordinated review process. In the case of Tier 2, it has been working with states to figure out what notice needs to be filed and when.
Hey, remember when Oprah gave away all those cars and all the lucky recipients got a car with accompanying tax bill? We could have something like that in crowdfunding too.
For companies seeking crowdfunding, it's natural that they will seek to market their offering to the people who love their product or service. And a company's crowd is going to be super-happy not just to get the shares, but also more of the company's product or service. A company producing zombie movies can give away tickets to the next premiere. A candy company can give away calorific goodies.