SEC Proposes Crowdfunding Rules Under the JOBS ActNovember 2013
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently unanimously voted to issue proposed rules under Title III of the JOBS Act related to crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a general term for internet-based fundraising characterized by decentralized groups of donors/investors individually committing relatively minor amounts of capital to small businesses, social projects, artistic performances, etc. Popular sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo already provide a crowdfunding platform for the solicitation of donations, while sites like Fundrise, CircleUp and AngelList offer securities using existing securities registration exemptions such as Regulation A and Regulation D. However, under current federal securities laws and regulations, participation in crowdfunding offerings under Regulation D cannot be extended to non-accredited investors, and the use of Regulation A involves an onerous disclosure and review process at both the state and federal levels. The JOBS Act and the recently released proposed rules provide an outline for a regulatory regime that narrowly permits certain issuers, investors and intermediaries to participate in investment-based crowdfunding while attempting to limit the occurrence of fraud.
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