JUST IN! – SEC lifts ad ban on private offerings, broadening investor pool for businesses

July 10, 2013

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, signed by President Barack Obama in April 2012, directed the SEC to lift the ban on advertising private offerings.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, signed by President Barack Obama in April 2012, directed the SEC to lift the ban on advertising private offerings.

Businesses raising money through private offerings will be able to advertise this opportunity to investors thanks to a rule change adopted today by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The rule change implements a provision in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,which was signed into law more than a year ago. The elimination of the advertising ban on private offerings should make it easier for startups and other businesses, including hedge funds and venture capitalists, to raise money.

How much of an impact it makes remains to be seen, Emergence Capital Partners founder Brian Jacobs told the Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Most VCs I know don’t want to raise money from individuals.”

Only accredited investors — individuals with net worth of more than $1 million, excluding their residences, and/or income of more than $200,000 — will be eligible to invest in these businesses. But advertising these opportunities will enable businesses seeking capital to reach more of these investors.

“With general solicitation it will be much easier for investors to find companies they are passionate about supporting,” wrote Mike Norman, of the WeFunder crowdfunding site, in an email to TechCrunch.

That’s good news for businesses seeking investors, but more protections are needed to guard against fraud, said Jennifer Openshaw, president of Finect, an online network for the financial industry.

“Small companies benefit by being able to raise money more easily under the new rules,” Openshaw said, “but history has shown that consumers can be misled and exploited if steps aren’t taken to guard their interests.”  Read the original article here…

NB: Next step is for this to be published in the Federal Register.  We will post more later when trusted legal sources confirm when these changes can actually be acted upon.

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