By Laura Anthony, Esq.
The SEC has a well-published mission of “protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitating capital formation.” Regulation A+ offers significant investor protections in that a form of registration statement is filed with the SEC and subject to a review and comment process. In addition, Regulation A+ allows for pre- and post-filing marketing using the Internet, social media, presentations and the like, provided all such materials are filed with the SEC and subject to review and comment. This process provides significant investor protections, including a permanent record of disclosures made during the offering process. Regulation A+ also provides a streamlined, affordable registration process with access to an expanded pool of investors, thus facilitating capital formation.
To the contrary, private offering documents are not filed or reviewed with the SEC and the process and level of disclosure are far less regulated. Public offerings using Form S-1 limit offering communications, and those communications are not necessarily filed or reviewed by the SEC. The Form S-1 process does not allow for broad Internet, crowd or social media marketing. A Form S-1 process also does not preempt state law and accordingly has significant added costs for a company. A Form S-1 works best for larger issuers with strong underwriter and institutional support. Regulation A+ provides the best method of registered capital formation for small companies, including those that are already subject to the SEC reporting requirements.
As was understood in passing the JOBS Act in 2012, the transparent Regulation A+ process is a preferred method of capital raising for small businesses, especially companies already subject to the reporting requirements who have audited financial statements readily available and processes in place for meeting SEC reporting and review requirements.
When the SEC issued the Regulation A+ rules on March 25, 2015, it issued a press release in which SEC Chair Mary Jo White was quoted as saying, “These new rules provide an effective, workable path to raising capital that also provides strong investor protections. It is important for the Commission to continue to look for ways that our rules can facilitate capital raising by smaller companies.” Allowing small reporting companies to partake in Regulation A+ meets all the mandates of the JOBS Act while concurrently satisfying the SEC goal of providing investor protections, and I am a strong advocate in support of a rule change in that regard.
Note 1: Read Part I of this Article. Click HERE
Note 2: Read Part II of this Article. Click HERE
Note 3: Read Part III of this Article. Click HERE
Note 4: Original appeared on Legal & Compliance, LLC on 28 June 2016. Click HERE
Securities attorney Laura Anthony is the founding partner of Legal & Compliance, LLC, a corporate, securities and business transactions law firm. The firm’s experienced legal team provides ongoing corporate counsel to small and mid-size private companies, OTC and exchange traded issuers as well as private companies going public on the NASDAQ, NYSE MKT or over-the-counter market, such as the OTCQB and OTCQX. For nearly two decades Legal & Compliance, LLC has served clients providing fast, personalized, cutting-edge legal service. The firm’s reputation and relationships provide invaluable resources to clients including introductions to investment bankers, broker-dealers, institutional investors and other strategic alliances.
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