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citizen vc

On line portals for fundraising

As part of the updates on private placements, the Securities and Exchange Commission granted a no-action letter to Citizen VC, an online venture capital firm. The main question was whether the firm was creating “substantive, pre-existing relationships” with prospective investors through its website. The firm wanted to avoid a result that its offers & sales […]

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private placement

Updates on Private Placements

One of the troubling aspects of private placements is trying to draw the line between public advertising for the business and public advertising for selling securities. This aspect is even more apparent for private equity funds and real estate funds that want to tout their deals without jeopardizing their fundraising. The Securities and Exchange Commission […]

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What is a “Voting Equity Security” under the Bad Actor Rule?

When the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Rule 506(d), it did not define “voting equity securities.” That left many fund managers having to take an aggressive approach on compliance with the “bad actor rule.” The SEC has provided some additional clarity. I have to admit that I did not pay much attention to the recent […]

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Massachusetts Adopts Crowdfunding

Add Massachusetts to the growing list of states that are sidestepping the unusable federal crowdfunding alternative. “The Crowdfunding Exemption is designed to foster job creation by helping small and early-stage Massachusetts companies find investors and gain greater access to capital with fewer restrictions. The exemption is also intended to provide necessary investor protections by requiring […]

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Real Estate Crowdfunding

Real estate investing has a long history of crowdfunding. Prior to the 1986 changes to the tax code, there was a large syndication business for getting investors into real estate. Although the investment was usually more for the tax breaks involved instead of income and capital appreciation. With the surge of product crowdfunding through sites […]

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Pay to Pour

Massachusetts regulators have launched an investigation into whether providers are paying for access. In this case, it’s about beer, not political donations. Pay-to-play is illegal under Massachusetts and federal liquor control laws. The restrictions date back to the end of Prohibition, to keep large breweries from dominating the market. Small breweries have to compete for […]

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The SEC Shuts Down Another Illegal Crowdfunding Site

Kickstarter has shown the world that crowdfunding is a viable option for funding great ideas. Because of US securities laws, the funding arrangement on that platform cannot be for an equity interest. That’s selling securities and that practice is subject to decades of protections built to protect consumers.  The JOBS Act opened the possibility of […]

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Icon of Money in the Hand on Rusty Warning Sign.

The SEC Still Hates Intrastate Crowdfunding

One of the exemptions from registering a securities offering is if the offering is limited to one state. Some crowdfunding advocates latched onto this exemption and have been pushing for single state crowdfunding at the state legislatures. On April 10, 2014, the SEC issued a Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation on intrastate crowdfunding offerings. The interpretation was […]

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narrow safe harbor compliance

Narrowing the Safe Harbors

The Securities and Exchange Commission rolled out the accredited investor verification requirement and made it principle-based for purposes of Rule 506(c). You have to take reasonable steps to verify that an investor meets the accredited investor standard. In the same release it created four non-exclusive safe harbors that would deemed to be taking “reasonable steps.”  The […]

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GIPS logo

Don’t Lie About Being GIPS Compliant

The Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) attempts to be a set of standardized, industry-wide principles that guide investment firms on how to calculate and present their investment results to prospective clients. An SEC-registered investment adviser touting that it is GIPS Compliant in advertising, moves GIPS from an accounting concern to a regulatory concern. ZPR Investment […]

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