The SEC Responds to Small Business with a Generous ‘Up from the Ashes’ Program

In response to the devastating effects the C-19 coronavirus chaos is having on small businesses, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on 4 May 2020 adopted a temporary final rule to make it easier for existing businesses to raise up to $250,000 through Regulation Crowdfunding.

Under the relaxed rules, which are in effect only until 31 August 2020, a business is excused from complying with the Regulation Crowdfunding requirement to have its financial statements reviewed by an independent public accountant. During this limited period, the SEC is requiring only certain information from the business’ Federal income tax returns certified by the principal executive officer.

That represents a significant time and financial savings for companies, especially small businesses that need a quick infusion of capital during rough times caused by the C-19 coronavirus chaos.

To be eligible, the business must have been organized and have had operations for not less than 6 months prior to the commencement of its securities offering.

The relaxed rules are not available to recently formed startups.

Other eligibility requirements include that the business must be a US company and must be in compliance with Regulation Crowdfunding if it has previously conducted an equity crowdfunding offering under the regulation.

Equity crowdfunding was made legal by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. The SEC promulgated Regulation CF in 2016. Under these regulations, businesses may raise up to $1.07-M in equity crowdfunding offerings conducted on SEC-sanctioned online crowdfunding portals. The SEC recently proposed to increase the offering limit under Regulation CF to $5-M.

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