SEC temporarily expands access to crowdfunding

By Ken Tysiac

Established smaller companies may look to meet their urgent funding needs related to the coronavirus pandemic through a crowdfunding offering under temporary rules amendments announced Monday by the SEC.

The SEC is expediting the offering process for Regulation Crowdfunding for eligible companies by providing relief from certain rules with respect to the timing of a company's offering and the financial statements required.

To take advantage of the temporary rules, a company must meet enhanced eligibility requirements and provide clear, prominent disclosure to investors about its reliance on the relief. The relief will apply to offerings launched between the effective date of the temporary rules and Aug. 31, 2020.

"In the current environment, many established small businesses are facing challenges accessing urgently needed capital in a timely and cost-effective manner," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a news release. "Today's action responds to feedback we have received from our Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee and others about the difficulties these companies may face in conducting an offering within a time frame that meets pressing capital needs, while continuing to provide appropriate protections for investors."

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA's editorial director.

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