Law Blog Category: Regulation A
Title IV of the JOBS Act – Small Capital Formation – is quickly being called the new Regulation A+. Title IV of the JOBS Act technically amends Section 3(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, which up to now has been a general provision allowing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fashion exemptions from registration, up to a total offering amount of $5,000,000. The new provision will be Section 3(b)(2) with the old statutory language remaining and being relabeled as Section 3(b)(1).
On April 5, 2012 President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. In my excitement over this ground-breaking new law, I have been zealously blogging about the Crowdfunding portion of the JOBS Act. However, the JOBS Act impacts securities laws in many additional ways. The following is a summary of the many ways the JOBS Act will amend current securities regulations, all in ways to support small businesses.
Although Regulation A is legally an exemption from the registration requirements contained in Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as a practical matter it is more analogous to registration than any other exemption. In particular, Regulation A provides for the filing of an offering prospectus which closely resembles a registration statement, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC then can, and often does, comment on the filing. Practitioners often refer to Regulation A as a short form registration.
Section 3(b) of the Securities Act gives the SEC authority to exempt from registration certain offerings where the securities to be offered involve relatively small dollar amounts. Under this provision, the SEC has adopted Regulation A, a conditional ex-emption for certain public offerings not exceeding $5 million in any 12-month period. An offering statement (consisting of a notification, offering circular, and exhibits) must be filed with the SEC Regional Office in the region where the company’s principal business activities are conducted. Although Regulation A is technically an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act, it is often referred to as a “short form” of registration since the offering circular (similar in content to a prospectus) must be sup-plied to each purchaser and the securities issued are freely tradeable in an aftermarket.