Disclosure by Issuers

a. Form C

Any issuer conducting a Regulation Crowdfunding offering must electronically file its offering statement on Form C through the Commission’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system and with the intermediary facilitating the crowdfunding offering. A Form C cover page will be generated when the issuer provides information in XML-based fillable text boxes on the EDGAR system. Other required disclosure that is not requested in the XML text boxes must be filed as attachments to Form C. There is not a specific presentation format required for the attachments to Form C; however, the form does include an optional “Question and Answer” format that issuers may use to provide the disclosures that are required but not included in the XML portion.

b. Offering Statement Disclosure

The instructions to Form C indicate the information that an issuer must disclose, including:

  • information about officers, directors, and owners of 20 percent or more of the issuer;
  • a description of the issuer’s business and the use of proceeds from the offering;
  • the price to the public of the securities or the method for determining the price,
  • the target offering amount and the deadline to reach the target offering amount,
  • whether the issuer will accept investments in excess of the target offering amount;
  • certain related-party transactions; and
  • a discussion of the issuer’s financial condition and financial statements.

The financial statements requirements are based on the amount offered and sold in reliance on Regulation Crowdfunding within the preceding 12-month period:

  • For issuers offering $124,000 or less: Financial statements of the issuer and certain information from the issuer’s federal income tax returns, both certified by the principal executive officer. If, however, financial statements of the issuer are available that have either been reviewed or audited by a public accountant that is independent of the issuer, the issuer must provide those financial statements instead and will not need to include the information reported on the federal income tax returns or the certification of the principal executive officer.
  • Issuers offering more than $124,000 but not more than $618,000: Financial statements reviewed by a public accountant that is independent of the issuer. If, however, financial statements of the issuer are available that have been audited by a public accountant that is independent of the issuer, the issuer must provide those financial statements instead and will not need to include the reviewed financial statements.
  • Issuers offering more than $618,000:
    • For first-time Regulation Crowdfunding issuers: Financial statements reviewed by a public accountant that is independent of the issuer, unless financial statements of the issuer are available that have been audited by an independent auditor.
    • For issuers that have previously sold securities in reliance on Regulation Crowdfunding: Financial statements audited by a public accountant that is independent of the issuer.

c. Amendments to Offering Statement

For any offering that has not yet been completed or terminated, an issuer can file on Form C/A an amendment to its offering statement to disclose changes, additions or updates to information. An amendment is required for changes, additions or updates that are material, and in those required instances the issuer must reconfirm outstanding investment commitments within 5 business days, or the investor’s commitment will be considered cancelled.

d. Progress Updates

An issuer must provide an update on its progress toward meeting the target offering amount within 5 business days after reaching 50% and 100% of its target offering amount. These updates will be filed on Form C-U. If the issuer will accept proceeds over the target offering amount, it also must file a final Form C-U reflecting the total amount of securities sold in the offering. If, however, the intermediary provides frequent updates on its platform regarding the progress of the issuer in meeting the target offering amount, then the issuer will need to file only a final Form C-U to disclose the total amount of securities sold in the offering.

e. Annual Reports

An issuer that sold securities in a Regulation Crowdfunding offering is required to provide an annual report on Form C-AR no later than 120 days after the end of its fiscal year. The report must be filed on EDGAR and posted on the issuer’s website. The annual report requires information similar to what is required in the offering statement, although neither an audit nor a review of the financial statements is required. Issuers must comply with the annual reporting requirement until one of the following occurs:

  • (1) the issuer is required to file reports under Exchange Act Sections 13(a) or 15(d);
  • (2) the issuer has filed at least one annual report and has fewer than 300 holders of record;
  • (3) the issuer has filed at least three annual reports and has total assets that do not exceed $10 million;
  • (4) the issuer or another party purchases or repurchases all of the securities issued pursuant to Regulation Crowdfunding, including any payment in full of debt securities or any complete redemption of redeemable securities; or
  • (5) the issuer liquidates or dissolves in accordance with state law.

Any issuer terminating its annual reporting obligations is required to file notice on Form C-TR reporting that it will no longer provide annual reports pursuant to the requirements of Regulation Crowdfunding.

Limits on Advertising and Promoters

An issuer may not advertise the terms of a Regulation Crowdfunding offering except in a notice that directs investors to the intermediary’s platform and includes no more than the following information:

  • (a) a statement that the issuer is conducting an offering pursuant to Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act, the name of the intermediary through which the offering is being conducted, and a link directing the potential investor to the intermediary’s platform;
  • (b)the terms of the offering, which means the amount of securities offered, the nature of the securities, the price of the securities, and the closing date of the offering period; and
  • (c)factual information about the legal identity and business location of the issuer, limited to the name of the issuer of the security, the address, phone number, and website of the issuer, the e-mail address of a representative of the issuer, and a brief description of the business of the issuer.

Although advertising the terms of the offering off of the intermediary’s platform is limited to a brief notice, an issuer may communicate with investors and potential investors about the terms of the offering through communication channels provided on the intermediary’s platform. An issuer must identify itself as the issuer and persons acting on behalf of the issuer must identify their affiliation with the issuer in all communications on the intermediary’s platform.

An issuer is allowed to compensate others to promote its crowdfunding offerings through communication channels provided by an intermediary, but only if the issuer takes reasonable steps to ensure that the promoter clearly discloses the compensation with each communication.

Restrictions on Resale

Securities purchased in a crowdfunding transaction generally cannot be resold for a period of one year, unless the securities are transferred:

  • (1) to the issuer of the securities;
  • (2) to an “accredited investor”;
  • (3) as part of an offering registered with the Commission; or
  • (4) to a member of the family of the purchaser or the equivalent, to a trust controlled by the purchaser, to a trust created for the benefit of a member of the family of the purchaser or the equivalent, or in connection with the death or divorce of the purchaser or other similar circumstance.

Exemption from Section 12(g)

Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act requires an issuer with total assets of more than $10 million and a class of securities held of record by either 2,000 persons, or 500 persons who are not accredited investors, to register that class of securities with the Commission. However, securities issued pursuant to Regulation Crowdfunding are conditionally exempted from the record holder count under Section 12(g) if the following conditions are met:

  • the issuer is current in its ongoing annual reports required pursuant to Regulation Crowdfunding;
  • has total assets as of the end of its last fiscal year of $25 million or less; and
  • has engaged the services of a transfer agent registered with the SEC.

As a result, Section 12(g) registration is required if an issuer has, on the last day of its fiscal year, total assets greater than $25 million and the class of equity securities is held by more than 2,000 persons, or 500 persons who are not accredited investors. In that circumstance, an issuer is granted a two-year transition period before it is required to register its class of securities pursuant to Section 12(g), so long as it timely files all of the annual reports required by Regulation Crowdfunding during such period.

An issuer seeking to exclude a person from the record holder count of Section 12(g) is responsible for demonstrating that the securities held by the person were initially issued in an offering made under Section 4(a)(6).

Bad Actor Disqualification

Rule 503 of Regulation Crowdfunding includes “bad actor” disqualification provisions that disqualify offerings if the issuer or other “covered persons” have experienced a disqualifying event, such as being convicted of, or subject to court or administrative sanctions for, securities fraud or other violations of specified laws.

a. Covered Persons

Understanding the categories of persons that are covered by Rule 503 is important because issuers are required to conduct a factual inquiry to determine whether any covered person has had a disqualifying event, and the existence of such an event will generally disqualify the offering from reliance on Regulation Crowdfunding.

“Covered persons” include:

  • the issuer, including its predecessors and affiliated issuers;
  • directors, officers, general partners or managing members of the issuer;
  • beneficial owners of 20% or more of the issuer’s outstanding voting equity securities, calculated on the basis of voting power;
  • promoters connected with the issuer in any capacity at time of sale; and
  • persons compensated for soliciting investors, including the general partners, directors, officers or managing members of any such solicitor.

b. Disqualifying Events

Under the final rule, disqualifying events include:

  • Certain criminal convictions;
  • Certain court injunctions and restraining orders;
  • Certain final orders of certain state and federal regulators;
  • Certain SEC disciplinary orders;
  • Certain SEC cease-and-desist orders;
  • Suspension or expulsion from membership in a self-regulatory organization (SRO), such as FINRA, or being barred from association with an SRO member;
  • SEC stop orders and orders suspending the Regulation A exemption; and
  • S. Postal Service false representation orders.

Many disqualifying events include a look-back period (for example, a court injunction that was issued within the last five years or a regulatory order that was issued within the last ten years). The look-back period is measured from the date of the disqualifying event – for example, the issuance of the injunction or regulatory order and not the date of the underlying conduct that led to the disqualifying event – to the date of the filing of an offering statement.

Disqualification will not arise as a result of disqualifying events relating to any conviction, order, judgment, decree, suspension, expulsion or bar that occurred before May 16, 2016, the effective date of Regulation Crowdfunding. Matters that existed before the effective date of Regulation Crowdfunding, are still within the relevant look-back period, and would otherwise be disqualifying are, however, required to be disclosed in the issuer’s offering statement.

c. Exceptions and Waivers

Regulation Crowdfunding provides an exception from disqualification when the issuer is able to demonstrate that it did not know and, in the exercise of reasonable care, could not have known that a covered person with a disqualifying event participated in the offering.

The steps an issuer should take to exercise reasonable care will vary according to particular facts and circumstances. An instruction to the rule states that an issuer will not be able to establish that it has exercised reasonable care unless it has made, in light of the circumstances, factual inquiry into whether any disqualifications exist.

Disqualification will not arise if, before the filing of the offering statement, the court or regulatory authority that entered the relevant order, judgment or decree advises in writing – whether in the relevant judgment, order or decree or separately to the Commission or its staff – that disqualification under Regulation Crowdfunding should not arise as a consequence of such order, judgment or decree.

Regulation Crowdfunding also provides for the ability to seek waivers from disqualification by the Commission upon a showing of good cause that it is not necessary under the circumstances that the exemption be denied.


Types of Securities Offered

The most common forms of securities an issuer can offer are equity or debt. The securities we offer include the following:

Common Stock: Conveys a portion of the ownership interest in the company to the holder of the security. Stockholders are usually entitled to receive dividends when and if declared, vote on corporate matters, and receive information about the company, including financial statements. This is the riskiest type of equity security since common stock is last in line to be paid if a company fails. You should read our discussion of the risks of early-stage investing here, and pay special attention to the fact that your investment will only make money if the company’s business succeeds. Common Stock is a long-term investment.

Preferred Stock: Stock that has priority over common stock as to dividend payments and/or the distribution of the assets of the company. Preferred stock can have the characteristics of either common stock or debt securities. While preferred stock gets paid ahead of common stock, it will still only be repaid on liquidation if there is money left over after the company’s debts are paid. In certain circumstances (such as an initial public offering or a corporate takeover) the preferred stock might be convertible into common stock (the riskiest class of equity). You should review the terms of the preferred stock to know when that might happen.

Debt / Revenue Share: Securities in which the seller must repay the investor’s original investment amount at maturity plus interest. Debt securities are essentially loans to the company and the major risk they bear is that the company does not repay them, in which case they are likely to become worthless.

Convertible Note: This form of investment is popular with technology startups because it allows investors to initially lend money to the company and later receive shares if new professional investors decide to invest. The sort of convertible note that is most often offered on TycoonInvest may limit the circumstances in which any part of the loan is repaid, and the note may only convert when specified events (such as a preferred stock offering of a specific amount) happen in the future. You will not know how much your investment is “worth” until that time, which may never happen. You should treat this sort of convertible note as having the same risks as common stock.