HH Big Changes In Store For Crowdfunding Under President Trump
We’ll soon find out if President Trump is really for the average American.
My litmus test is a little different from that of the media or political pundits.
They’re looking at his proposal for taxes, what he’ll do to promote job growth and his plans to fix inner-city problems.
I’m looking to see what he’ll do with crowdfunding.
The JOBS Act was signed into law on April 5, 2012. Since then, we’ve made a lot of progress.
The JOBS Act instructed the SEC to issue regulations expanding the circle of those with the right to invest in startups to include everybody, not just a small wealthy group of people.
It took a while, but last year we finally saw these regulations come to light. Now anybody can invest in private companies that choose to raise under Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+. (More here and here on how these new regulations work.)
But that’s not the end of the story.
Not all restrictions were lifted.
For example, startups raising under Regulation D continue to be available only to accredited investors.
Several sites like AngelList and MicroVentures list dozens of Reg D offerings, but they’re only accessible to investors earning more than $200,000 (as individuals) or $300,000 (as couples).
Another way to qualify is to have a net worth of at least $1,000,000. But excluding the primary home means that millions of Americans don’t qualify under this criterion.
Millions of Americans Left Out
I visit these sites every day. I see hundreds of deals that the vast majority of Americans can’t invest in.
The reasons are ridiculously out of date.
These restrictions were included in the Securities Act of 1933. They come from the same line of “big brother” reasoning that also gave us the ban on women’s suffrage and the ban on cannabis.
It’s for our own protection, the government says. Better to be safe than sorry.
Which makes this moment in history particularly interesting.