Exam Alert: JOBS Act will change standards for IPOs, securities registration

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law on April 5, 2012. The act lessens regulations for the initial public offerings of certain companies and alters other federal rules. FINRA is expected to change some of its rules to reflect the new standards. Continue reading

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law on April 5, 2012.  The act lessens regulations for the initial public offerings of certain companies and alters other federal rules.  FINRA is expected to change some of its rules to reflect the new standards.

 

Here is a breakdown of the changes:

-IPOs for “emerging growth companies” are subject to fewer restrictions limiting communication between research analysts and investment bankers (Chinese Walls).  An emerging growth company is defined as a company with less than $1 billion in annual revenue that had its first IPO no more than five years ago.  This has been estimated to cover as much as 90% of companies looking to go public (Source: Reuters).

-Banks are allowed to publish research reports on emerging growth companies immediately after they take them public.  The old rule required a 40 calendar day quiet period for IPOs.

-There are fewer restrictions on advertising emerging growth companies to accredited investors.

-Emerging growth companies are exempt from certain disclosure requirements.

-Startup companies can sell small amounts of shares to several investors to raise up to $1 million without being required to register the security (crowdfunding).  An investor can contribute up to at most $10,000, though the individual maximum may be lower based on the investor’s annual income or net worth.

-The Act increases the number of shareholders a non-bank company may have before it is required to go public, from 500 persons to 2000 persons or 500 non-accredited investors.

-The Act increases the amount of funds that can be raised before a company is forced to register with the SEC, from $5 million (under Regulation A) to $50 million.

-Up to 2,000 shareholders may invest in a bank holding company before registration is required (up from 500).

-Various other issuer registration requirements have been modified (see the SEC’s JOBS Act FAQ).

 

The Act itself may be found here.

 

Sources, further reading:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/wall-st-examines-fine-print-in-a-new-jobs-bill/

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/regulator-seeks-feedback-on-jobs-act/

http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cfjobsact.shtml

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3606enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr3606enr.pdf

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/11/us-jobsact-ipos-idUSBRE83A0Z820120411

http://www.reversemergerblog.com/2012/03/17/summary-of-jobs-bill-and-update/

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2012/0308/What-does-the-JOBS-Act-actually-do-Six-questions-answered/What-s-in-the-JOBS-Act

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402657,00.asp

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/03/21/jobs-act/

 

This alert applies to the Series 79, Series 62, Series 24, Series 7, and Series 82.

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