Regulation A is an exemption from registration for public offerings. Regulation A has two offering tiers:
Tier 1, for offerings of up to $20 million in a 12-month period; and
Tier 2, for offerings of up to $50 million in a 12-month period.
NOTE: For offerings of up to $20 million, companies can elect to proceed under the requirements for either Tier 1 or Tier 2.
There are certain basic requirements applicable to both Tier 1 and Tier 2 offerings, including company eligibility requirements, bad actor disqualification provisions, disclosure, and other matters. Additional requirements apply to Tier 2 offerings, including limitations on the amount of money a non-accredited investor may invest in a Tier 2 offering, requirements for audited financial statements and the filing of ongoing reports. Issuers in Tier 2 offerings are not required to register or qualify their offerings with state securities regulators.
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Both Tier I and Tier 2 Regulation A+ offerings contain certain minimum basic requirements, including issuer eligibility provisions and disclosure requirements.
Regulation A+ is available to companies organized and operating in the United States and Canada. A company will be considered to have its “principal place of business” in the U.S. or Canada for purposes of determination of Regulation A+ eligibility if its officers, partners, or managers primarily direct, control and coordinate the company’s activities from the U.S. or Canada, even if the actual operations are located outside those countries.
The following issuers are NOT eligible for a Regulation A+ offering:
Companies who currently subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act;
Investment companies registered or required to be registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, including BDC’s. However, a company that operates investments that are exempt from the registration requirements under the 1940 Act would qualify, such as REIT’s and companies that transact in certain loans such as small business loans, student loans, auto loans, and personal loans.
Blank check companies, which are companies that have no specific business plan or purpose or whose business plan and purpose is to engage in a merger or acquisition with an unidentified target; however, shell companies are not prohibited, unless such shell company is also a blank check company. A shell company is a company that has no or nominal operations; and either no or nominal assets, assets consisting of cash and cash equivalents; or assets consisting of any amount of cash and cash equivalents and nominal other assets. Accordingly, a start-up business or minimally operating business may utilize Regulation A+;
Issuers seeking to offer and sell asset-backed securities or fractional undivided interests directly in oil, gas or other mineral rights (note Issuers in those industries can use Regulation A+ if they are selling an interest in an LLC or LP that engages in such activities);
Issuers that have been subject to any order of the SEC under Exchange Act Section 12(j) denying, suspending or revoking registration, entered within the past five years. Accordingly, a company that is deregistered for delinquent reporting would not be eligible for Regulation A+;
Issuers that became subject to Regulation A+ reporting requirements, such as through a Tier 2 offering, and did not file the required ongoing reports during the preceding two years; and
Issuers that are disqualified under the Rule 262 “bad actor” provisions.