Crowdfunding Regulations in the US アメリカのCF市場の法的枠組み

Dear readers,


I’m back from the US! I went there for a few days about a week ago together with my boss. We visited our partners in San Francisco and also a few crowdfunding companies. There are some pictures from my trip there on my Facebook page:


Anyway, as promised I will try to provide some information about the crowdfunding regulatory framework which exists in the US. Knowledge of some of the important regulations there should be of interest to those seeking to learn more about the US crowdfunding industry.


The key regulations which I will discuss are the following: Regulation D (Rule 506(c)) and Titles III and IV (Regulation A+) of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act).

私がご説明する規則は、JOBS ActというCFに関する法律のRegulation D (Rule 506(c))、Title IIIおよびTitle IV (Regulation A+)という規則です。

One crucial way for startup businesses to raise capital is via issuing some form of security in return for the investment. Any corporation wishing to raise capital through issuing securities must get approval for that transaction from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), unless they apply for exemption via Regulation D (which includes rules such as Rule 506(c)). Even with an exemption, however, it has been difficult in the past for companies to raise money, as they have generally been prohibited from placing ads in newspapers etc. for the purpose of selling those securities.

(どこの国でもそうですが)ベンチャー企業にとって大事な資金調達方法の一つは、投資家からお金を集めることです。お金の代わりに有価証券を譲ります。有価証券を対価として資金調達をしたい企業は、アメリカの証券取引委員会(SEC)からその取引の承認を得なければいけない、あるいはRegulation DのRule 506(c)などを通して免除を申請しなければいけません。免除を受けた企業でも、以前は公に投資家を募集することができなかったため、資金調達することが難しかったのです。

Now, thanks to regulations such as Rule 506(c) and Regulation A+, it is possible for companies to solicit (i.e. advertise) their offerings. Depending on the regulation used, however, these companies can only solicit their offerings to accredited investors and must make sure that investors are accredited. Accredited investors are people who have earned $200,000 each year for the past two years (or $300,000 with a spouse) or who have $1,000,000 in assets, excluding their primary residence (basically, people who are already quite wealthy). In the case of real estate crowdfunding, crowdfunding platforms make sure that investors are accredited, making it possible for real estate developers, for example, to market their deals knowing that their potential investors are allowed to invest in their projects. This is in essence a summary of Rule 506(c).

Rule 506(c)とRegulation A+のおかげで、免除を受けた企業は投資家を募集することができるようになりました。適用される規則によりますが、適格投資家に対してしか募集活動を行うことができず、更にはその投資家が適格投資家であるのを確認しなければいけません。適格投資家というのは、過去2年から毎年20万ドル(およそ2300万円)を稼いだ(配偶者がいれば30万ドル(およそ3450万円))、または自宅を除いて100万ドル(約1億1500万円)の純財産を持っている人を指します。つまり、すでに相当お金を持っている人のことですね・・・。不動産CFの場合はCFのプラットフォームが、投資家が適格投資家であるのを確認することによって、建設業者などは不動産の投資案件を投資家に対して提案してお金を募集することができます。これが、Rule 506(c)の概要です。


Regulation A+ (Tier I and Tier II) is part of Title IV of the JOBS Act. In the case of Tier II, companies are now able to gather funds from ordinary people (retail investors) as well as accredited investors. Regulation A+ serves as a good way for companies wishing to raise a large amount of money without having to spend millions of dollars to be listed on a stock exchange such as NASDAQ. The main differences between the two tiers include the following:

Regulation A+ (Tier IとTier II)は、JOBS ActのTitle IVの一部です。Tier IIを申請する企業は、適格投資家だけでなくて個人投資家からでもお金を集めることができます。Regulation A+は、お金をたくさん集めたいがIPOするのにかかる数億円の費用を避けたい企業にとって有利な資金調達方法かもしれません。Tier IとTier IIの大きな違いは下記のとおりです。

Tier I

  • Companies can raise up to $20 million during a 12-month period.
  • No audit requirement, but must get approval in each state they wish to market their securities.
  • 企業は12か月間で2000万ドル(約23億円)調達できます。
  • 提出する財務諸表は監査人に確認されたものでなくてもいいようですが、資金調達したい州ごとに各州からその取引を承認されなければいけません。

Tier II

  • Companies can raise up to $50 million during a 12-month period.
  • Audit requirement, but no need to get approval in each individual state.
  • Non-accredited investors cannot purchase securities which are worth more than 10% of their income or net worth, whichever is greater.
  • Companies must regularly file reports about their business.
  • 企業は12か月間で5000万ドル(約58億円)調達できます。
  • 提出する財務諸表は監査人に確認されたものでなければいけないが、各州に投資家との取引を承認されなくてもいいです。
  • 個人投資家は、自分の純財産の1割あるいは年収の1割、どちらか大きい方以上の価値の有価証券までしか購入することができません。
  • 企業は定期的に(プラットフォームや投資家に対して)経営成績、投資事業の進捗などを報告しなければいけません。


Title III of the JOBS Act serves as a good way for companies to easily raise up to $1 million during a 12-month period. One could say that Title III is for companies that are starting out, whereas Title IV is more for those companies which have a somewhat established financial track record. Ordinary people can also invest in these companies, within the limits set out below:

JOBS ActのTitle IIIを通して、企業は12か月間で100万ドル(約1億1500万円)調達することができます。Title IIIは、起業してあまり時間が経たない企業に向いており、Title IVは財政基盤がある程度しっかりしていて実績があるベンチャー企業に向いていると言えるでしょう。個人投資家でもこういう企業に投資することができますが、下記制限があります。

  • If their net worth or annual income is less than $100,000, they may only invest during a 12-month period the larger of the following two figures:
    1. 5% of their annual income or net worth, whichever is lesser;
    2. $2000.
  • 純財産あるいは年収が10万ドル(約1500万円)以下なら、12か月間でどちらか大きい方に相当する金額しか投資することができません:
  • If their net worth or annual income is greater than $100,000, they may only invest during a 12-month period 10% of their annual income or net worth, whichever is lesser;
  • 純財産または年収が10万ドル(約1500万円)以上なら、12か月間で年収の1割または純財産の1割、どちらか小さい方に相当する金額しか投資することができません。
  • Ordinary people can only hold up to $100,000 worth of such securities across all crowdfunding platforms sold during a 12-month period.
  • 個人投資家がすべてのプラットフォームで12か月間で買った有価証券の価値が10万ドル(約1500万円)を超えなければいけません。

Companies are required to disclose information, including the following:


  • Financial statements;
  • 財務諸表;
  • Information about the business and how it will use money raised via equity crowdfunding;
  • 企業についての情報、集めたお金をどうやって使うかなどの情報;
  • Annual reports about the business;
  • 企業についての年間報告書;
  • Information about the officers and directors of the company.
  • 企業の執行役員や取締役についての情報。

Companies can solicit their offerings via crowdfunding platforms which are registered with the SEC. Crowdfunding platforms are essentially required to make sure that companies seeking capital are not there for fraudulent purposes, to provide communication channels to discuss deals presented on the platform, provide information to investors about investing etc. Platforms must also be neutral. They are not allowed, for example, to have financial interests (such as holding shares) in companies which are listed on their platform.



The above is a very basic summary of the current regulatory environment regarding crowdfunding in the US. Naturally there is more to write, but I do not want to make this post too long! There is plenty of information available online about these and other regulations, such as on the SEC’s website:


Hopefully this post is of use to those interested in crowdfunding. I hope that similar regulations come to Japan in the near future, making it easier for companies to raise capital via equity, and for people to invest in up-and-coming companies. With adequate regulations in place, equity crowdfunding has the potential to truly revolutionise how SMEs gather capital, allowing incredible people with great ideas access to the funds they need to turn those ideas into amazing products and services.


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