One of the things that Regulation Crowdfunding allows for the first time in 80 years is that you can advertise your offering to the public. So if you are a Main Street business you can put a sign in your window, email your customers or put an ad on your website. However, this doesn’t mean you can get creative with it. The SEC has laid out guidelines that you have to follow if you wish to solicit and they include the following:
- A statement that the issuer is conducting an offering, the name of the intermediary through which the offering is being conducted and a link directing the investor to the intermediary’s platform;
- The terms of the offering (including: the amount of securities offered; the nature of the securities; the price of the securities; and the closing date of the offering period); and
- 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.
If you’ve ever picked up the business section of a newspaper you might have seen what is called a Tombstone. It is an advertisement that looks like the image to the right. There are no words like “hot opportunity.” “guaranteed return” or “zero chance of losing.” Tombstones for Regulation Crowdfunding offerings may look similar to this but include should include more of the information listed above.
The most important part of this is that you link everyone back to the Funding Portal or Broker Dealer to get their information or to communicate about the offering. The SEC wants it this way because it keeps all the information and communication in one place so that it can be recorded and stored for several years in case there are any issues of fraud.