What are the Differences Between Regulations A, CF, D, and S?

How to Read Financial Statements

When it comes to raising capital, there are various ways you can raise money from investors. And while they all have their own specific compliance requirements, they all share one common goal: to protect investors while still providing them with opportunities to invest in private companies. Let’s look at the four most popular types of equity crowdfunding; through Regulation A, CF, D, or S. 

 

Regulation A+

 

Offering size per year: Up to $75 million

Number of investors allowed: Unlimited, as long as the issuer meets certain conditions.

Type of investor allowed: Both accredited and non-accredited investors.

SEC qualification required: Reg A+ offerings must be qualified by the SEC and certain state securities regulators and must also file a “Form 1-A”. Audited financials are required for Tier II offerings.

 

This type of crowdfunding is popular because it allows companies to raise up to $75 million per year in capital and is open to accredited and non-accredited investors. Offering the ability to turn current customers into investors and brand ambassadors (like several JOBS Act regulations promote) can bring a company tremendous value and help to grow the business. A Reg A raise is excellent for companies that have a wide customer base or need to raise a large amount of capital. Compared to other regulations, Reg A+ is a bit more complex and time-consuming to implement. Yet, it still offers a great deal of potential with the ability to market the offering to a wide pool of potential investors.

 

Regulation CF

 

Offering size per year: $5 million

Number of investors allowed: Unlimited, as long as the issuer meets certain conditions.

Type of investor allowed: Both accredited and non-accredited investors

SEC qualification required: The offering must be conducted on either an SEC-registered crowdfunding platform or through a registered broker-dealer. Audited financials are required for companies looking to raise more than $1,235,000. Companies must fill out a “Form C.”

 

Compared to other regulations, Reg CF is one of the most popular due to its lower cost and ease of implementation. Regulation CF offers companies the ability to raise up to $5 million per year and allows accredited and non-accredited investors to invest in the company. Companies that need a smaller sum of capital while still leveraging the power of marketing can benefit from utilizing this type of regulation. 

 

Regulation D

 

Offering size per year: Unlimited

Number of investors allowed: 2000

Type of investor allowed: Primarily accredited investors, with non-accredited investors only allowed for 506(b) offerings.

SEC qualification required: Reg D offerings do not need to be registered with the SEC but must still meet certain filing and disclosure requirements.

 

A Reg D offering must follow either Rule 506(b) or 506(c). Both allow up to 2000 investors but differ slightly in that 506(b) offerings allow up to 35 non-accredited investors. Additionally, 506(b) offerings do not permit general solicitation. This means that companies will have to rely on their own network of investors to reach their goals. While this type of offering is more restrictive than others, it can be attractive to companies that need a smaller sum of capital and have access to a network of accredited investors. 

 

Regulation S

 

Offering size per year: Unlimited

Number of investors allowed: 2000

Type of investor allowed: Foreign (non-US) accredited and non-accredited investors

SEC approval/qualification required: Reg S offerings are not subject to SEC rules, but they must follow the securities laws in the countries issuers seek investors from.

 

An excellent complement to Reg D, Reg S allows companies to raise capital from foreign and non-U.S. investors. This regulation was made for big deals, allowing companies to reach a larger and more diverse pool of investors. Reg S is great for companies looking to raise a large amount of capital or to break into foreign markets. Issuers must be careful not to make the terms of the offerings available to US-based people.

 

Depending on the size of your offering, the number of investors you’re looking to attract, and the type of investor you want, one regulation may be better suited for your needs than another. Still, it is important to consult with a professional when making these decisions to ensure that you meet all necessary compliance requirements.

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