Securities Act of 1933

On December 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose amendments (the Proposal) to the definition of “accredited investor” for purposes of private placements under Regulation D and the definition of “qualified institutional buyer” in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933. The Proposal is intended to update and improve the definitions of those terms in order to more effectively identify both institutional and individual investors with the sophistication to participate in private capital markets transactions. In the SEC’s press release announcing the Proposal, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton noted that, “The current test for individual accredited investor status takes a binary approach to who does and does not qualify based only [on] a person’s income or net worth. Modernization of this approach is long overdue.” As highlighted in the fact sheet included in the press release, the Proposal would, among other things:
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On September 26, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a new rule to allow all issuers, not just emerging growth companies, to utilize “test-the-waters” communications in connection with an initial public offering or other securities offering.

The rule implements the proposal put forth by the SEC in February 2019, discussed in the March 1, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.
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On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance (the “Division”) responded to TurnKey Jet, Inc.’s (TKJ) letter dated April 2, requesting confirmation that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC in connection with its offer and sale of tokens without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In issuing its response that it would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC, the Division noted that:
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On February 19, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed Rule 163B under the Securities Act of 1933, which would permit any issuer, and any underwriter or other person acting on an issuer’s behalf, to communicate with qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) and institutional accredited investors (IAIs) regarding a potential public offering prior to or following the filing of a registration statement for the offering. These so-called “test-the-waters” communications are intended to help issuers gauge interest in possible public offerings before issuers incur the costs of filing a registration statement with the SEC.

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On September 24, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a Regulatory Notice (Notice) reminding firms of their applicable obligations when publishing a quote in an OTC security, in addition to filing a Form 211. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA) Rule 15c2-11 prevents a broker-dealer from initiating quotations in an OTC security unless such broker-dealer has reviewed and verified that certain information about the issuer is accurate and from a reliable source. FINRA Rule 6432 requires a firm to file a Form 211 with FINRA to show compliance with SEA Rule 15c2-11.
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As previously reported in the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of June 1, 2018, on May 24, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the Act), Section 507 of which directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt an amendment to Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933. Rule 701 generally provides an exemption from the registration requirement imposed by the Securities Act for issuances of securities by a company that is not subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to its employees, directors and consultants under compensatory benefit plans. Pursuant to Section (e) of Rule 701, if the aggregate sales price or amount of securities sold by an issuer to investors in reliance on Rule 701 during any 12-month period exceeds $5 million, the issuer is required to deliver to investors an additional disclosure, including specified financial statements and risk factors. On July 18, consistent with the mandate under the Act, the SEC issued a final rule amending Section (e) of Rule 701 to increase the threshold for providing enhanced disclosure from $5 million to $10 million (subject to inflation adjustment every five years).
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On May 24, President Trump signed into law the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. While the Act primarily serves to relieve smaller financial institutions from the burden of complying with certain requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Act also directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt amendments to Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and so-called “Regulation A+,” as summarized below.  
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On August 24, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that, effective October 1, the fees that public companies and other issuers pay to register their securities with the SEC will increase from $115.90 per million dollars of securities registered to $124.50 per million dollars of securities, an increase of approximately seven percent. This increase in

On June 29, the Division of Corporation Finance (Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that, beginning on July 10, the Division will permit all issuers to confidentially submit to the Division, for nonpublic review, draft registration statements in connection with initial public offerings (IPOs) and in certain other cases. This was previously only available to emerging growth companies (EGCs) under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act for their IPOs.
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