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Editor's Note: For more information on the discussions with regulators, be sure to attend our weekly crowdfunding live chats that take place at noon eastern daylight time (that's the American east coast time zone) each Monday at crowdsourcing.org/chat.
While President Obama's signature has made the JOBS Act and the equity crowdfunding provisions within it the law of the land, there's still lots of work to do before any new crowdfunding platforms can legally open their digital doors. The Securities and Exchange Commission is right now in the midst of a rule-making process that will last roughly to the end of the year. Until then, soliciting investments in exchange for a stake in a startup from the unaccredited crowd of potential investors is a big no-no.
(There's some changes coming up this summer with regards to accredited investors that you can read about in this previous post, but for now we're going to focus on the brand new framework for crowdfunding that's driving much of the discussion.)
Discussions between the nascent crowdfunding industry and regulators began in earnest Friday with meetings between the SEC and representatives of the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Association (CFIRA) and several department heads at the SEC, as well as a separate meeting between CFIRA and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest independent regulator of securities in the United States.
I spoke with one of the CFIRA representatives that attended the SEC meeting and looked over some notes from the meetings as well and can share a little bit of what was discussed:
Finally, the SEC says it would like to see more written comments from the public. Lots more written comments. You can find a link to the online form and a great example of a submitted comment in this previous post.