Crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo offer VIP Perks but not shares—
because offering profit participation is illegal. Securities law lets
you gamble your retirement on investments conveyed through the
all-controlling financial system, but you can’t invest $50 in someone
you actually know personally, in order to help them start a small
business, write a book, make a film, build an iPhone app or develop a
new product that you believe has commercial potential.
The SEC can change this situation by introducing a regulatory exemption that caps individual investments at $100. I believe that doing this would change everything for crowdfunding, spark innovation, and help vitalize the economy from the bottom up.
The idea of an exemption based on very low cap on individual investment is not new; according to the SEC’s Anthony Barone, it has been discussed and brought to the SEC’s attention by academic economists. What has not yet been demonstrated is the extent of public interest in such an exemption.
This project offers a serious plan for essentially forcing the SEC to consider this possibility and respond to it publicly.
This issue is more complicated than can be explained on this short
project page, but you can read the prospectus for the history and background on this project.
- The Sustainable Economies Law Center has agreed to draft a Petition for Rulemaking for submission to the SEC that proposes legalizing crowdfunded securities, for payment of $1000 raised through crowdfunding. That’s what this project is for.
- $1000 is a great deal, and the SELC is the perfect organization for this; highly regarded, and involved with these issues. See the prospectus for details).
- The SEC posts any Petitions for Rulemaking that it receives, along with all public comments. This area of the SEC website is surprisingly inactive.
- Once the SELC petition is posted, we mobilize crowd action to
submit comments. If the SEC receives a large number of comments in support of legalizing crowdfunding, they will need to hire someone to process them all. This is an example of the ever-newsworthy Old Institution, Blindsided, Is Forced To Confront New Phenomenon.
Note that we originally thought the petition would be written under the auspices of the Katovich Law Group , but subsequently decided to have the work done by the SELC (which is affiliated with Katovich). This makes your contributions tax-deductible!