Tag Archives: financing

Now Legal: Use the Power and Reach of the Internet to find Investors. Free Report explains how.

SEC Report Newcover 06Up until earlier this week, it was illegal to promote sales of securities through so-called “general solicitation” if relying on the private offering exemptions of Regulation D. Then, last year, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law, and the SEC has finally issued the regulations to implement the act. Among the provisions that have now gone into effect, is the new Rule 506(c), which permits a seller of securities to use general solicitation (such as advertising in print or on the internet), to find buyers. The new rule is rather restricted, so it's important to know the rules.

Fortunately, my friend and colleague, Zachary Strebeck has written a free report detailing the new rules. You can get a copy by subscribing to our e-newsletter, using the form below.

And, when the time comes for you for you to raise funds for your next film, theatre or video game project, or to launch any new business, please contact us!

Seeking investors for your film project?  Things just got a little easier (almost).

Seeking investors for your film project? Things just got a little easier (almost).

It's about time the SEC got its act together to implement The JOBS act.

SEC Adopts Rules implementing [some] provisions of the JOBS Act of 2012

If you're planning to finance your film, play, musical or other project by seeking investors, things may have just gotten a little bit easier for you. A few days ago, on July 10th, the Securities Exchange Commission finally took a long-awaited step toward implementing key provisions of the JOBS Act of 2012 that will allow issuers of securities under Rule 506 to cast a wider net in seeking investors. The regulations were supposed to have been out long before now, but discord and disorganization at the SEC got in the way.

Lifting the ban on General Solicitation

The new provision can be found at Rule 506(c) of Regulation. It allows general solicitation and general advertising in Rule 506 securities offerings, provided that all purchasers of the securities are accredited investors and the issuer reasonably believes, and takes reasonable steps to verify, that such purchasers are accredited investors.

What this means, put simply, is that if you're financing a film, play, or musical, and you're seeking investors, you can advertise the opportunity to the public at large, provided you only sell units to persons who qualify as “accredited investors” (For more about what that means, see my previous post.)

The commission also adopted a rule prohibiting certain “bad actors” from availing themselves of the exemption provided by Rule 506.

Similarly, new Rule 144A(d)(1) clears the way for the offering of securities to persons other than qualified institutional buyers (“QIBs”) in Rule 144A offerings, including by means of general solicitation, provided that the securities are sold only to persons that the seller reasonably believes are QIBs.

New filing and reporting requirements

The SEC also voted to propose amendments that aim to improve the SEC’s ability to monitor developments in the Rule 506 market and to address concerns about fraud.

The rule changes would:

  • Require issuers to file a Form D at least 15 calendar days before engaging in general solicitation in a Rule 506(c) offering and to file a final amendment to that Form D not later than 30 calendar days after completion of the offering;
  • Prohibit an issuer from using the Rule 506 exemption for one year if the issuer, or any predecessor or affiliate of the issuer, failed to comply, within the last five years, with Form D filing requirements;
  • For a temporary two-year period, require issuers engaging in general solicitation under Rule 506(c) to (confidentially) submit their solicitation materials to the SEC;
  • Require additional information in Form D filings regarding the issuer and its website, the type of securities offered, the purchasers involved in the offering, the use of proceeds from the offering, the types of solicitation methods used, and the accredited investor verification methods used;
  • Require issuers to provide legends on solicitation materials that explain that the offering is limited to accredited investors and disclose the risks involved; and
  • Expand Rule 156 of the Securities Act to provide guidance for private funds about when information in sales literature could be fraudulent or misleading. Rule 156 currently provides investment companies with such guidance.

Don't jump into this yet. This is the first step, but it's not law yet. Everything takes effect 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. Stand by.

The Commission has yet to issue rules to implement the much-anticipated crowdfunding components of the JOBS Act.

Conclusion

This is a highly technical area and requires great care to ensure that everything is done correctly. If you're planning to raise financing for a project, contact us for a consultation.

 

What is an “Accredited Investor”? Why you should care.

Moneykey transparentBackground

 If you're setting up financing for your next film, theatre, or new media production, and you're planning to talk to potential investors, you need to know the rules.  Whenever a company sells investment opportunities, in which the investors will be ‘passive', not taking any meaningful role in the management of the business, the transaction involves the offering and sale of the company's securities.

Securities Registration and Exemptions

Under the Securities Act of 1933, a company that offers or sells its securities must either: (1) register the securities with the SEC, or; (2) conduct the transaction under an exemption from the registration requirements.

Since registration is a colossally time consuming and expensive process, it is best left to larger financing projects;  those in the tens- or hundreds-of millions of dollars, such as the IPO's we typically hear about and other transactions involving publicly-traded securities. Most low- and mid-budget motion pictures, plays, musicals and media productions simply can't afford the time or money involved with a registered, public securities offering.  So, the exemptions become important.

The Act provides companies with a number of exemptions.   The most commonly recommended by lawyers for entertainment projects  arise under the SEC's Regulation D.   For some of the exemptions, such as rules 505 and506 of a company may sell its securities to what are known as “accredited investors.”

What is an Accredited Investor?

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Why people invest in entertainment

Every week, I speak with producers developing their film or theatrical projects who struggle with the big challenge: finding the financing. In many cases, they’ve come to me as an entertainment lawyer, thinking I have the magic solution. Sadly, I don’t. In fact, most film and theatrical attorneys steer clear of helping clients find the… Continue Reading

Crowdfunding: How to do it right

Crowdfunding: How to do it right Earlier this year, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the JOBS Act, which among other things, legalizes both debt and equity based crowdfunding. Later this year, the SEC is required to promulgate new rules which will allow companies seeking investment capital to use portals similar to IndieGoGo… Continue Reading

What you absolutely must know before you approach investors for your film / play / musical.

I am often consulted by film and stage producers who tell me they’re ready to start work on raising the financing for their films/ plays/ musicals, or what-have-you, but often as not,  as we get to work, it becomes clear that they’re not as ready as they think. Before going out to investors, it’s important to… Continue Reading

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