Regulation A+ and Tier 1 and 2 Offerings- The new Regulation A+ actually divided Regulation A into two offering paths, referred to as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 remains substantially the same as the old pre-JOBS Act Regulation A but with a higher offering limit and allowing more marketing. The old Regulation A was limited to offerings of $5 million or less in any 12-month period. The new Tier 1 has been increased to up to $20 million. Since Tier 1 does not pre-empt state law, it is really only useful for offerings that are limited to one but no more than a small handful of states. Tier 1 does not require the company to include audited financial statements and does not have any ongoing SEC reporting requirements. Tier 1 will likely not be used for a going public transaction.
Both Tier I and Tier 2 offerings have minimum basic requirements, including issuer eligibility provisions and disclosure requirements. In addition to the affiliate resale restrictions, resales of securities by selling security holders are limited to no more than 30% of a total particular offering for all Regulation A+ offerings. For offerings up to $20 million, an issuer can elect to proceed under either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Both tiers will allow companies to submit draft offering statements for non-public SEC staff review before a public filing, permit continued use of solicitation materials after the filing of the offering statement and both use the EDGAR system for filings.
Tier 2 allows a company to file an offering statement with the SEC to raise up $50 million in a 12-month period. Tier 2 pre-empts state blue sky law. The offering statement is a little less lengthy than a traditional IPO registration, though a Form S-1 format is permitted and is even required if the company intends to become subject to the full SEC reporting requirements or seek a listing on a national exchange. The SEC review process is a little shorter, and a company can market in a way that it cannot with a traditional IPO. The trade-off is that Regulation A+ is limited in dollar amount to $50 million, there are specific company eligibility requirements, and there are investor qualifications and associated per-investor investment limits.
Also, the process is not inexpensive. Attorneys’ fees, accounting and audit fees and, of course, marketing expenses all add up. A company needs to be organized and ready before engaging in any offering process. Even though a lot of attorneys, myself included, will provide a flat fee for the process, that flat fee is dependent on certain assumptions, including the level of organization of the company. #LegalAndComplianceLLC