Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/08/2016)

Accelerating Access to Capital Act of 2016

TITLE I--ACCELERATING ACCESS TO CAPITAL

(Sec. 101) This bill directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revise Form S-3 (a simplified securities registration form for companies that have already met other reporting requirements) so as to permit securities to be registered pursuant to General Instruction I.B.1. of the form if: (1) the aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant is $75 million or more, or (2) the registrant has at least one class of common equity securities listed and registered on a national securities exchange.

The SEC must remove a certain listing and registration requirement from General Instruction I.B.6. of Form S-3.

TITLE II--MICRO-OFFERING SAFE HARBOR

(Sec. 201) The Securities Act of 1933 is amended to exempt from specified prohibitions against the sale or delivery after sale of unregistered securities, among other things, transactions involving the sale of securities by an issuer of micro-offerings if:

  • each purchaser has a substantive pre-existing relationship with either an officer or director of the issuer, or with a shareholder holding 10% or more of the issuer's shares;
  • during the 12-month period preceding the transaction there are no more than 35 purchasers of such micro-offerings sold in reliance on this exemption; and
  • the aggregate amount of all securities sold by the issuer (including any amount sold in reliance upon the exemption) during the 12-month period preceding the transaction does not exceed $500,000.

The exemption shall not apply, however, to transactions involving a sale of securities if issuers, officers, beneficial owners, promotors, investment managers, or other specified persons would have triggered the SEC's "bad actor" disqualification standards for certain previous securities violations or criminal convictions. These bad actors are prohibited from participating in a micro-offering.

The bill also exempts such micro-offerings from state regulation of securities offerings.

TITLE III--PRIVATE PLACEMENT IMPROVEMENT

(Sec. 301) The SEC must revise the filing requirements of Regulation D (which provides exemptions from securities registration requirements) to require an issuer that offers or sells securities in reliance upon a certain exemption from registration (for limited offers and sales without regard to the dollar amount of the offering [Rule 506]) to file, no earlier than 15 days after the date of first sale of such securities, a single notice of sales containing the information required by Form D (used to file a notice of an exempt offering of securities under Regulation D) for each new offering of securities.

The SEC shall not: (1) require the issuer to file any notice of sales containing the information required by Form D except for this single notice; (2) condition the availability of the Rule 506 exemption upon the filing of a Form D or similar report; or (3) require issuers to submit written general solicitation materials in connection with a limited offering subject to Rule 506, except when it requests such materials pursuant to specified authority.

The SEC shall revise a specified rule, regarding a Rule 506 offering of a private fund, to characterize as an accredited investor a "knowledgeable employee" of that private fund or the fund's investment adviser.

The SEC shall not extend to private funds the requirements governing investment company sales literature.