Aussie crowdfunding regulation gets an overdue watering down

By David Tuckwell on Wednesday 28 June 2017

Alternative LendingSavings and Investment

ASIC has relaxed regulation on crowdfunding

Aussie financial services regulator ASIC has rejigged crowdfunding regulation, allowing poorer investors to participate. 

Aussie corporate watchdog ASIC has made it easier for start-ups to raise funds by issuing equity to investors, following up on legislation passed in March in which the Australian government watered down crowdfunding regulations.

The new regulation will allow small and unlisted companies to crowdfund up to A$5 million a year, starting late September. It will also allow poorer investors to participate. Previous regulations allowed only those with more than $2.5 million in assets to buy securities through crowdfunding.

But the regulator has warned that robust restrictions will be in place, including limitations on advertising and the number of crowdfunding sources that start-ups can use.

Start-ups hoping to crowdfund will also be required to register as public companies with ASIC.

“We recognise the potential of crowd-sourced funding to provide an additional funding option for start-ups and small and medium sized businesses,” ASIC said.

“We want to facilitate eligible companies making offers of shares…while also ensuring that investors are provided with sufficient information to help them make informed investment decisions.”

Unlike ASX-listed companies, public start-ups will be exempt from hosting shareholder meetings and releasing auditor reports for crowdfunded capital raisings.

The draft regulation will be finalised 29 September. 

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