Crowdfunding issuers

 

Crowdfunding rules make it quicker and easier for small companies to raise money. Normally if a company wishes to offer shares, financial market laws require them to prepare an investment statement or prospectus (or a product disclosure statement from 1 December 2014).

Under exemptions in financial market laws, you do not need to prepare these documents if you are using a licensed crowdfunding service provider. Instead you will provide more limited information about your business when you make offers. Check how the crowdfunding service provider will help you make a compliant offer.

You will become a client of the crowdfunding service. The service provider can charge for their services.

The provider will ask you to sign a client agreement. The agreement will detail what you need to do so the provider can monitor and check you.

You will need to comply with the general fair dealing provisions in Part 2 of the FMC Act. The basic obligations you will have include not making:

  • false or misleading representations for example you must be honest about who you are and what you're going to use the money for
  • unsubstantiated representations for example you must ensure you have a reasonable grounds for any financial projections provided to potential investors

Other laws will also apply. For example you will need to provide financial information to your shareholders under the Companies Act.  And, where you have 50 or more shareholders those shareholders may have to comply with the Takeovers Code when buying shares.