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Crowdfunding in Wisconsin, Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answer to your question on our website, please feel free to e-mail DFISecurities@wisconsin.gov or call at (608) 266-2139.

 

How can I use crowdfunding to offer securities?
As of June 1, 2014, a new law created an exemption that permits Wisconsin businesses to raise money from Wisconsin investors through internet crowdfunding sites. A business can raise up to $1 million dollars, or up to $2 million if the issuer has had an audit in its most recent fiscal year, and has provided the audit to prospective investors and the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). For additional information, including how to qualify for the exemption, go to www.wdfi.org/fi/securities/crowdfunding/default.htm

 

Does the issuer need to use a registered broker-dealer to claim the crowdfunding exemption under § 551.202(26), Wis. Stats.?
No. The offer can be made exclusively through one or more Internet sites and each Internet site must be registered with the Division of Securities pursuant to § 551.205, Wis. Stats. The Internet site is not required to be a registered broker-dealer if the requirements of § 551.205(b)2.a-h are met.

 

Under § 551.202(26)(f), Wis. Stats., does the issuer need to include the time period for the offering in the disclosure document?
Yes. Although not specifically listed in (f)2, the time period is required by (f)3 which states that, "investors may cancel their commitments to invest if that target offering amount is not raised by the time stated in the disclosure document."

 

Under § 551.202(26)(k), Wis. Stats., how often does the financial institution providing escrow services need to notify the administrator of the receipt of payments for securities?
The financial institution should notify the administrator via email to DFISecurities@wisconsin.gov at least monthly, within five (5) business days of the end of the month. The information submitted to the administrator should not include the names of individual investors.

 

To claim the exemption under § 551.202(26)(f), Wis. Stats., is there a limit on the number of investors?
No. The limit is on the amount of cash and other consideration received for all sales of the security but there is no maximum number of investors. The limit excludes sales to any accredited investor, certified investor, or institutional investor.

 

What if the issuer does not raise the minimum target offering amount specified in the business plan?
Under § 551.202(26)(f)3, Wis. Stats., all investors must be offered the opportunity to cancel their commitments to invest, and may elect to either cancel or proceed. The communication with the offer to cancel may come from either the escrow agent or the Internet site operator.