Tag Archives: SeedInvest

C Corp vs. LLC: What’s the Right Choice?

Ryan Feit, the CEO of SeedInvest, just published a great piece in Inc. Magazine about the pressure some entrepreneurs feel from venture funds to convert from a limited liability company to a C corporation. Ryan points out that the tax cost associated with a C corporation often makes the LLC the better choice.

It’s a question I’m asked all the time. And like Ryan, I normally come out on the side of the LLC for Crowdfunding companies, at least so far.

To flesh out the issue, I’ve written an online pamphlet describing the main characteristics I’m thinking about when I recommend LLC or C corporation. If you want to understand why corporate lawyers seem so isolated at social gatherings, take a look.

Choosing the Right Legal Entity Flyer

Questions? Contact Mark Roderick.

Technology Platform for Crowdfunding

A company raising money through Crowdfunding will face certain logistical challenges:

  • How to keep track of prospective investors
  • How to automate the due diligence process
  • How to execute documents electronically and securely
  • How to communicate with investors
  • How to securely handle the transfer of funds
  • How to satisfy the new SEC requirements regarding accredited investors
  • How to prepare and file the newly-expanded Form D with the SEC

These challenges have always been present in Regulation D offerings, but with a dozen investors, or two dozen, or three dozen, they were merely a manageable nuisance. In a Crowdfunding offering with 150 investors they could be overwhelming.

SeedInvest, a startup with offices in Manhattan, offers a technology platform that claims to do all these things and more. A company seeking to raise money through Crowdfunding, or a brokerage firm seeking to raise money for its clients, or an angel group seeking to manage multiple investments, would in effect “rent” the SeedInvest platform as an alternative to spending the time and money to build its own.

Today, thousands of entrepreneurs – perhaps some of them reading this blog – are planning to jump into the Crowdfunding space. One entrepreneur might be building a portal for biotech companies in the Northeast – a place where investors could find and invest in the best the research centers in the Northeast have to offer. Another might be doing the same for Manhattan commercial real estate, believing there must be many accredited investors around the country who would like to own a piece of New York. And on and on, in every industry and every region.

By using SeedInvest’s platform, or a similar platform offered by a competitor, the entrepreneur overcomes some of the most significant technological and logistical barriers to entry. In effect, the entrepreneur can focus on the business of attracting quality companies and investors while outsourcing the technological back office.

Crowdfunding is already creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs in many industries. SeedInvest is one example; there will be many, many more.

Questions? Contact Mark Roderick at Flaster/Greenberg PC.

 

 

THE GOLD RUSH – PART ONE

A man and woman created a Crowdfunding campaign for their newborn. A company raised $2 million in one day. The SEC regulations to launch “real” Crowdfunding per the JOBS Act might be far off, but the Crowdfunding gold rush is already well underway.

The excitement – the discovery of an enormous vein of money flowing into a brand-new channel – holds many opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur looking for funding there have never been more places to look. No longer beholden to a broker or a wealthy aunt or a lawyer with a big Rolodex, every entrepreneur now has ready access to the biggest Rolodex in the world: the Internet.

Seizing their own opportunity, Crowdfunding portals are springing up like Western mining towns with names that can become nationally-recognized overnight. Circle Up, SeedInvest, and Funders Club are among the equity-based portals while Kickstarter and Indiego remain the leaders in donation- or rewards-based projects, at least for the time being. New portals are being formed and coming online all the time as eager prospectors look for their share of the gold.

Others are poised to benefit as well:

There is an enormous and growing need for someone to perform meaningful due diligence on all the new companies, beyond the information that might be posted online. The new structures and relationships will require new insurance products, some of which are already being developed. If it hasn’t happened already, someone is going to offer to represent Crowdfunding investors on the Boards of Directors of far-flung companies. Every company funded by the Crowd will need an investor relations platform.

With so few barriers to entry, the opportunity to stake a claim in the Crowdfunding gold rush is practically unlimited today.

Bear in mind, all this is happening before true JOBS Act Crowdfunding springs to life, probably by late summer. When that happens, companies will be able to legally raise money from large numbers of non-affluent, unsophisticated investors for the first time in 80 years, uncovering the largest vein of capital yet.

One thing seems certain. With all the gold and all the gunslingers, some things will go wrong and some people will get hurt. In our next post, we’ll offer some pointers so you’re not one of them.

Questions? Contact Mark Roderick at Flaster/Greenberg PC.

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