Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption helps small businesses to raise capital, promote growth
MONTPELIER – The Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) today announced important modifications to current securities regulations that would support Vermont entrepreneurship while protecting the interests of investors. The revised regulation, dubbed the Vermont Small Business Offering Exemption (VSBOE), allows Vermont businesses and start-up companies to raise up to $2 million in capital by selling shares in their company to in-state investors. The regulation allows for a simplified process to reduce the regulatory burdens and costs usually associated with securities registration.
Traditionally, federal and state securities laws have limited investments in small businesses to wealthy individuals. VSBOE gives all Vermonters the opportunity to support their local entrepreneurs, existing and new small businesses. Participating businesses will be registered with DFR and will allow individual investors to purchase up to $10,000 in stock equity from a single business. VSBOE also allows certain high net-worth individuals to purchase an unlimited amount of equity.
Gov. Peter Shumlin called for this rule change in his annual budget speech and said these changes support his efforts to boost economic development in the state.
“VSBOE will help bring our securities regulations into the 21st century while maintaining the level of protection that investors expect and deserve,” he said, “This program will drive innovation, promote job growth and support Vermont’s small businesses.”
DFR Commissioner Susan L. Donegan agreed saying she looks forward to the positive impact this will have on Vermont’s small business owners.
“Vermont has a rich entrepreneurial history and spirit and we want to help our small businesses and start-ups to finance their growth. VSBOE will streamline access to capital while keeping both the businesses and the investment capital right here in Vermont,” said Donegan.
The Department also issued guidelines for small business owners concerning the type of information and disclosures that should be provided to prospective investors under a VSBOE offering. Those small businesses and start-ups interested in VSBOE are encouraged to contact the Department’s Securities Division at 802-828-3420 to learn more. The full details of VSBOE and its guidelines can be found on the Department’s website at www.dfr.vermont.gov.