The process by which a potential investor can become Accredited is as follows:
This is jurisdiction dependent and the potential investor should seek their own guidance on whether they fall under any of the relevant criteria for their country on residence.
However, for the United Kingdom and the United States and by way of example, the criteria are as follows:
The potential investor may, apart from other exempt categories, either certify as a High-Net-Worth Investor, or self-certify as a Sophisticated Investor as per the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) handbook (COBS 4.12 Restrictions on the promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments).
In order to certify as a High-Net-Worth Investor one of the following criteria must apply:
Either - I had, throughout the financial year immediately preceding the date below, an annual income to the value of £100,000 or more. Annual income for these purposes does not include money withdrawn from my pension savings (except where the withdrawals are used directly for income in retirement).
Or - I held, throughout the financial year immediately preceding the date below, net assets to the value of £250,000 or more. Net assets for these purposes do not include:
(a) the property which is my primary residence or any money raised through a loan secured on that property; or
(b) any rights of mine under a qualifying contract of insurance; or
(c) any benefits (in the form of pensions or otherwise) which are payable on the termination of my service or on my death or retirement and to which I am (or my dependants are), or may be, entitled; or
(d) any withdrawals from my pension savings (except where the withdrawals are used directly for income in retirement).
To self-certify as a Sophisticated Investor one of the following must apply:
(a) I am a member of a network or syndicate of business angels and have been so for at least the last six months prior to the date below;
(b) I have made more than one investment in an unlisted company in the two years prior to the date below;
(c) I am working, or have worked in the two years prior to the date below, in a professional capacity in the private equity sector, or in the provision of finance for small and medium enterprises;
(d) I am currently, or have been in the two years prior to the date below, a director of a company with an annual turnover of at least £1 million.
The potential investor must qualify as an Accredited Investor as defined in federal securities law (Rule 501 of Regulation D).
This requires falling under one of the following criteria:
(1) Any bank as defined in section 3(a)(2) of the Act, or any savings and loan association or other institution as defined in section 3(a)(5)(A) of the Act whether acting in its individual or fiduciary capacity; any broker or dealer registered pursuant to section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; any insurance company as defined in section 2(a)(13) of the Act; any investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 or a business development company as defined in section 2(a)(48) of that Act; any Small Business Investment Company licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration under section 301(c) or (d) of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958; any plan established and maintained by a state, its political subdivisions, or any agency or instrumentality of a state or its political subdivisions, for the benefit of its employees, if such plan has total assets in excess of $5,000,000; any employee benefit plan within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 if the investment decision is made by a plan fiduciary, as defined in section 3(21) of such act, which is either a bank, savings and loan association, insurance company, or registered investment advisor, or if the employee benefit plan has total assets in excess of $5,000,000 or, if a self-directed plan, with investment decisions made solely by persons that are accredited investors;
(2) Any private business development company as defined in section 202(a)(22) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940;
(3) Any organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corporation, Massachusetts or similar business trust, or partnership, not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered, with total assets in excess of $5,000,000;
(4) Any director, executive officer, or general partner of the issuer of the securities being offered or sold, or any director, executive officer, or general partner of a general partner of that issuer;
(5) Any natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person's spouse, exceeds $1,000,000.
(i) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, for purposes of calculating net worth under this paragraph (a)(5):
(A) The person's primary residence shall not be included as an asset;
(B) Indebtedness that is secured by the person's primary residence, up to the estimated fair market value of the primary residence at the time of the sale of securities, shall not be included as a liability (except that if the amount of such indebtedness outstanding at the time of sale of securities exceeds the amount outstanding 60 days before such time, other than as a result of the acquisition of the primary residence, the amount of such excess shall be included as a liability); and
(C) Indebtedness that is secured by the person's primary residence in excess of the estimated fair market value of the primary residence at the time of the sale of securities shall be included as a liability;
(ii) Paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section will not apply to any calculation of a person's net worth made in connection with a purchase of securities in accordance with a right to purchase such securities, provided that:
(a) Such right was held by the person on July 20, 2010;
(b) The person qualified as an accredited investor on the basis of net worth at the time the person acquired such right; and
(c) The person held securities of the same issuer, other than such right, on July 20, 2010.
(6) Any natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person's spouse in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year;
(7) Any trust, with total assets in excess of $5,000,000, not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered, whose purchase is directed by a sophisticated person as described in §230.506(b)(2)(ii); and
(8) Any entity in which all of the equity owners are accredited investors.
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