Does the JOBS Act allow me to invest in startups even if I’m not accredited?
The JOBS Act, designed to enable crowdfunding for all Americans, was signed into law on April 5, 2012 by President Obama. To be clear, as of the time of this writing (June 2015), non-accredited equity crowdfunding is not legal in the US. Title III of the JOBS Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2012 by President Obama, provides a mechanism for allowing non-accredited investors (that is, all Americans) to invest in private companies. However, the SEC has been charged with coming up with policies and rules for the legislation that:
1) are consistent with the JOBS Act as passed by Congress; 2) satisfy those in favor of relaxing restrictions around non-accredited investors investing in private companies, and; 3) satisfy those not in favor or relaxed restrictions or who are interested in enhanced consumer protections.
Due to this balancing act, the legislation has taken a while to come into effect and remains unusable due to the present lack of issued rules and approval by the SEC. As of the time of this writing, most experts in Washington DC agree that the legislation is shaping up to be finalized in 2015. That said, some observers believe the rules and restrictions, when finalized, may cause it to be unpalatable to some companies.