In 2012, Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act with resounding bipartisan support. For startups, entrepreneurs, and investors, the JOBS Act is easily one of the most exciting pieces of legislation to come out of Congress in the past few years. Among other things, the bill allows businesses—principally startups—to go public more quickly and raise money more easily. And many of its provisions have already had a significant impact on startup growth and capital formation. In the year after the Act passed, the rate of IPOs increased by 58 percent.
When Congress passed the JOBS Act, it recognized that the pre-existing laws dating back to the 1930s no longer reflected today’s financial system. It recognized that the growth of startups is essential to America’s long term economic vitality. And it recognized the potential for new investment platforms to spur participation in the startup economy from a wider range of Americans.
Despite this, in the two years since its passage, much of the JOBS Act’s promise remains unfulfilled. This is not because of bad legislation, but simply because the Securities and Exchange Commission has not done its job.
Two crucial pieces of the Act—1) making it legal to raise capital through online crowdfunding; and 2) allowing for companies to openly seek investment—will only take full effect if the SEC puts forth implementing rules. Such rules will clarify how companies can pursue these new investment channels that are vital to growing our country’s startup economy.
It’s been over two years since the passage of the bill and months since the comments period has closed on SEC’s proposed rules. Yet, we’ve seen nothing from Commission. Without these rules in place, much of the JOBS Act remains an empty promise.
We now call upon the SEC to fulfill its statutory obligation and make what the JOBS Act set out to do a reality.
On behalf of entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and crowdfunding platforms, we’re asking the SEC to finalize the rules without further delay.