Small Business RULES in Illinois: HB3791 and HB2946

We are all well aware that the majority of job growth and economic activity are driven by small business. From the Wall Street Journal to the New York Time to CNBC, all have ran story after story confirming that small business is the engine that drives economic growth.

One state that has, for the most part, been left behind in the growth of small innovative businesses is Illinois. Budget issues and folks leaving our state have hampered small business growth. What can be done?

Recently we are see legislative changes that have the potential to make a dramatic improvement in this negative phenomenon. In May of 2016, Illinois unanimously passed the Illinois Intrastate Offering Exemption (Illinois Investment Crowdfunding Law HB 3429). State Representative Carol Sente filed the bill written by, Freeborn Peters partner / attorney, Anthony Zeoli supported by the SBAC and (state registered and regulated) Illinois intrastate crowdfunding portal VestLo.com. This major accomplishment now appears to be only the beginning in the move to once again make Illinois the leader in small business growth.

Two new Bills have been introduced to the State Legislature by Carol Sente and the team involved in last years victory. In late October, 2017 the SEC updated Rule 147 (Intrastate Investment Exemption) allowing for improved conditions for Intrastate crowdfunding, by creating Rule 147A. The original rule 147 allowed for some 29 states to enact laws allowing local businesses to raise funds from its neighbor (state residents) without the onerous (and expensive) regulation of the Federal government. Working directly with state regulators, in most cases the individual states, Secretary of State Securities division. The updated rules require the states to amend the current Intrastate crowdfunding laws to take advantage of these positive changes to the federal update.

Illinois, under Carol Sente’s leadership, has taken the lead by filing bill HB 3791 on Feb. 10th, 2017. Among other things, this amendment will allow for companies formed in states other than Illinois (ie. Delaware) who operate and employ in Illinois to raise growth capital under the Illinois Investment crowdfunding law. The new bill which enables for the rules under the new 147A, will also allow companies to receive local investment when complying with one of the 3 requirements (80/80/80 rule) that allow companies to meet the intrastate exemption. Rather than being required to have 80% of revenue, 80% of employees and 80% of use of funds within the state. Now an Illinois small business will only need to meet ONE of these 3 requirements rather than all 3. Yet another advantage of enacting HB 3791 is the ability for small business to use General Solicitation, meaning although investment must come from Illinois residents, companies can advertise their offering without fear of losing the exemption when social medial or other means take the advertisement beyond state lines.

BUT WAIT… There’s MORE (much, much more)

Launched in 2011, the State of Illinois passed the Illinois Angel Tax credit (25% of Angel investments) enabling for $10,000,000 in state tax credits for investors in qualified investment in qualified Illinois based businesses. That law expired effective Dec. 31, 2016.

In a potentially revolutionary move, Rep. Carol Sente along with State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Representative Emanuel Chris Welch have filed a bill (HB 2946) to re-instate and IMPROVE the Angel Investment Tax credit to $20,000,000 and run through 2021.
Why is this revolutionary??
Bill HB 2946 allows (and encourages) investment in Illinois business from not only accredited Angel Investors but from ordinary unaccredited Illinois residents!!
Qualifying investment opportunities are required to set aside 25% of the investment to unaccredited investors through the Illinois Investment Crowdfunding law. This encourages Angel investors to “slice off a piece” of their vetted investments allowing participation to regular citizens through a registered Illinois Intrastate Investment Crowdfunding Portal. The new bill also loosens the requirements for businesses eligible for the Illinois Angel Tax credit to extend beyond Technology companies to include wholesale, retail, hospitality and more. If enacted this Illinois law will be the 1st of its type in the United States, modeled after the run-away success of the equity crowdfunding tax credit in the United Kingdom. Small business investment exploded in the UK following enactment of their small business investment tax credit.

This law would help to fulfill the vision of VestLo, Anthony Zeoli and the Small Business Advocacy Council by encouraging Angel Investors and Angel groups to include Illinois residents of average means to participate in the types of small business private investments that have the potential to create real wealth and growth in Illinois.

We encourage EVERY Illinois resident to contact your local State Representative, State Senator and Governor Rauner to support these incredible bills to become the Law. They have the potential to truly impact the economy and job growth in Illinois.

Disclaimer: The author of this article is neither an Accountant or and Attorney. Illinois Business owners and Investors are encouraged to speak with a licensed Attorney and/or CPA before filing for this type of Tax credit / Tax incentive when available.

 

 

 

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Illinois Equity Crowdfunding is now available

Originally posted at Crowdfunding-Website-Reviews the applications and final rules for both issuers and portals has now become available. The most dynamic intrastate crowdfunding rule in the nation is now effective. All needed rules and regulations have been provided by the Illinois Secretary of State and Issuers are lining up to take advantage of this new capital raising tool.

UPDATE #3: The long awaited final rules and applications from the Illinois Secretary of State have finally arrives. One portal, VestLo, has announced that they have submitted their application to act as an Illinois Intrastate Equity Portal through this press release. We have been rather surprised that the local Chicago news has not yet written on this exciting new development. The Portal and Issuer applications can be found on the Secretary of States website. You can find all Illinois Equity Crowdfunding Forms. To go directly to the issuer registration form, it can be found here. With Illinois companies having the ability to raise $4mm vs the federal crowdfunding laws being limited to $1mm raise. The Illinois law has come big advantages over the JOBS Act. Our expectation is for the Illinois law to be the proof that intrastate will be a real option for businesses based in Chicago and around the State.

UPDATE #2: Looks like we can expect the administrative rules, portal application and issuer application to be released by the Illinois Secretary of State by April 1st, 2016. We are expecting 3-4 portals to be applying to the state under HB 3429 (Illinois INTRASTATE OFFERINGS EXEMPTION aka The Illinois Investment Crowdfunding law) on the 1st day the application is made available. There appears to be more excitement surrounding the Illinois law than we have found in any of the other 29 states with intrastate crowdfunding has been enacted. Portals have already begun marketing efforts to attract both issuing companies and Illinois investors. A few of these portals seem to include truCrowd (also operating in Texas), VestLo and a couple more portals that have asked us to “keep things quiet” until the final rules are released.

UPDATE: Illinois HB 3429 – Illinois Equity Crowdfunding has passed both the State House and Senate unanimously as of May 20, 2015. The bill is on its way to Governor Bruce Rauner to be signed in to law. We have total confidence that our business friendly governor will have no reservations signing this bill and helping to expedite its implementation. The Illinois intrastate equity crowdfunding bill is the most aggressive attempt of any state bill to encourage the invest-local movement.
Check back often for updates on this exciting new time for Illinois small business and investors as we will be following this very closely. More Info

Investing in Distinct Chicago Neighborhoods

Introduction:

Chicago is a fantastic city with a unique blend of culture, arts, and tradition. You can witness the most modern technological advances as well as the links to ancient history as well. Chicago is home to around 77 neighborhoods comprising of about 51 communities. The heart and soul of Chicago resides in them. You can divide Chicago into four geographical areas as follows.

  • North Chicago
  • West Chicago
  • Downtown Chicago
  • South Chicago

We shall explore about ten great Chicago neighborhoods locations. We shall discover the historical sites as well as attraction encompassing art, culture, nightlife, and shopping.

  • Bucktown / Wicker Park:

This sounds like a very odd name for a modern neighborhood. Today, this place is one of the most modern and trendy neighborhood in the whole of Chicago. However, in the early days, goats used to graze aplenty. This is how this place got the name. The buck is a male goat. Polish immigrants used to rear these male and female goats in the early part of the nineteenth century. It is around the last quarter of the twentieth century that Bucktown evolved as an artistic community. The area has fantastic infrastructure with more than two million homes scattered around the neighborhood. Today the higher rents in Bucktown are pushing people down south into the Wicker Park area.

 

  • Gold Coast / Old Town:

Stunning lake views characterize this area and separate them from the others. This is a high-priced community area with several houses touching millions. This place has some of the oldest styles of Chicago mansions where people can experience intentional living and share humongous space. This area is famous for its nightspots, good food, as well proximity to the lakes and business districts. The most renowned location in this area is the Oak Street running through the heart of an area, the “Viagra Triangle.” Here you can see elderly men having a great time with young women in their twenties.

  • Hyde Park:

There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the most famous resident of this area is the present United States President, Barack Obama. The area is also home to several prestigious universities and institutions such as the University of Chicago. This University has churned out 87 Nobel laureates. This makes it one of the most prestigious Chicago neighborhoods.

 

  • Lincoln Park:

 

About two centuries ago, this area was full of swamps and forests. Today, this is one of the most fashionable areas in Chicago. This is one of the best places to start a family. There are a number of good schools as well as colleges in the vicinity. The greatest advantage of this place is that you do not require a car to move around the place. This is because of scarce parking space. You can find DePaul University’s largest as well as the oldest campus here in Lincoln Park. This is the headquarters of the ultimate resale shop, Millionaire Rejects.

 

  • River North:

 

Until very recently people referred to this area as a slum. However, real estate developer, Albert Friedman changed the landscape by leasing out the buildings to art galleries, and other agencies such as photographers. Today you can find the area has more than 100 art galleries in a cluster. This area boasts of the world’s largest commercial building, Merchandise Mart. This area also houses the world’s tallest residential skyscraper, Trump Tower built by Donald Trump. The transformation from a slum to one of best Chicago neighborhoods is fantastic.

 

  • Roscoe Village:

 

In the late nineteenth century, German and Swedish workers settled here. They developed a great industrial township. The Great Depression saw the downfall on innumerable industrial units and slowed down the development. However, the real estate activities picked up in the latter half of the twentieth century. This area is famous for being in close proximity to The Loop. However, this area has retained the rustic charm of a village. You can find numerous antique stores in this area.

 

  • South Loop:

This place is home to some of the top tourist locations today. However, in the early part of the twentieth century, this area was the hotbed of brothels, saloons, and pawnbrokers. Today, you can find luxury high-rise apartments all over the area. This area is famous for its proximity to Lake Michigan. This is a fast developing area and the favorite of the young working professional. This makes it one of the upcoming Chicago neighborhoods.

 

  • Streeterville:

This is a developing neighborhood. Real estate values are now very high in this area. The old buildings have given way to new high-rises with more than the usual amenities. Most of the complexes have banks, clubs, convenience stores, as well as hotels. You can find parking cost to be very heavy in this neighborhood at $ 250 a month. This would make renting out taxis much cheaper.

 

  • West Loop:

This area is home to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios Empire. Initially, a warehouse district, this area is now home to contemporary lofts, mid-rises, and art galleries. You may not find buildings more than seven stories high in this area. In comparison with other areas, parking is quite cheap here. Hence, people prefer this area to others. You can find the Whitney M Young Magnet High school here. One of its most famous students is the First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama. You should not miss the Randolph Street Market in this area.

 

  • Ukrainian Village:

You can find a rich blend of German, Polish, and Ukrainian culture in this village, just south of Wicker Park. Though today, most of the people are not of Ukrainian lineage, you can find some of the best Ukrainian food in the area. You can still hear some people speak in the Ukrainian language here. This is a middle class locality with a three-bedroom condominium available for $ 350,000. You can also find some old Victorian era houses in the area. You can find communities living here for decades.

 

Conclusion:

You have seen ten Chicago neighborhoods with a unique blend of culture and history. Today, the areas have seen tremendous development. However, they have still maintained the traditional look in places.

What is the Illinois Equity Crowdfunding Law

Have you heard of the Illinois Intrastate Crowdfunding Law? If you’re a small or medium sized business in Illinois, it may be a great opportunity to grow your capital. Recently approved by the House and the Senate unanimously, signed in to law by the governor this is an exciting announcement for entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists.

In today’s article we’ll discuss what the Illinois Intrastate Crowdfunding Law is, what the Bill means for SME’s and how you can use it as an opportunity for your business.

What is the Illinois Intrastate Crowdfunding Law?

This Bill essentially allows businesses in Illinois to actively solicit crowdfunded capital from local residents, in exchange for equity in their business. The maximum allowed investment from each investor is $5,000, whilst a company can raise $1 million in a year, with the potential for $4 million if they provide a financial statement for investors.

This differs substantially from popular existing crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter because the capital they raise is no longer from ‘accredited investors’, it can be from anyone who lives in Illinois. Illinois residents also receive debt/equity from the company they invest in, which isn’t usually the case with traditional crowdfunding websites.

What the Law means for SME’s & precautions

If you’re a business owner and you’re looking for investment, this is truly a great opportunity for you. This Bill could give you access to millions of dollars of new capital, growing your business via local residents who are passionate about entrepreneurialism in Illinois.

It is important however to understand that there should be some element of caution with this Bill. Investors may have expectations in terms of influencing how the business is run or returns on their investment. Businesses should also ensure they are complying to the Bill’s legislative requirements before soliciting local residents.

Additionally, if you are soliciting investment from local residents, you may have to disclose certain elements of your businesses’ performance and financial data. If you do this, understand that as you’re approaching local residents they are members are of the general public and therefore your competitors or other key stakeholders may also find out. Subsequently, only disclose information regarding your company that you are comfortable about being public.

How you can use the Law as an opportunity for your business

This may be a better alternative than receiving investment via a huge funding firm because you’re giving ownership to potential customers who can offer insight, feedback and new ideas. They’re passionate about living in the state, they want to see their local area invested in and they can now have a vital role in the growth of Illinois. It’s essentially empowering local residents to make a difference and improve the state of Illinois, whilst investing in a business they love, creating a sense of public spirit.

Summary:

As you can see, the Bill is a great opportunity for SMEs in Illinois to gain investment from potential customers passionate about developing their local area. If you have any questions about the legislation, please feel free to ask and we’ll be happy to help. Receive a FREE Guide on Illinois Equity Crowdfunding – Here