Both the Florida state Senate an House passed crowdfunding legislation and the bill has moved to the desk of Governor Rick Scott where it is expected to be signed into law this week. This is not the first time the Sunshine state attempted to legalize investment crowdfunding as a bill went through the process in 2014 only to be blocked by entrenched interests. The new exemption means an investor no longer must be “accredited” or a higher net worth individual – a designation that has excluded much of the investing population in the past.
Sally Outlaw, the President of the Florida Crowdfinance Association and CEO of peerbackers, was quoted on the forthcoming law;
“I’m encouraged to see the legislature embrace new forms of finance to ignite entrepreneurial innovation in our state,” she said. “This bill not only creates more capital opportunities for small businesses but also provides Florida residents a chance to invest in emerging companies in their own communities.”
This new legislation will allow online crowdfunding platforms to register and conduct business in the state of Florida. The bill includes requirements that both investors and businesses reside within the state and that certain consumer protections are in place. With this law, Florida will join a growing list of states throughout the country that have passed their own Intrastate Crowdfunding laws.
“This bill not only creates more capital opportunities for small businesses but also provides Florida residents a chance to invest in emerging companies in their own communities,” said Florida based Funding Wonder CEO Michael Mildenberger
In development for over a year, members of both the House and Senate aligned in a push to promote local job creation and economic growth. The first round in 2014 was blocked by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation with some observers alluding to the office receiving pressure from special interests in the state.
“I am gratified that the work we did last year to educate Florida lawmakers has finally paid off,” said Mildenberger. “There is tremendous momentum behind Crowdfunding as a tool for business finance and it makes sense for Florida, with the country’s fourth largest economy, to be an active participant.”