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Oregon crowdfunding open for business

While other states have quietly passed new crowdfunding investment laws, Oregon is intent on starting off big.

Under the Oregon crowdfunding law, Oregon businesses can raise as much as $250,000 through state crowdfunding, by raising money from a large number of state resident investors. They can invest up to $2,500 in a company. Similar to GoFundMe, but when you put your money into a business, you actually own equity shares.

New rules allow Oregon-based companies to raise up to $250,000 from Oregon investors to start new businesses or fund existing operations. Like the renewable energy exemption, this rule allows the sale of these investments without registration or licensing a salesperson.

To use the Oregon crowdfunding exemption, the company must meet requirements such as:

The company must be registered and doing business in Oregon and the securities can be offered only to Oregon residents.
The company can provide limited advertising to Oregonians on the investment, and if an Oregon investor wants to learn more, the company must provide formal disclosures.
An investor must receive and review the disclosure documents before an investment decision becomes final.
No single investor can invest more than $2,500 in any one investment.

Oregon-based cooperative corporations can use a new Oregon crowdfunding exemption to raise funds for renewable energy projects in Oregon.

New rules effective Oct. 6, 2014, allow cooperative corporations set up to develop and operate renewable energy sources to raise funds without going through a full-blown registration process or using a licensed securities salesperson. To use this exemption, the co-op must meet requirements such as:

Investors must be part of a community affiliated with the co-op or its project.
No more than $1.5 million in funds can be raised by selling to members of “non-accredited” status (i.e., individuals with a net worth of less than $1 million).
Although co-ops may promote their mission and goals, the promotion must be limited in nature and each person interested in investing must receive specific disclosures about the risks of the investment.