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Wisconsin crowdfunding bill overview

The Wisconsin crowdfunding bill took effect in June of 2014. The bill, named the CASE (crowdfunding and securities exemptions) for Jobs Act, changes Wisconsin’s securities registration exemptions, updating the state’s outdated securities law into the 21st century.

CASE seems to take a shot at the federal Jobs Act passed in 2012. That law is meant to reform federal securities law to allow businesses to attract investments from accredited and non-accredited investors by way of internet crowdfunding platforms. However, the federal crowdfunding rules have been delayed by years at this point.

“Where the federal government has delayed, Wisconsin has acted,” said Rep. David Craig, (R-Vernon), one of the bill’s lead co-authors, in a prepared statement. “Where other states have failed to allow small business to harness the power of the Internet, Wisconsin has embraced it. Sen. (Leah) Vukmir, Rep. (Chad) Weininger and I have put our joint time and efforts into crafting this important legislation, and with the overwhelming support of the Legislature we look forward to Gov. Walker signing this important jobs bill in the near future.”
“By updating the rules for investors, we will allow Wisconsin entrepreneurs to combine concepts and capital to create thriving companies, family-supporting jobs and a vibrant state economy that will benefit all of Wisconsin,” said Vukmir, (R-Wauwatosa), in a prepared statement.

The Wisconsin crowdfunding law allows businesses to raise up to $2 million, Through non-accredited investors investing up to $10,000 each. While President Obama has called crowdfunding “a potential game changer” for start-ups and small businesses, the initial states participating have yet to see very many participants.

Kansas opened the door to state equity crowdfunding in August 2011. Since then, only eight companies have issued offerings under the Kansas state rules.

Georgia followed with crowdfunding in December 2011. By 2014, 31 Georgia companies have participated to raise money through crowdfunding.