Crowdfunding is a process through which an individual or a business can raise small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically through the Internet. The objective is to raise sufficient funds in order to carry out a specific project. There are different types of crowdfunding, such as by donation, pre-selling of products, and securities crowdfunding. This page discusses securities crowdfunding.
Start-up or early-stage businesses in British Columbia can use crowdfunding to raise money through issuing securities by meeting certain conditions. One way to do this is to use the start-up Registration and Prospectus Exemption. However, BC businesses can also crowdfund from investors using other prospectus exemptions, such as the Offering Memorandum Exemption.
These guides assist funding portals, issuers, and investors understand the start-up crowdfunding registration and prospectus exemptions. If you would like more information on how start-up and early stage businesses can use other exemptions to raise capital through securities crowdfunding, please email the Fintech and Innovation Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through British Columbia Securities Commission Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free).
Start-up Crowdfunding Guide for Funding Portals
Funding portals – whether operated by registered dealers or persons intending to rely on the registration exemption – should refer to this guide for assistance in understanding their regulatory obligations.
Start-up Crowdfunding Guide for Businesses
Start-ups and early stage businesses can use this guide to gain an understanding of their regulatory obligations and responsibilities to investors.
Start-up Crowdfunding Guide for Investors
Investors can use this guide to learn about the start-up crowdfunding process, where they can expect to find these offerings, and the risks related to these types of investments.
You can find more investor information on start-up crowdfunding on the BCSC’s investor education website, InvestRight.org.
List of start-up Crowdfunding Portals
In BC, start-up crowdfunding portals must either be registered as a dealer or rely on an exemption from the requirement to register as a dealer. If a portal is registered as a dealer then that portal must give you advice about whether their investment products are suitable for you. However, a portal can also be operated by a business relying on an exemption from the dealer registration requirement. In this case, the portal is prohibited from giving you advice about whether the investment products they sell are suitable for you.
To access a list of the start-up crowdfunding portals permitted to operate in BC, go to the National Registration Search to check their status in BC.
More information on private placement market investing is available in these two BCSC guides: