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We are often asked by entrepreneurs how they can access investment from the US and if that differs from fundraising in the UK.

The short answer is “be careful – it is different” but given the large size of the US market and the free availability of capital, it is usually worth digging deeper into that question.

The aim is to provide a high-level answer to this question for an entrepreneur who is not an expert in securities law but is trying to figure out whether to include a friend, relative or other potential investor in an upcoming financing round even though the person is not an “accredited investor” who do not meet the SEC definition of “accredited investors.”

To put this in context, the general rule in the United States is that if you sell shares of stock in your company, you either need to register the offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is a significant undertaking in terms of time and resources, or your sale of stock must fall within a specified exemption from registration.

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