Under the Securities Act of 1933, a company that offers or sells its securities must register the securities with the SEC or find an exemption from the registration requirements. The Act provides companies with a number of exemptions. For some of the exemptions, such as rules 505 and 506 of Regulation D, a company may sell its securities to what are known as "accredited investors." The term accredited investor is defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D.
For more information about the SEC’s registration requirements and common exemptions, read our brochure, Small Business & the SEC. For more information about how individuals can be accredited investors, see our Investor Bulletin on accredited investors.