French Crowdfunding Regulation Quick Overview

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The French regulations address the three main types of crowdfunding: Equity, debt and donation based crowdfunding.  The Industry grew at a rate of approximately 200% from 2013 to 2014. There are no restrictions on the number of investors in any particular pitch. Companies are able to raise up to €1M per crowdfund campaign.

 

Three Types Of Crowdfunding Portals/Intermediaries

  • Investment portals/intermediaries have been divided into three categories:
  1. Loans, either interest free or generating interest, this asset class falls under the category of intermédiaire en financement participatif (IFP).
  2. Securities including equity, these intermediaries would come under the conseiller en investissement participatif (CIP)
    • The CIP may not offer services in other EEA countries
  3. There is also the prestataire en services d’investissement (PSI) that may offer securities as well.
    • A PSI may give advice and must be approved by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervisory Authority).
    • More involved crowdfunding platform that also has certain minimum capital requirements.
  • All three types of securities platforms must be registered with ORIAS (Assurance, Bank of France). All investment are compelled to comply with detailed requirements.
  • Portal managers are expected to have a background in banking or finance and must not be bad actors.

In order to enable platforms to get paid by companies as well as the investors they must:

  • register as a crowdfunding investment advisor.

 

Understanding The Risks:

  • French crowdfunding platforms are required to prominently display the risks involved with investing in unlisted securities.
  • Any investor must affirm they understand completely that they may lose their entire investments prior to participating in crowdfunded offers
  • No maximum investment, but the platform will have to check that people have enough savings to support a potential loss.

 

More information:

http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2014/10/51484-french-crowdfunding-laws-now-force/

http://www.crowdsourcing.org/editorial/french-crowdfunding-regulation-an-overview/30712

https://www.scribd.com/doc/241715323/Crowdfunding-France (In French)

 

Photo credit: Nathan Hughes Hamilton via Flickr

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