Posted by Assure ● May 19, 2021 8:15:22 AM
Assure Champions Legislation to Remove Blue Sky Fees in Utah
Utah Legislature Supports Early-Stage Entrepreneurs and Investors with Overwhelming Passage of Legislation Championed by Assure that Removes Blue Sky Fees for Investment Rounds up to $500,000
- Utah House Bill 335: “Investment Fees Amendments” passed with no dissenting votes in either the House or Senate and signed by Governor Spencer Cox March 17, took effect May 5, 2021
- Assure, pioneering provider of comprehensive, cost-effective private investment structuring and management services, will champion corresponding legislation to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the United States.
SALT LAKE CITY (May 18, 2021)—Assure today expressed thanks to the Utah Legislature and Governor Spencer Cox for their strong support of Utah entrepreneurs and investors. During the 2021 Utah legislative session, the Utah House and Senate passed House Bill 335: Investment Fees Amendments, without a single dissenting vote in either chamber. The legislation, which removes all state Blue Sky filing fees for investment deals of $500,000 and under, was signed by Governor Spencer Cox on March 21, and became effective on May 5, 2021.
Assure is the creator and leading global provider of affordable investment entities—most notably “special purpose vehicles” (SPVs), investment entities that enable investors to pool their resources to invest in startup companies. Since the time of its launch in 2012, Assure has transformed the venture investment landscape by radically reducing the cost and time required to establish and manage an SPV (“special purpose vehicle”) investment entity.
Assure’s groundbreaking solutions have greatly simplified capital raising, reduced the cost of setting up and managing an SPV investment entity by 90-95 percent, and shortened the time from months to days. In the process, Assure has helped to greatly expand and democratize the venture ecosystem.
“It is central to Assure’s mission to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors, including individuals from historically disadvantaged communities, to get involved and find support in the world’s most dynamic and rewarding industry--entrepreneurship,” said Jeremy Neilson, co-founder and CEO of Assure. “Bureaucratic fees often have the unintended consequence of preventing investment into talented founders who are still building their networks. Filing fees that dissuade investors from supporting a startup company have a negative effect on job creation and prevent promising entrepreneurs from participating in the American dream of building and growing a business. We are committed to changing that.”
Assure’s leadership team determined that removing Blue Sky fees was an ideal place to begin eliminating these barriers to help create more seats at the table of economic opportunity. Such fees have a disproportionate impact on minorities and other historically underserved individuals. Prior to the advent of Assure, deal sizes often needed to be in multiple millions of dollars in order to justify structuring and administrative costs.
By radically reducing time, cost and complexity, Assure has reduced the economically justifiable deal size down to $50,000. Removing Blue Sky and other fees can help bring economically feasible deal sizes down to $10,000-20,000, further expanding opportunity for many individuals without access to large funding networks.
In recent years, the U.S. federal government has tried to lessen the burden on early-stage founders and investors, removing fees and increasing the number of investors who can participate in a deal from 99 to 250. Unfortunately, most states have retained legacy policies from when all investment entities raised large pools of capital and Blue Sky fees were a tiny percentage of the raise. Today, SPVs are being used as the vehicle to help companies grow to the point where venture capital funds, hedge funds and even mutual funds show interest and become a viable option. Today’s SPVs are a tiny fraction of the size of their larger fund counterparts, resulting in a disproportionate percentage of the capital going to paying state filing fees. The average Assure SPV Blue Sky fee is $1,200, but can be over $5,000. Blue Sky fees are single-handedly stopping many startups from receiving needed capital.
House Bill 335 received excellent support at all levels of the legislative process. Rep. Adam Robertson (R-District 63, Provo) led the successful effort for the bill in the House as chief sponsor, with key support from co-sponsor Rep. Travis Seegmiller (R-District 62, St. George) and Rep. Jefferson Moss (R-District 2, Saratoga Springs). Sen. Curt Bramble (R-District 18, Utah & Wasatch Counties) led the effort in the Senate. Jackie Rogers, General Counsel for the Utah Legislature, drafted the bill. Thomas Young, Senior Economist for the State of Utah, provided the fiscal analysis for the legislation.
House Bill 335 passed the House with a vote of 70-0, with five members not in attendance. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 27-0, with two members not in attendance.
“Small business is foundational to Utah’s economy, and entrepreneurship is particularly vital,” said Rep. Robertson. “It was an honor to support founders and investors across Utah by removing the fees that can be a barrier to promising early-stage deals obtaining the life blood of capital.”
“It was a pleasure to sign a bill that makes it easier for Utah company founders and investors to participate in our state’s vibrant entrepreneurial economy,” said Utah Governor Spencer Cox. “Utah has a legacy of leading out with innovative private-public collaboration, and this legislation builds on this tradition. I look forward to seeing the future impact of many new entrepreneurs in our communities and our economy.”
In the years ahead, Assure plans to be an active presence in private-public legislative collaborations In Utah, throughout the U.S. and internationally. Please contact us if you're interested in participating in this effort.
Assure is the pioneering, industry-leading provider of comprehensive structuring and administrative services for the syndicate and venture investment community. The company offers professional, high-quality services and innovative software that streamlines setting up, closing and managing back-office fund administration for angel and private asset investing. Assure’s experience and volume significantly outpaces other fund administrators. The company’s approach, which allows clients to structure and close deals faster, cheaper and with more transparency, helped pave the way for the ascendance of the “super angels,” special purpose vehicles, micro VCs and syndicates.The company has worked with more than 1,300 clients, including AngelList, Republic, EquityZen, Forge, EquityBee, Learn Capital, Backstage Capital and LAUNCH, structuring and closing more than 6,100 deals with over $6.5 billion in assets under administration. Assure offers a full suite of services, including special purpose vehicle administration, VC fund administration, VC fund accounting and fund taxes, fund document templates, Exempt Reporting Advisor (ERA) services, KYC/AML services, 506(c) accreditation and bookkeeping. For more information about Assure, visit www.assure.co.