§ 230.701Exemption for offers and sales of securities pursuant to certain
compensatory benefit plans and contracts relating to compensation.
1. This section relates to transactions exempted from the registration
requirements of section 5 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 77e). These transactions are not exempt from the antifraud, civil
liability, or other provisions of the federal securities laws. Issuers and
persons acting on their behalf have an obligation to provide investors with
disclosure adequate to satisfy the antifraud provisions of the federal
2. In addition to complying with this section, the issuer also must comply with any applicable state law relating to the offer and sale of
3. An issuer that attempts to comply with this section, but
fails to do so, may claim any other exemption that is available.
4. This section is available only to the issuer of the securities. Affiliates of the issuer may not use this section to offer or sell
securities. This section also does not cover resales of securities by any
person. This section provides an exemption
only for the transactions in which the securities are offered or sold by the
issuer, not for the securities
5. The purpose of this section is to provide an exemption from the
registration requirements of the Act for securities issued in compensatory circumstances.
This section is not available for plans or schemes to circumvent this
purpose, such as to raise capital. This section also is not available to
exempt any transaction that is in technical compliance with this section but
is part of a plan or scheme to evade the registration provisions of
the Act. In any of these cases, registration
under the Act is required unless another exemption is
(a)Exemption. Offers and sales made in compliance with all of the
conditions of this section are exempt from
section 5 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 77e).
(b)Issuers eligible to use this section—(1) General. This section is available to any issuer that is not subject to the reporting requirements
of section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d)) and is not an investment company registered or required to be
registered under the Investment
Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1et seq.).
(2)Issuers that become subject to reporting. If an issuer becomes subject to the reporting requirements of
section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d)) after it has made offers complying with this section, the
issuer may nevertheless rely on this section
to sell the securities previously offered to the persons to whom those
offers were made.
(3)Guarantees by reporting companies. An issuer subject to the reporting requirements of section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78m, 78o(d)) may rely on this section if it is merely guaranteeing the payment
of a subsidiary's securities that are sold under this
(c)Transactions exempted by this section. This section exempts
offers and sales of securities (including plan interests and guarantees pursuant to paragraph
(d)(2)(ii) of this section) under a written compensatory benefit
plan (or written compensation contract)
established by the issuer, its parents, its majority-owned
subsidiaries or majority-owned subsidiaries of the issuer's parent, for the participation of their employees,
directors, general partners, trustees (where the issuer is a business trust), officers, or
consultants and advisors, and their family members who acquire such
securities from such persons through gifts or domestic relations orders.
This section exempts offers and sales to former employees, directors,
general partners, trustees, officers, consultants and advisors only if such
persons were employed by or providing services to the issuer at the time the securities were
offered. In addition, the term “employee” includes insurance agents who are
exclusive agents of the issuer, its subsidiaries or parents, or
derive more than 50% of their annual income from those entities.
(1)Special requirements for consultants and advisors. This
section is available to consultants and advisors only if:
(i) They are natural persons;
(ii) They provide bona fide services to the issuer, its parents, its majority-owned
subsidiaries or majority-owned subsidiaries of the issuer's parent; and
(iii) The services are not in connection with the offer or sale of securities
in a capital-raising transaction, and do not directly or indirectly promote
or maintain a market for the issuer's securities.
(2)Definition of “compensatory benefit plan.” For purposes of this section,
a compensatory benefit plan is any purchase, savings, option,
bonus, stock appreciation, profit sharing, thrift, incentive, deferred
compensation, pension or similar plan.
(3)Definition of “family member.” For purposes of this section,
family member includes any child, stepchild, grandchild,
parent, stepparent, grandparent, spouse,
former spouse, sibling, niece, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law,
son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, including
adoptive relationships, any person sharing the employee's household (other than a tenant or employee), a
trust in which these persons have more than fifty percent of the beneficial
interest, a foundation in which these persons (or the employee) control the
management of assets, and any other entity in which these persons (or the
employee) own more than fifty percent of the voting interests.
(d)Amounts that may be sold—(1) Offers. Any
amount of securities may be offered in
reliance on this section. However, for purposes of this section, sales of
securities underlying options must be counted as sales on the date of the
(2)Sales. The aggregate sales price or amount of securities sold in reliance on this section
during any consecutive 12-month period must not exceed the greatest of the
(ii) 15% of the total assets of the issuer (or of the issuer's parent if the issuer is a wholly-owned subsidiary and the securities represent obligations that
the parent fully and unconditionally guarantees),
measured at the issuer's most recent balance sheet date (if
no older than its last fiscal year end); or
(iii) 15% of the outstanding amount of the class of securities being offered and sold
in reliance on this section, measured at the issuer's most recent balance sheet date (if
no older than its last fiscal year end).
(3)Rules for calculating prices and amounts—(i) Aggregate sales price. The term aggregate sales price
means the sum of all cash, property, notes, cancellation of debt or other
consideration received or to be received by the issuer for the sale of the securities.
Non-cash consideration must be valued by reference to bona
fide sales of that consideration made within a reasonable time or,
in the absence of such sales, on the fair value as determined by an accepted
standard. The value of services exchanged for securities issued must be
measured by reference to the value of the securities issued. Options must be
valued based on the exercise price of the option.
(ii)Time of the calculation. With respect to options to purchase
securities, the aggregate sales price is determined when an option grant is
made (without regard to when the option becomes exercisable). With respect
to other securities, the calculation is made on the date of sale. With
respect to deferred compensation or similar plans, the calculation is made
when the irrevocable election to defer is made.
(iii)Derivative securities. In calculating outstanding securities
for purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, treat the securities
underlying all currently exercisable or convertible options, warrants,
rights or other securities, other than those issued under this exemption, as
outstanding. In calculating the amount of securities sold for other purposes of paragraph
(d)(2) of this section, count the amount of securities that would be acquired upon exercise
or conversion in connection with sales of options, warrants, rights or other
exercisable or convertible securities, including those to be issued under
(iv)Other exemptions. Amounts of securities sold in reliance on
this section do not affect “aggregate offering prices” in other exemptions, and amounts of
securities sold in reliance on other exemptions do not affect the amount that may be sold in reliance on this section.
(e)Disclosure that must be provided. The issuer must deliver to investors a copy of
the compensatory benefit plan or the contract, as applicable. In addition, if the
aggregate sales price or amount of securities sold during any consecutive 12-month
period exceeds $5 million, the issuer must deliver the following disclosure
to investors a reasonable period of time before the date of sale:
(1) If the plan is subject to the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) (29 U.S.C. 1104-1107), a copy of the summary plan description required by ERISA;
(2) If the plan is not subject to ERISA, a summary of the
material terms of the plan;
(3) Information about the risks associated with investment in the securities
sold pursuant to the compensatory benefit plan or compensation contract; and
(4) Financial statements required to be furnished by Part F/S of Form 1-A
(Regulation A Offering Statement) (§ 239.90 of
this chapter) under Regulation A (§§
230.251 through 230.263). Foreign private issuers as defined in Rule 405
must provide a reconciliation to generally accepted accounting principles in
the United States (U.S. GAAP) if their financial
statements are not prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP or International
Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting
Standards Board (Item 17 of Form 20-F (§ 249.220f
of this chapter)). The financial statements required by this
section must be as of a date no more than 180 days before the sale of
securities in reliance on this exemption.
(5) If the issuer is relying on paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of
this section to use its parent's total assets to determine the amount of securities that may be sold, the parent's financial statements must be delivered. If the
parent is subject to the reporting
requirements of section 13 or 15(d) of the
Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d)), the financial statements of the parent required by Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X (§ 210.10-01 of this chapter) and Item 310 of
Regulation D-B (§ 228.310 of this
chapter), as applicable, must be delivered.
(6) If the sale involves a stock option or other derivative security, the
issuer must deliver disclosure a reasonable
period of time before the date of exercise or conversion. For deferred
compensation or similar plans, the issuer must deliver disclosure to investors
a reasonable period of time before the date the irrevocable election to
defer is made.
(f)No integration with other offerings. Offers and sales exempt
under this section are deemed to be a part of a single, discrete
offering and are not subject to integration
with any other offers or sales, whether registered under the Act or otherwise exempt from the registration
requirements of the Act.
(g)Resale limitations. (1) Securities issued under this section
are deemed to be “restricted securities” as defined in § 230.144.
(2) Resales of securities issued pursuant to this section must be in
compliance with the registration requirements of the Act or an exemption from those requirements.
(3) Ninety days after the issuer becomes subject to the reporting
requirements of section 13 or 15(d) of the
Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78m or 78o(d)), securities issued under this section may be resold by persons who
are not affiliates (as defined in § 230.144) in reliance on § 230.144, without compliance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 230.144, and by affiliates without compliance with paragraph (d) of § 230.144.