FAQ

Why invest in startups?

On StartEngine, you support startups and early-growth companies that you are passionate about. This is different from helping a company raise money on Kickstarter. You aren’t buying products or merch. You are buying a piece of a company and helping it grow. In time, you may make a profit on your investment if the company grows and becomes more successful, and your investment holdings become worth more

What types of securities can I buy on StartEngine?

The majority of offerings on StartEngine are common stock, but some companies raise capital through convertible note, debt, and revenue share. You can invest in companies from all kinds of industries, from green tech to professional ultimate frisbee leagues.

How much can I invest?

With Regulation A+, a non-accredited investor can only invest a maximum of 10% of their annual income or 10% of their net worth per year, whichever is greater. There are no restrictions for accredited investors.

With Regulation Crowdfunding, non-accredited investors with an annual income or net worth less than $107,000, are limited to invest a maximum of 5% of the lesser of the two amounts. For those with an annual income and net worth greater than $107,000, he/she is limited to investing 10% of the lesser of the two amounts.

How do I know if I am an accredited or non-accredited investor?

An accredited investor is a person who has a networth of at least $1 million (excluding their primary residence) or earns at least $200,000 in income each year – $300,000 if combined with a spouse. A non-accredited investor is everyone else!

How do I calculate my net worth?

Calculating net worth involves adding up all your assets and subtracting all your liabilities. The resulting sum is your net worth.

For examples, and more information about how to calculate your net worth, feel free to reference this SEC investor bulletin.

Who can invest on StartEngine?

Anyone over 18 years of age can invest on StartEngine. However, if you are younger, a parent could invest in your name by setting up a UTMA or trust. To learn more about how much you can invest, please review the SEC Investor Bulletin.

Secondly, while we do not market in UK or Canada, or solicit investments from UK or Canada, we are aware that regulators from certain UK countries or Canadian provinces have raised questions with respect to sales to UK or Canadian investors, and are taking the view that merely accepting money from UK or Canadian investors is a transaction that they have jurisdiction over, and that such offerings have to comply with the UK or Canadian equivalent of registration of the offering, or find an available exemption. In light of this position, and in order to protect the companies who post their offering with us, we are not currently accepting investments from UK or Canadian investors.

What will the return on my investment be?

StartEngine assists companies in raising capital, and once the offering is closed, we are no longer involved with whether the company chooses to list shares on a secondary market, or what occurs thereafter. Therefore, StartEngine has no control or insight into your investment after the close of the live offering. In addition, we are not permitted to provide financial advice. You may want to contact a financial professional to discuss possible investment outcomes.

Can I sell my shares?

Once the live offering has closed, you may choose how to handle your shares. You will be introduced to the company’s selected transfer agent, which is the cap table management service, who will be responsible for the transfer of your shares after the close of the offering.

Companies may choose to apply to quote their securities on our trading marketplace StartEngine Secondary. StartEngine Secondary is one of the first markets in the US where non-accredited investors can publicly trade investments that have raised capital via Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+. StartEngine Secondary is an alternative trading system regulated by the SEC and operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA.

The shares sold via Regulation A+ offerings are unrestricted and can be sold freely immediately after purchase. However, the shares sold via Regulation Crowdfunding offerings have a one-year lock up period before those shares become unrestricted and can be sold freely.

Investors are generally restricted from reselling shares for a one-year period after they were issued, unless the shares are transferred:

to the company that issued the securities;

to an accredited investor

to a family member (defined as a child, stepchild, grandchild, parent, stepparent, grandparent, spouse or spousal equivalent, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law, including adoptive relationships.);

in connection with your death or divorce or other similar circumstance;

to a trust controlled by you or a trust created for the benefit of a family member; as part of an offering registered with the SEC.

A company which intends to apply to list its securities on StartEngine Secondary will be subject to certain requirements, including state laws. Even if a company is qualified to quote its securities on StartEngine Secondary, there is no guarantee that a demand for these securities will exist. Even if a company does meet the requirements for quoting its securities, we do not know the extent to which investor interest will lead to the development and maintenance of a liquid trading market. An investor should assume that he or she may not be able to liquidate the investment for some time or be able to pledge these shares as collateral.

What is the difference between Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+?

Both Title III (Regulation Crowdfunding) and Title IV (Reg A+) help entrepreneurs crowdfund capital investments from unaccredited and accredited investors. The differences between these regulations are related to the investor limitations, the differing amounts of money companies are permitted to raise, and differing disclosure and filing requirements. To learn more about Regulation Crowdfunding, click here, and for Regulation A+, click here.

Where can I find more financial information about a company?

All available financial information can be found on the campaign pages for both Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A+ offerings. For companies raising capital with Regulation Crowdfunding, you can find that information under the “Terms” tab.

For Reg A+ offerings, their financial information can be found in their offering circular, which will be linked on their campaign page. Campaigns that are currently Testing the Waters are not required to display their finances until they go into live offering mode. If you have questions for a company, feel free to submit a comment in the “Comment” tab of their campaign page, and they will respond to you directly.

Is there any cost to investing?

The majority of our offerings are completely free for investors, as StartEngine makes its money by charging fees to the company raising money. That being said, companies can opt to offset those costs by having investors pay a percentage in the form of a processing fee. This fee will be charged to investors on top of the price of shares. Your total amount charged and shares will be stated clearly on the investment form as a 3.5% processing fee.

If you are paying via a wire transfer, there may be additional fees charged by your bank related to the transfer of funds. In the event that you make a wire transfer, please be sure to talk to your banking institution about the fees involved, so that you can pay any additional transfer fees needed. ACH and credit card investments do not include additional fees but are still subject to the 3.5% fee above when applicable.

Why do you require my social security number for some investments?

We understand your concern regarding the security of your Social Security Number. We ask for your SSN due to anti-money laundering regulations and fraud checks.

Our applications communicate with our servers using Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol issued by DigiCert.

What happens if a company does not reach their funding goal?

If a company does not reach their minimum funding goal, all funds will be returned to the investors within 10 business days after the closing of their offering.

Join the Ride of a Startup's Journey

One

Have A Chance To Profit

By its very nature, investing in startups means you’re getting in early before the company IPOs. If the business does well and grows, you can make money on your investment in the future.

Two

Become More Than A Customer

Now you can support companies you like more than just by purchasing their products. Now you can become an owner in that business and follow the founders on that company’s journey.

Three

Fund The Future

Investing in early-growth startups allows you to fund the next generation of businesses and ideas that could change the world. Fund the future that you want to see and back the people that you want to see  running the big businesses of tomorrow.