President Alfond’s bill opens door for more Mainers to invest in local start-ups

AUGUSTA – On Thursday morning, a measure allowing Maine businesses to sell securities as a means to raise start-up capital while maintaining Maine’s strong consumer and investor protection laws received initial approval from the Senate.

“Maine is a great place to start a business and, with this bill, we have a unique opportunity to support entrepreneurs, increase investing opportunities for more Maine people, and be a national leader in turning ideas into jobs,” said President Alfond. “This bill takes the innovative model developed by online crowd funding websites and brings it to the next level.”

Under the proposed measure, any Maine-based business interested in crowd investing can register with the Office of Securities and sell small amounts of equity to individual investors, with a maximum investment per person of $5,000. The business would set a target amount to raise, of no more than $1,000,000, and a hard deadline to raise it by. If the business owners do not raise the target amount by the set deadline, all of the contributed money is returned to the investors.

President Alfond added, “By allowing and encouraging small-scale investment in companies, Mainers tell the world, if you have a vision and a plan, we want to support you and help your business grow.”

The bill, LD 1512, “An Act To Increase Funding for Start-ups,” now moves to the House for its initial approval and will return to the Senate for enactment.