General Solicitation

The act of publically soliciting investors, usually through advertising or any other non-controlled method of a public offering. If a company or issuer engages in public solicitation, it may eliminate certain safe harbors that were previously afforded to them under current securities regulation.

Information Rights

Under Delaware (and most state) law, a stockholder has the right to inspect and make copies of the corporation's information, including their stock ledger, a list of stockholders, and its books and records. However, such a demand must be for a "proper purpose", which means a purpose reasonably related to the person's interest as a stockholder.

Investor's Rights Agreement

An agreement that is frequently required by early, or large, investors in a company. This agreement may include many provisions, such as "First Offer" (the right, but not the obligation, to participate in future fundraising rounds) and "Observer Rights" (the right to observe board meetings). This provision is relevant to shareholders because it may include a separate right of first refusal for investors.

Private Placement

The direct sale of a security to a limited number of qualified buyers, which may include accredited investors or institutional investors. Proper controls and structuring may exempt the placement from standard disclosure and registration policies mandated by the SEC.

Rule 506(b)

A legal "safe harbor" that allows issuers of non-public stock to sell interests to accredited investors without having to register with the SEC. Under this provision, issuers cannot engage in "general solicitation", such as advertising.


Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, passed in April 2012. Includes several provisions related to early stage companies, including new regulation regarding the maximum number of shareholders private companies are allowed and changes to the method in which companies can solicit private investors.

Shareholder Limit

Established by Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act, requires that private companies register with the SEC, depending on certain criteria, including the type of shareholders and the total number of shareholders.

Shareholder of Record

The name of a share holder as it exists on the registrar of the issuer.