R164. Commerce, Securities.
R164-12. Sales Commission.
R164-12-1f. Commissions on Sales of Securities.
A. Preliminary Notes
(1) This R164-12-1f regulates the compensation which may be received by any person in connection with a public offering of securities pursuant to a registration by qualification under Section 10 of the Utah Uniform Securities Act (the "Act"). The Rule does not effect offerings which are registered by coordination or offerings which are sold pursuant to an exemption from the Act.
(2) This R164-12-1f does not effect the requirements of the Act and the rules thereunder as to registration, supervision and termination of agents.
(3) This R164-12-1f is an extended version of the standards that the Utah Securities Division (the "Division") has in the past required to be met. The standards herein are based upon reasonableness, the NASAA guidelines as to options and warrants issued to underwriters, and FINRA's interpretations of fair compensation. The percentage of cash commissions that is permitted under this R164-12-1f is unchanged from the former Rule A67-03-12.
B. Persons Subject to this Rule
(1) This R164-12-1f regulates compensation to participants in a distribution of securities which are registered by qualification pursuant to Section 10 of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.
(2) No registrant, affiliate of a registrant, or person acting on behalf of a registrant in connection with a public offering registered pursuant to Section 10 of the Act may give, directly or indirectly, compensation which is in violation of this R164-12-1f.
(3) No agent, underwriter or affiliate of an agent or underwriter may receive, directly or indirectly in connection with a public offering registered pursuant to Section 10 of the Act, compensation which is in violation of this R164-12-1f.
As used in this R164-12-1f, the following terms shall have the indicated meanings:
(1) "Compensation" includes all cash; the value of all options, warrants, rights and other securities; the gross amount of the underwriter's discount; total expenses payable by the issuer, whether accountable or non-accountable, to or on behalf of the participant in the distribution which would normally be paid by the participant in the distribution; counsel's fees and expenses of the participant in the distribution payable by the issuer; finder's fees; financial consulting and advisory fees; and the value of all contracts and agreements with respect to the issuer or its affiliates which are connected with the distribution or with the negotiation of compensation in the distribution.
(2) "Corporate equity security" means any security which presently represents an ownership interest in a corporate entity and which includes common stock and preferred stock but does not include a security which is not presently, but is at some future time convertible into, a corporate equity security.
(3) "Participant in the distribution" means any person offering, selling, delivering, distributing, soliciting interest in or otherwise involved in the distribution, offer or sale of securities to the public or to any member of the public and includes persons commonly known as underwriters, agents and finders.
D. Maximum Compensation
(1) Distributions of Corporate Equity Securities: the maximum compensation that shall be given, directly or indirectly, to the participants in a distribution of corporate equity securities is an amount equal to 15% of that portion of the public offering price of the securities being distributed which is actually received by or on behalf of the registrant; provided, however, that any securities issued in connection with such distribution comply with paragraph F of this R164-12-1f.
(2) All Other Distributions: the maximum compensation that shall be given, directly or indirectly, to the participants in a distribution of securities other than corporate equity securities shall be 20% of that portion of the public offering price of the securities being sold which is actually received by or on behalf of the registrant; provided, however, that any securities issued also comply with paragraph F of this R164-12-1f.
E. Determination of Amount Received by or on Behalf of the Registrant
The amount of the public offering price which is actually received shall be determined as follows:
(1) The following shall be included:
(a) Cash received;
(b) Fair market value of any securities received; and
(c) Fair market value of any tangible property received excluding items listed in subparagraph E(2) of this R164-12-1f.
(2) The following shall be excluded:
(a) Promissory notes or similar promises to provide cash or property in the future;
(b) Assessments, whether conditional or obligatory; and
(c) Intangible property such as patents, royalties, etc.
F. Securities Issued to Participants in a Distribution
(1) Options or Warrants:
Options or warrants issued to participants in a distribution must be justified by the applicant. Options or warrants will be considered justified if all of the conditions of this paragraph F are met.
(a) The options or warrants are issued only to a broker-dealer registered with this Division and are not transferable except in cases where the broker-dealer is a partnership and then only within the partnership.
(b) The number of shares covered by all options or warrants does not exceed ten percent of the shares to be outstanding upon completion of the offering.
(c) The options or warrants do not exceed five years in duration and are exercisable no sooner than one year after issuance.
(d) The initial exercise price of the options or warrants is at least equal to the public offering price plus a step-up of said public offering price of either seven per cent each year they are outstanding, so that the exercise price throughout the second year is one hundred seven per cent, throughout the third year one hundred fourteen per cent, throughout the fourth year one hundred twenty-one per cent, throughout the fifth year one hundred twenty-eight per cent; or in the alternative, twenty per cent at any time after one year from the date of issuance; provided that an election as to either alternative must be made by the broker-dealer at the time that the options or warrants are issued.
(e) The options or warrants are issued by a relatively small company, which is in the promotional stage, or which, because of its size, lacks public ownership of its shares, or other facts and circumstances make it appear that the issuance of options is necessary to obtain competent investment banking services.
(f) The prospectus used in connection with the offering fully discloses the terms and the reason for the issuance of such options or warrants; provided that if such reason relates to future advisory services to be performed by the broker-dealer without compensation in consideration for the issuance of such options or warrants, a statement to that effect is placed in the prospectus.
(g) The total amount of options and warrants issued or reserved for issuance at the date of the public offering shall be reasonable. The amount of options and warrants shall be presumed reasonable if the number of shares represented by such options and warrants does not exceed a number equal to ten per cent of the number of shares outstanding during the period the registration is in effect. The number of options and warrants reserved for issuance may be disregarded if the issuer files an undertaking or states in the prospectus that the amount of outstanding options and warrants shall not exceed the above limitation during the period the registration is in effect.
(2) The value of any securities received, which value shall be included in determining the amount of compensation for the purposes of paragraph D of this R164-12-1f shall be as follows:
(a) Options/Warrants: The market value of such options or warrants, if any, shall be used. In cases where no market value exists, a presumed fair value of twenty per cent of the public offering price of the shares to which the options or warrants pertain shall be used, unless evidence indicates that a contrary valuation exists.
(b) Stock: The amount of compensation received when stock is issued shall be the difference between the cost of such stock and the proposed public offering price or, in the case of securities with a bona fide independent market, the cost of such stock and price of the stock on the market on the date of purchase. If, however, there is a binding obligation to hold such stock for a substantial period of time, an adjustment in such valuation may be made.
(c) Convertible Securities: The amount of compensation received when convertible securities are issued shall be the difference between the conversion price and the proposed public offering price or, in the case of securities with a bona fide independent market, the conversion price and the price of the stock on the market on the date of purchase.
(3) Equity Securities Issued to Participants in a Distribution:
Equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, when combined with securities issued pursuant to subsection (F)(1) of this Rule, acquired by a participant in a distribution, whether acquired prior to, at the time of, or after, but which are determined to be in connection with or related to, the offering shall not in the aggregate be more than ten percent of the total number of units being offered in the proposed offering. The maximum limitation in the case of "best efforts" underwritings or participations shall be on the basis of no more than one unit received for every ten units actually sold. For the purposes of this paragraph:
(a) No securities shall be issued to a participant in a distribution where such participant is not a broker-dealer registered with this Division;
(b) Over-allotment shares and shares underlying warrants, options, or convertible securities which are part of the proposed offering are not to be counted as part of the aggregate number of shares being offered against which the ten percent limitation is to be applied.
(c) In an exceptional or unusual case involving an offering of convertible securities of a company whose stock already has a public market and where the circumstances require, taking into consideration the conversion terms of the securities to be received by the above persons, the receipt of underlying shares by such persons aggregating the above referred to ten percent limitation may be considered improper and a lesser amount considered more appropriate.
(d) In an exceptional or unusual case, where a large number of shares of a company are already outstanding and/or the purchase price of the securities, risk involved or the time factor as to acquisition or other circumstances justify, a variation from the above limitations may be permitted but in all cases the burden of demonstrating justification for such shall be upon the person seeking the variation.
KEY: securities regulation
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: February 2, 2010
Notice of Continuation: June 2, 2017
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 61-1-12(1)(f)