On February 1, 2016, the House passed H.R. 3784, the SEC Small Business Advocate Act, and H.R. 2187, the Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act.

H.R. 3784 proposes to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to establish the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation within the SEC.   The responsibilities of the office would include assisting small businesses and their investors in resolving significant problems with the SEC and other SROs and identifying areas where small businesses and their investors would benefit from changes in SEC and other SRO regulation and work to propose these changes to the SEC and Congress.  H.R. 3784 also would establish the Small Business Capital Formation Advisory Committee.  The committee would provide the SEC with advice on SEC rules, regulations, and policies relating to (i) capital raising by emerging, privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization through securities offerings, (i) trading in the securities of such businesses and companies, and (3) public reporting and corporate governance requirements of such businesses and companies.

H.R. 2187 proposes to amend the definition of “accredited investor” under Section 2(a)(15) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) to include certain natural persons, regardless of whether they meet the income and net worth requirements under Rule 501(a) under the Securities Act.   These natural persons would include (i) any natural person who is currently licensed or registered as a broker or investment adviser by the SEC, FINRA or a state securities regulator and (ii) any natural person the SEC determines by regulation to have demonstrable  education or job experience to qualify such person as having professional knowledge of a subject related to a particular investment, and whose education or job experience is verified by FINRA.