It may soon get slightly easier for smaller companies to sell shares. On Feb. 15 new rules from the SEC go into effect, relaxing controls on sales of so-called restricted securities. A one-year waiting period goes down to six months.

This is hardly about startups. It affects companies selling less than $700 million per year. Some experts and government agencies consider that small business. But we’re talking about what you and I call pretty big business, hundreds of millions of dollars.

If this affects you, you probably already know who you are and why you care. There’s a good summary by Brent Bowers of The New York Times from late last week, called Rule Change to Help Smaller Companies Raise Funds.

“The changes will likely make private placements by smaller publicly traded companies much more attractive to investors,” said David Danovitch, a partner at the Manhattan law firm of Gersten Savage who specializes in securities laws. “When the credit markets tighten, people run to the equity markets, and now it should be easier for companies that are starved for cash to tap into them.”

“Smaller publicly traded companies” are rarely actually small companies by any measure I’d use. Still, something to hope for.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.