Who can raise capital on StartEngine?

StartEngine reviews all companies to ensure they pass the eligibility requirements to raise capital on the platform. This review process screens for companies which may pose risk to investors. Before companies can continue through onboarding, they must submit an application which will be reviewed by the StartEngine team. When determining eligibility, some of the factors we consider are:

  • Revenue
  • Product, service, or business
  • Customer engagement
  • Team
  • Founder experience
  • Industry
  • Offering terms
  • Market traction & growth
  • Marketing budget
  • Company mission
  • Previous funding
  • Principal place of business

These are soft criteria, and we take a holistic approach when evaluating these different factors. In certain circumstances, we may be able to waive certain criteria if we are able to establish that investor protection will not be compromised by doing so. Once a company's application is approved, companies will be notified that they are eligible to continue through the review process.


Prohibited Company List

Although StartEngine welcomes companies of all types on its platform, certain industries and products are not allowed. StartEngine’s policy derives from deep research into relevant precedents. The policy is partly informed by other conduit platforms like Ebay, Google, Square, and Kickstarter, as well as brands outside of tech, like the NFL and the New York City MTA. With this policy, we aim to provide an egalitarian platform on which companies can raise capital, all while ensuring a positive experience for investors and entrepreneurs.

Companies engaged with the sale or manufacturing of the items below are prohibited from listing on StartEngine. Qualified materials include those which have been published, promoted, or produced by the entity and its employees—not by customers, users, or proponents of the entity:

  • Weaponry
    This includes firearms, guns, pistols, knives, replicas of weapons, weapon accessories, and other devices. This includes any material intended to harm if fully utilized.

  • Pornography
    This includes companies with printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs, or activity intended to stimulate erotic feelings. These materials are obscene, indecent, or profane as established by the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Discriminatory Material
    This includes any materials that discriminate or encourage discrimination against people based on personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical or genetic condition.

  • Illegal Business
    This includes any sales that the U.S. Federal government has deemed illegal. This includes notably fraudulent multi-level marketing companies.

  • Marijuana
    This includes any companies, products or services associated with the purchasing or selling of marijuana, or any medications containing marijuana. This does not include accessories or products associated with the use of marijuana, so long as there is no direct contact with marijuana.

  • Tobacco
    This includes any product that cannot be advertised on TV or radio, as mandated by the FCC.

  • Political Campaigns
    This includes any organization that is funding to support a political initiative or candidate.

  • Companies that Compromise the StartEngine Mission
    StartEngine helps entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by democratizing access to capital. For business owners, this means access to funds. For everyday investors, this means access to investment opportunities. Any company that restricts access to capital, access to investment opportunities, or inhibits the growth of new companies is one that compromises the mission of StartEngine. These companies are prohibited.
  • Investment Companies 
    Investment Companies, including, but not limited to, cryptocurrency mining companies.

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