equity crowdfunding

Federal securities regulators recently cleared the way for small, Kickerstarter-style campaigns for startups to sell shares. But many entrepreneurs view the federal process as too cumbersome. Now, Washington state lawmakers are contemplating a state-only version to help small businesses raise capital more easily.

Northwest entrepreneurs will soon have another way to raise money for small and new businesses. The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday put out long-delayed draft rules for something called "equity crowdfunding."

So far, crowdfunding has been a vehicle mostly for artists, charities, and startups to solicit donors online. Supporters usually get a modest reward of some sort. Now, the SEC has detailed how crowdfunding could expand. Proposed new rules would allow startup companies to sell actual stock over the Internet to small-time investors.