Information for Small and Medium Enterprises
This web page is dedicated to providing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with useful information relevant to their market. SMEs and their advisors are encouraged to frequently visit this page and its contents to learn more about OSC rules and requirements, and capital market information that impact them.
Small and Medium Enterprises in Ontario
The OSC recognizes the important role the small business sector plays in Ontario’s capital market. Approximately 36 per cent of Canadian SMEs were recorded as Ontario-based, representing 97 per cent of Ontario-based businesses (Industry Canada, SME Financing Data Initiative, 2007). Additionally, a significant proportion of TSX-Venture listed issuers are also based in Ontario.
The OSC’s role as securities regulator is to uphold confidence and integrity in Ontario’s capital markets. Given the importance of SMEs to Ontario’s market, the OSC works to foster easier access to capital raising for SMEs, while adequately protecting the needs of investors in those companies. The OSC strives to support Ontario-based SMEs in all industries by facilitating cost-effective compliance through appropriate regulation and targeted programs of issuer education and outreach.
The OSC SME Institute
Education and outreach for SMEs are important elements of the OSC’s SME strategy. As part of its commitment to foster a culture of compliance to improve market confidence and safeguard investors, the OSC is launching a series of educational seminars specifically tailored towards SMEs to help them understand their regulatory obligations.
Established in July 2012, The OSC SME Institute offers a series of seminars on a variety of topics including securities regulatory requirements, capital raising in Ontario’s capital market, as well as tips on working with the OSC. Participants of the OSC SME Institute will benefit from the training and workshops offered, and from hearing first-hand from OSC staff and industry representatives on the latest regulatory issues affecting the SME market. This is also an opportunity for SMEs to share their concerns with the OSC.
The OSC SME Institute seminars are offered free of charge. Please visit the OSC SME Institute calendar to see a description of the seminars being offered and to register.
The OSC SME Community
The OSC encourages SMEs to join its SME Community in order to receive regular updates on OSC initiatives, policies and programs that impact SMEs. By becoming a member of the OSC SME Community, SME’s will be made aware of various upcoming OSC publications, practice directives and guidance tools, which will provide further direction on the OSC’s expectations regarding filings.
To receive regular updates, join The OSC SME Community.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Committee
The Small and Medium Enterprises Committee (SMEC) advises OSC staff on a range of projects, including the planning, implementation and communication of the OSC’s review program, as well as policy and rule-making initiatives relevant to small issuers. The SMEC also serves as a forum to advise OSC staff on the emerging issues and unique challenges faced by small issuers.
See more information about the SMEC.
Topical Information for SMEs
How To Raise Capital
Exempt Distributions: How your business can issue shares without going public
This guide explains how small or medium enterprises can raise capital by selling shares, without the expense of preparing a prospectus and going public.
Table of contents:
What is an exempt distribution?
The accredited investor exemption
The private issuer exemption
The $150,000 minimum amount exemption
What kind of information must you give to investors?
Can investors resell the securities they buy from you?
Other Capital Raising Alternatives
For more information, see Information for Companies: Selling Securities.
For information on other aspects of offering securities or being a reporting issuer in Ontario, see Information for Companies.
Other Related Resources
Contact us if you have any questions.
The information on this page should be taken as a guide. The content is not intended to provide investment, financial accounting, legal, tax or other professional advice and should not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for such advice. We recommend that you seek advice from a qualified professional adviser before acting on any information or other content appearing on this website or any website to which it may be linked.