What is an Accredited Investor?
In the context of a natural person, an accredited investor includes anyone who:
earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR
has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence).
On the income test, the person must satisfy the thresholds for the three years consistently either alone or with a spouse, and cannot, for example, satisfy one year based on individual income and the next two years based on joint income with a spouse. The only exception is if a person is married within this period, in which case the person may satisfy the threshold based on joint income for the years during which the person was married and based on individual income for the other years.
In addition, entities such as banks, partnerships, corporations, nonprofits and trusts may be accredited investors. Of the entities that would be considered accredited investors and depending on your circumstances, the following may be relevant to you:
any trust, with total assets in excess of $5 million, not formed to specifically purchase the subject securities, whose purchase is directed by a sophisticated person, OR
any entity in which all the equity owners are accredited investors.
In this context, a sophisticated person means the person must have, or the company or private fund offering the securities reasonably believes that this person has, enough knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to evaluate the merits and risks of the prospective investment.