To be an accredited investor, a person must have an annual income exceeding $200,000 ($300,000 for joint income) for the last two years with the expectation of earning the same or a higher income in the current year. An individual must have earned income above the thresholds either alone or with a spouse over the last two years. The income test cannot be satisfied by showing one year of an individual's income and the next two years of joint income with a spouse.
A person is also considered an accredited investor if they have a net worth exceeding $1 million, either individually or jointly with their spouse. The SEC also considers a person to be an accredited investor if they are a general partner, executive officer, or director for the company that is issuing the unregistered securities.
An entity is considered an accredited investor if it is a private business development company or an organization with assets exceeding $5 million. Also, if an entity consists of equity owners who are accredited investors, the entity itself is an accredited investor. However, an organization cannot be formed with the sole purpose of purchasing specific securities. If a person can demonstrate sufficient education or job experience showing their professional knowledge of unregistered securities, they too can qualify to be considered an accredited investor.