ACA Guidelines on Charging Entrepreneurs Fees for Applications and Presentations

ACA recommends that angel groups charge entrepreneurs no more than nominal fees for applying for and/or making presentations for angel capital and that all fees are fully disclosed upfront, ideally appearing on the group's Web site. The fees should be no more than a few hundred dollars for applications and no more than $500 for presentations. Transparency to entrepreneurs is of utmost importance, so full information about fee amounts and what the fees are for should be included on the group's home page and/or other prominent portions of the site and other important promotional materials. Angel groups should also provide a consistent program of high quality coaching, preparation and feedback to entrepreneurs participating in screening and presentation activities.

These guidelines match the practices of the great majority of ACA member groups, based on surveys in 2008 and 2013. About two-thirds of responding members charge no application or presentation fees, and the other third mostly charged nominal fees. The survey results are listed below. ACA will also pursue developing a database on member group investment practices, including fees, on our Web site to search and review by entrepreneurial ventures.

ACA is an inclusive association that welcomes membership from any angel organization meeting the application criteria, but it does not endorse the practices of any group that levies large fees and/or does not forthrightly explain its potential fees to the entrepreneurial community. These guidelines were developed in February, 2008 and reaffirmed in November, 2009 by the ACA Board of Directors.

Summary of Survey Responses on Charging Fees to Entrepreneurs October 13, 2013

Total survey responses - 107
Do you charge any fees?

Yes - 35 (32.7%)
No - 72 (66.3%)

If you charge, at what stage and how much?

Application Fee

- 19 groups charge
- range of fees is $45 - $250
- average = $132
- median = $100

Presentation Fee

- 15 groups charge
- range of fees is $30 - $500, with one "outlier" at $3,000
- average = $442
- median = $275