An accredited investor is a type of sophisticated investor. The SEC says that in the United States, an accredited investor is anyone who has made more than $200,000 (or $300,000 with a spouse) in each of the last two years and expects to do the same this year, or who has a net worth of more than $1 million, either alone or with a spouse (not including the value of their primary home). A company or private fund can’t offer or sell securities unless the transaction has been registered with the SEC or an exemption from registration is available. People who are “accredited investors” are the only ones who can buy or sell securities that don’t have to be registered. One of the main goals of the concept of “accredited investor” is to find people who can handle the financial risk of investing in unregistered securities.