An issuer is an entity that offers debt or equity securities for sale to investors. An issuer sells securities in order to obtain funding for its operations or acquisitions. An issuer does not have to be a for-profit corporation; governments commonly issue debt securities.
Many issuers fall under the reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Some issuers avoid these burdensome requirements by using a variety of exemptions allowed by the SEC. These exemptions are designed for smaller issuances to discerning investors.