An accredited investor is a person or a business entity who is allowed to deal in securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. They are entitled to such privileged access if they satisfy one (or more) requirements regarding income, net worth, asset size, governance status or professional experience. 

 To be an accredited investor, a person must have an annual income exceeding $200,000, or $300,000 for joint income, for the last two years with an expectation of earning the same or 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. The exception to this rule is when a person is married within the period of conducting a test. 

 
A person is also considered an accredited investor if they have a net worth exceeding $1 million, either individually or jointly with a spouse. The SEC also considers a person to be an accredited investor if they are a general partner, executive officer, or a related combination thereof for the user of unregistered securities. 
 
An entity is 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. 
 
In 2016, the US Congress modified the definition of an accredited investor to include registered brokers and investment advisors. Also, 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.