The North Carolina Senate on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would permit crowdfunding in North Carolina.

Startup investor and crowdfunding advocate Mark Easley says the vote is a “significant step forward.”

The bill would also require the state Department of Revenue to publicly post its answers to taxpayers’ written questions.

“This is a significant step forward for the bill, which enables a new way of raising capital for North Carolina startups and small businesses using investment crowdfunding,” Easley said following the vote.

The Senate voted unanimously Monday for legislation allowing in-state companies to seek up to $2 million in equity or bond offerings every 12 months. Each investor could give $5,000. At least 30 states and federal regulators permit crowdfunding.

Sponsoring Sen. Tamara Barringer  of Cary inserted language requiring “private letter” tax guidance to be posted online.

The lack of public notice was criticized when it was revealed multistate television broadcasters received a tax guidance letter in 2012 that helped lower their corporate tax income.

The bill goes to the House. Similar crowdfunding bills have been unsuccessful in recent years.