Explaining SEC Full Disclosure Requirement
article-416

Explaining SEC Full Disclosure Requirement

4 Min.

Full disclosure is a requirement for publicly traded companies in the US, ensuring transparency and fairness in business transactions. It involves the transparent sharing of all relevant material facts related to their business operations. This rule ensures openness and fairness in business transactions, where both parties are obligated to provide complete and accurate information.

Basics

Full disclosure is a requirement in the United States for publicly traded companies. It involves the transparent sharing of all relevant material facts related to their business operations. This rule ensures openness and fairness in business transactions, where both parties are obligated to provide complete and accurate information. For instance, in real estate, sellers must disclose any significant facts about the property they are selling. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences if it is later discovered that the seller knowingly misrepresented or concealed important information.

Design of the Full Disclosure Requirement

The foundation of full disclosure laws can be traced back to two key acts: the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These acts serve as the basis for full disclosure requirements. Over time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has consolidated and expanded upon these laws by introducing additional rules and regulations to ensure comprehensive disclosure in the financial industry.

SEC Requirements for Registration

In order to support companies in raising capital through stock offerings and securities, Congress and the SEC have recognized the importance of not burdening smaller entities with excessive registration and reporting requirements. To address this, the small-issue exemption limit has been increased over time. For example, in 1933, the exemption was set at $100,000, and by 1982, it had been raised to $5 million. As a result, securities issued up to $5 million are exempt from the SEC's registration requirements. This adjustment aims to strike a balance between facilitating capital raising for smaller companies and maintaining transparency and investor protection.

SEC Requirements for Reporting

Publicly owned companies are required to submit an annual report called Form 10-K to the SEC. This report contains detailed financial and operating information, adhering to federal regulations. It includes a narrative response from management and certified financial statements prepared by public accountants.

In compliance with SEC regulations, annual reports to stockholders include certified financial statements, such as audited balance sheets and statements of income and cash flows. Additionally, these reports provide selected financial data spanning multiple years, such as net sales, income or loss from operations, total assets, long-term obligations, redeemable preferred stock, and cash dividends declared per common share.

Full Disclosure Example

In real estate contracts, full disclosure is required. This means that both the real estate agent or broker and the seller must be honest and provide all relevant information before completing the transaction. Failing to disclose important details or providing false information can result in charges of perjury.

Full disclosure in real estate involves disclosing property defects and other information that may impact the decision to proceed with the deal. The agent or broker must also disclose any personal interest in the property or relationship with the seller. Additionally, they should provide the property's estimated value, how long it has been on the market, and any updates on offers or counteroffers.

Conclusion

Full disclosure is a critical component of transparency and fairness in business transactions, particularly for publicly traded companies in the United States. The Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 formed the foundation of full disclosure requirements, which have since been expanded upon by the SEC through additional rules and regulations. With full disclosure, the buyer and seller can make informed decisions based on complete and accurate information, which ultimately benefits both parties and promotes a level playing field.

Full Disclosure
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Follow us
Hexn operates under HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. and HEXN Markets LLC. HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. is incorporated in the Czech Republic with the company number 19300662, registered office at Cimburkova 916/8, Žižkov, Praha. HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. is registered as a virtual assets service provider (VASP). HEXN Markets LLC is incorporated in St. Vincent and Grenadines with the company number 2212 LLC 2022, registered office at Beachmont Business Centre, 379, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines