A Continued Discussion of Proposed Regulation S-K Amendments

Posted by on November 07, 2017

A Continued Discussion of Proposed Regulation S-K Amendments- In this LawCast series I have been going through the rule amendments proposed by the SEC on October 11, 2017 following which I will go through rule amendments proposed earlier on July 13, 2016, which amendments are slated for action this year.

Compliance with Section 16(a) (Item 405) – Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires officers, directors, and specified types of security holders to report their beneficial ownership of a company’s equity securities using forms prescribed by the SEC, such as an initial Form 3, amendments on Form 4 and annual Form 5. Item 405 requires the company to disclose each person who failed to timely file a Section 16 report during the most recent fiscal year or prior years. Section 16 reporting persons are required to deliver a copy of their reports to the company, though in practice, this is rarely done. The proposed amendments remove this requirement and allow the company to review EDGAR filings for compliance with Section 16(a).
In addition, the proposed amendment would eliminate the need to include the heading at all if there are no delinquencies to report, rather than include the heading with a statement such as “none” and remove the checkbox on the cover page of Form 10-K related to the disclosure. The proposed amendment includes several changes to make the instructions and title of this section conform to the SEC’s “plain English” requirements.

Corporate Governance (Item 407) – The proposed amendment will update the instructions and information required under Item 407 to remove reference to an obsolete audit standard and rather just refer broadly to applicable PCAOB and SEC requirements. EGC’s and smaller reporting companies are both exempted from the Item 407 requirements, and the proposed amendment clarifies the instruction language accordingly.

Outside Front Cover Page of the Prospectus (Item 501(b))- The proposed amendments are designed to streamline the front cover page of a prospectus and give a company flexibility in designing the page to tailor to their business and particular offering. The proposed changes include (i) eliminating instructions related to changing or clarifying a name that may be confused with a well-known company; (ii) allowing for a statement that the offering price will be determined by a particular method or formula that is more fully explained in the prospectus with a cross-reference to the page number; (iii) requiring the disclosure of the principal trading market and company symbol, even if such trading market is not a national exchange; and (iv) streamlining the “subject to completion” legend.