Exchange Act Reporting Requirements
When a public company registers its securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) through the filing of an S-1 Registration Statement, it must continue to file periodic reports with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 through at least the end of the fiscal year in which the S-1 becomes effective.
After the end of that fiscal year, the public company must continue reporting to the SEC unless its obligation to report is suspended. The SEC will suspend an Issuer’s filing obligations if
- The number of shareholders falls below 300 for the class of securities offered; or
- The number of shareholder is below 500 for the class of securities offered and the Issuer had less than $10 million in total assets in each of the last 3 fiscal years.
An Issuer can request that the SEC suspend its filing obligations by filing a Form 15. From there, Issuers usually choose to become a Pink Sheet and file under the Alternative Reporting Standard used by the OTC Markets Group.
There are two situations in which a public company would still have the obligation to file SEC Exchange Act reports, regardless of its preference for the alternative reporting standard:
- If the public company lists its securities on an exchange, like the New York Stock Exchange, the NYSE MKT or the NASDAQ; or
- If the Issuer has record shareholders greater than 2,000.