The term SEC Comment Letter generally refers to correspondence from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) staff to public companies which are SEC filers. An SEC Comment Letter is sent by the SEC to an Issuer when an Issuer’s SEC filing needs further clarification.
SEC Comments on an S-1 Registration Statement
One example of an SEC Comment Letter is in response to an Issuer’s filing of an S-1 Registration Statement. An S-1 Comment Letter is sent by SEC staff who review the disclosures set forth in an S-1 when there are questions that need to be answered or typos which need to be corrected. There may be a series of SEC Comment Letters and Issuer response letters that go back and forth until the S-1 is finalized and declared effective by the SEC staff.
SEC Comment Letters on 10-K, 10-Q, Reg A, and 8-K Filings
The SEC can also issue an SEC Comment Letter in response to disclosures made in a public company’s 10-K, 10-Q, Regulation A, or 8-K, or in any other SEC filing, such as a Form 10.
SEC Comment Letters are Searchable in EDGAR
SEC comment Letters and the responses by Issuers or their securities lawyers are contained in the SEC’s EDGAR database as “correspondence.” The SEC made this correspondence public record in 2005 for filings made after August 1, 2004 which were reviewed by the SEC staff.
SEC Comment Letters Can Address Questions of Disclosure
SEC Comment Letters usually ask for additional information so the SEC staff can understand the Issuer’s disclosure. Sometimes the SEC requests that an Issuer revise disclosures in a document already filed with the SEC if the facts and circumstances warrant such a change. In other cases, the SEC will allow prior filings to remain, but request that the Issuer provide additional or different disclosures in future SEC filings.
Are SEC Comment Letters Legally Binding?
There are often several rounds of letters between the SEC and an Issuer’s securities attorney until the SEC is satisfied with the information provided and changes made. SEC Comment Letters provide SEC staff positions on the issues discussed but are not an official or legally binding statement of the SEC’s views on the particular issues. SEC Comment Letters are expressly limited to the specific facts and circumstances of the named filing in question and do not automatically apply to other filings or to other SEC filers.
Experienced Securities Lawyers Can Respond to SEC Comment Letters
OTC public companies that received an SEC Comment Letter in response to an S-1 Registration Statement or to any other disclosure in an SEC Filing can contact securities attorney Matt Stout at (410) 429-7076 or firstname.lastname@example.org.