Registering An IPO On Form S-1, Part One
Posted by Securities Attorney Laura Anthony | April 11, 2011 Tags: , , , , , ,

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”), it is unlawful to “offer” or “sell” securities without a valid effective registration statement, unless an exemption is available. Companies desiring to offer and sell securities to the public must file with the SEC, and provide prospective investors, all material information concerning the company and the securities offered. The Securities Act sets forth in-depth rules on what constitutes material information, and on what forms and in what format, that material information must be disclosed.

S-1 Offering Process

There are generally three regulated time periods in an offering process:

(i) the pre-filing period – which begins when the Issuer decides to proceed with an offering. During this period, counsel prepares the registration statement and prospectus and the Issuer negotiates with underwriters, if applicable (the Issuer may determine to proceed with a self underwritten IPO which is commonly known as a DPO or direct public offering);

(ii) the “quiet period” – which is the time from the filing of the registration statement until it is declared effective. During this time the Issuer can engage in limited marketing (offers only) of the offering through the use of the filed registration statement, which must clearly indicate that it is not the final document (often referred to “red herring”).

(iii) post effective period – the registration statement is effective and the Issuer can proceed with sales of the securities registered

In addition to disclosure and regulations related to the offering during all three periods, marketing and public communications of the Issuer are restricted. For more information on this aspect please see other blogs I’ve written on this subject.

Registration Statement Requirements

Rule 404(a) of the Securities Act sets forth the basic requirements for a registration statement. Rule 404(a) reads in part:

“A registration statement shall consist of the facing sheet of the applicable form; a prospectus containing the information called for by Part 1 of such form; the information, list of exhibits, undertakings and signatures required to be set forth in Part II of such form; financial statements and schedules; exhibits; any other information or documents filed as part of the registration statement; and all documents or information incorporated by reference in the foregoing.”

Over the years the SEC has created and eliminated various registration forms. Currently all domestic issuers must use either form S-1 or S-3. Form S-3 is limited to larger filers with a minimum of $75 million in annual revenues, among other requirements. All other Issuers must use form S-1. This blog solely discusses form S-1. In this series of blogs I will discuss the preparation and filing of a Form S-1.

S-1 Regulations

There are four primary regulations governing the preparation and filing of Form S-1:

(i) Regulation C – contains the general requirements for preparing and filing the Form S-1. Including within Regulation C are regulations and procedures related to (a) the treatment of confidential information; (b) amending a registration statement prior to effectiveness; (c) procedures to file a post-effective amendment; and (d) the “Plain English” rule.

(ii) Regulation S-T – requires that all registration statements, exhibits and documents be electronically filed through the SEC’s EDGAR system – though it should be noted that the SEC is in the process of changing this system to XBRL filing

(iv) Regulation S-K – sets forth, in detail, all the disclosure requirements for all the sections of the S-1. Regulation S-K is the who, what, where, when and how requirements to complete the S-1.

(v) Regulation S-X – sets forth the requirements with respect to the form and content of financial statements to be filed with the SEC. Regulation S-X includes general rules applicable to the preparation of all financial statements and specific rules pertaining to particular industries and types of businesses.

The Author

Attorney Laura Anthony
Founding Partner, Legal & Compliance, LLC
Securities, Reverse Mergers, Corporate Transactions

Securities attorney Laura Anthony provides ongoing corporate counsel to small and mid-size public Companies as well as private Companies intending to go public on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), now known as the OTCQB. For more than a decade Ms. Anthony has dedicated her securities law practice towards being “the big firm alternative.” Clients receive fast and efficient cutting-edge legal service without the inherent delays and unnecessary expense of “partner-heavy” securities law firms.

Ms. Anthony’s focus includes but is not limited to compliance with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (“Exchange Act”) including Forms 10-Q, 10-K and 8-K and the proxy requirements of Section 14. In addition, Ms. Anthony prepares private placement memorandums, registration statements under both the Exchange Act and Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”). Moreover, Ms. Anthony represents both target and acquiring companies in reverse and forward mergers, including preparation of deal documents such as Merger Agreements, Stock Purchase Agreements, Asset Purchase Agreements and Reorganization Agreements. Ms. Anthony prepares the necessary documentation and assists in completing the requirements of the Exchange Act, state law and FINRA for corporate changes such as name changes, reverse and forward splits and change of domicile.

Contact Legal & Compliance, LLC for a free initial consultation or second opinion on an existing matter.

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