What Is A Form 10 Registration Statement? Going Public Lawyers

Form 10 Registration Statement

Form 10 is a type of registration statement used to register a class of securities under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). Both public and private companies can register a class of securities on Form 10. This blog post addresses the most common questions we receive about Form 10 registration during the going public process.

1.    Q. Is a company ever obligated to file a Form 10 registration statement with the SEC?

A. Yes, the Exchange Act requires companies that have more than $10,000,000 in total assets and 750 or more shareholders of record to file a registration statement on Form 10.

2.    Q. When does a registration statement on Form 10 become effective?

A. A Form 10 registration statement becomes effective automatically, sixty days after the initial filing date regardless of whether there are unresolved SEC comments.

3.    Q. What happens when a Form 10 registration statement becomes effective?

A. Upon effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement, the issuer becomes subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and is obligated to file annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Unlike effectiveness of a registration statement on Form S-1, effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement causes the issuer to be subject to Exchange Act Section 14’s proxy rules. Management and shareholders also become subject to the beneficial reporting requirements of Sections 13 and 16 of the Exchange Act.

4.    Q. Can an issuer voluntarily file a registration statement on Form 10?

A. Yes, an issuer can voluntarily file a Form 10 to register a class of securities.

5.    Q. If I file Form 10 registration statement will FINRA give me a ticker symbol?

A. Even though an effective Form 10 registration statement causes an issuer to become subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, a Form 10 registration statement  does not make a company public or result in assignment of a ticker symbol by FINRA.

6.    Q. How does a company obtain a ticker symbol after filing a registration statement  on Form 10?

A. FINRA assigns ticker symbols and the company must meet FINRA’s requirements which vary depending upon whether the company will trade them on the OTC Markets Pink Sheets, OTCQB, OTCQX or an exchange such as NASDAQ, AMEX or NYSE. Generally the Company must have 25 shareholders with unrestricted shares and locate a sponsoring market maker to submit a Form 211 on its behalf.

7.   Q. If my company files a registration statement on Form 10 will the shares registered become free trading shares?

A. No, unlike a registration statement on Form S-1, Form 10 does not register a securities offering or transaction pursuant to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). As such, a Form 10 registration statement will not cause restricted securities to become unrestricted.

8.   Q. If a company files a Form 10 registration statement will it meet the informational requirements of SEC Rule 15c-211?

A. Yes, assuming the information in the Form 10 registration statement is complete and current.

9.    Q. What is a shell company?

A. A shell company is an issuer with no or nominal operations and either no or nominal assets, assets consisting solely of cash and cash equivalents or assets consisting of any amount of cash and cash equivalents and nominal other assets.

10. Q. Does a Form 10 registration statement cure “public shell company” status for purposes of Rule 144 for an issuer which engaged in a reverse merger with a public shell company?

A. A Form 10 registration status can cure public shell company status and has been used by many companies after reverse mergers. Rule 144 is available to shareholders of former shell companies if:

  • The company is no longer a shell company;
  • The shell company must be subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act;
  • The shell company must have filed all reports and other materials required to be filed by section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as applicable, during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the issuer was required to file such reports and materials), other than Form 8-K reports;
  •  The shell company must have filed all and have filed current “Form 10 information” with the SEC reflecting its status as an entity that is no longer a shell company,

11.  Q. If a non-reporting company was a shell company twenty years ago, is it required to file a Form 10 to cure its shell status for purposes of its shareholders having the ability to rely upon Rule 144’s safe harbor?

A. Yes, if a non-reporting entity was a shell company during any time in its history, it must either file a Form 10 registration statement or a registration statement on Form S-1 in order for its shareholders to rely upon Rule 144.

For further information about Form 10 Registration Statements, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real South, Suite 202 North, Boca Raton, FL, (561) 416-8956, or by email at [email protected].  This securities law Q & A is provided as a general or informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group, P.A. and should not be construed as, and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship.  Please note that prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Hamilton & Associates | Securities Lawyers
Brenda Hamilton, Going Public Attorneys
101 Plaza Real South, Suite 202 North
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Telephone: (561) 416-8956
Facsimile: (561) 416-2855
www.SecuritiesLawyer101.com