SEC Registration Statements And Direct Public Offerings Q & A

Registration Statement Attorneys-Direct Public Offering Lawyers

SEC Registration Statements And Direct Public Offerings Q & A

Filing a Form S-1 registration statement is the most efficient and reliable method for a private company to obtain public company status. Using a Form S-1 registration statement, companies provide transparency to investors and avoid the risks of reverse merger transactions. Any issuer can use Form S-1. This blog post addresses some of the most common questions we are asked about Form S-1 and SEC registration statements during the going public process.

Q: How does a company register a securities offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) when undertaking a going public transaction?

A: Generally, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), requires a company to file a registration statement with the SEC before it can offer or sell its securities. Because any issuer can qualify to use Form S-1, it is the most common type of Securities Act registration statement.

Q: Will the information contained in the Form S-1 registration statement be available to the public?

A: Unless filed confidentially, the Form S-1 registration statement will immediately be available to the public through the SEC’s website.

Q: What disclosures are required by a Form S-1 registration statement?

A: A S-1 Registration statement requires expansive disclosures.  The form has two main sections. Part I of the Prospectus contains material disclosures about a company’s business operations, financial condition, and management.  Registration statements also must include financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant registered with the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board (“PCAOB”). The company must provide the prospectus to all persons who purchase the securities registered as well as anyone who makes an offer to purchase the securities. Part II of the Prospectus contains additional information that the company is not required to deliver to investors.  It is available on the SEC’s website.

Q: Will the SEC review the Form S-1 registration statement?

A: The SEC reviews registration statements, including those on Form S-1, for compliance with its disclosure requirements. If a registration statement is not complete or inaccurate, the SEC will render comments to the Company.  The company must respond to the comments and provide amendments to its registration statement addressing any SEC comments.  Once the SEC is satisfied that the registration statement complies with its disclosure requirements, it will declare the Form S-1 registration statement effective.

Q: When can an issuer offer and sell the securities covered by the Form S-1 registration statement?

A: The company can sell its securities when the SEC declares the S-1 registration statement effective.

Q: When an issuer’s Form S-1  registration statement is declared effective, will the SEC assign a ticker symbol?

A:  No, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), not the SEC, assigns ticker symbols. To obtain a ticker symbol, a sponsoring market maker must submit a Form 211 with FINRA on the company’s behalf.  This is typically done after the registration statement has been declared effective by the SEC.

Q: When can the SEC refuse to declare a registration statement on Form S-1 effective or suspend the effectiveness of a registration statement?

A: The SEC  can refuse to declare a registration statement effective or suspend the effectiveness of a registration statement if it determines that the registration statement is misleading, inaccurate, or incomplete.


Any company planning to offer and sell securities or go public using an SEC registration statement requires the assistance of an experienced securities lawyer to guide it through the SEC registration process and ensure all required disclosures are made. Hamilton & Associates has assisted issuers with going public transactions and SEC registration statements on Form S-1 for more than twenty years.


For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, by email at [email protected] or visit   This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group 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 the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Hamilton & Associates | Going Public Securities Lawyers
Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney
2 East Camino Real, Suite 103
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Telephone: (561) 416-8956
Facsimile: (561) 416-2855