What Does Regulation S-K Item 101 Require?
Item 101 of Regulation S-K requires a general description of a company’s business operations. Item 101 also requires disclosure as to “the material effects that compliance with federal, state and local provisions… regulating the discharge of materials into the environment, or otherwise relating to the protection of the environment, may have upon the capital expenditures, earnings and competitive position of the company.” This item also may require disclosure as to the anticipated impact of future environmental regulation. It should be noted that Item 101 serves as a checklist of items found to be material under the securities laws. The securities laws require companies to disclose things that are material to investors, which means that there is a substantial likelihood that disclosure would be viewed by the reasonable investor as having significantly altered the total mix of information made available. The SEC has stated that if there is any doubt to whether something is material or not, it should be resolved in favor of the investor and, thus, disclosed.
The full text of Item 101 is below.
(Item 101) Description of business.
(a) General development of business. Describe the general development of the business of the registrant, its subsidiaries and any predecessor(s) during the past five years, or such shorter period as the registrant may have been engaged in business. Information shall be disclosed for earlier periods if material to an understanding of the general development of the business. (1) In describing developments, information shall be given as to matters such as the following: the year in which the registrant was organized and its form of organization; the nature and results of any bankruptcy, receivership or similar proceedings with respect to the registrant or any of its significant subsidiaries; the nature and results of any other material reclassification, merger or consolidation of the registrant or any of its significant subsidiaries; the acquisition or disposition of any material amount of assets otherwise than in the ordinary course of business; and any material changes in the mode of conducting the business. (ii) Not subject to the reporting requirements of section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act immediately before the filing of such registration statement; and (iii) That (including predecessors) have not received revenue from operations during each of the three fiscal years immediately before the filing of such registration statement, shall provide the following information: (A) If the registration statement is filed prior to the end of the registrant‘s second fiscal quarter, a description of the registrant‘s plan of operation for the remainder of the fiscal year; or (B) If the registration statement is filed subsequent to the end of the registrant‘s second fiscal quarter, a descripition of the registrant‘s plan of operation for the remainder of the fiscal year and for the first six months of the next fiscal year. If such information is not available, the reasons for its not being available shall be stated. Disclosure relating to any plan shall include such matters as: (1) In the case of a registration statement on Form S-1, a statement in narrative form indicating the registrant‘s opinion as to the period of time that the proceeds from the offering will satisfy cash requirements and whether in the next six months it will be necessary to raise additional funds to meet the expenditures required for operating the business of the registrant; the specific reasons for such opinion shall be set forth and categories of expenditures and sources of cash resources shall be identified; however, amounts of expenditures and cash resources need not be provided; in addition, if the narrative statement is based on a cash budget, such budget shall be furnished to the Commission as supplemental information, but not as part of the registration statement; (2) An explanation of material product research and development to be performed during the period covered in the plan; (3) Any anticipated material acquisition of plant and equipment and the capacity thereof; (4) Any anticipated material changes in number of employees in the various departments such as research and development, production, sales or administration; and (b) Financial information about segments. Report for each segment, as defined by generally accepted accounting principles, revenues from external customers, a measure of profit or loss and total assets. A registrant must report this information for each of the last three fiscal years or for as long as it has been in business, whichever period is shorter. If the information provided in response to this paragraph (b) conforms with generally accepted accounting principles, a registrant may include in its financial statements a cross reference to this data in lieu of presenting duplicative information in the financial statements; conversely, a registrantmay cross reference to the financial statements. (1) If a registrant changes the structure of its internal organization in a manner that causes the composition of its reportable segments to change, theregistrant must restate the corresponding information for earlier periods, including interim periods, unless it is impracticable to do so. Following a change in the composition of its reportable segments, a registrant shall disclose whether it has restated the corresponding items of segment information for earlier periods. If it has not restated the items from earlier periods, the registrant shall disclose in the year in which the change occurs segment information for the current period under both the old basis and the new basis of segmentation, unless it is impracticable to do so. (2) If the registrant includes, or is required by Article 3 of Regulation S-X (17 CFR 210) to include, interim financial statements, discuss any facts relating to the performance of any of the segments during the period which, in the opinion of management, indicate that the three year segment financial data may not be indicative of current or future operations of the segment. Comparative financial information shall be included to the extent necessary to the discussion. (c) Narrative description of business. (1) Describe the business done and intended to be done by the registrant and its subsidiaries, focusing upon the registrant‘s dominant segment or each reportable segment about which financial information is presented in the financial statements. To the extent material to an understanding of the registrant‘s business taken as a whole, the description of each such segment shall include the information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) (i) through (x) of this section. The matters specified in paragraphs (c)(1) (xi) through (xiii) of this section shall be discussed with respect to the registrant‘s business in general; where material, the segments to which these matters are significant shall be identified. (i) The principal products produced and services rendered by the registrant in the segment and the principal markets for, and methods of distribution of, the segment’s principal products and services. In addition, state for each of the last three fiscal years the amount or percentage of total revenue contributed by any class of similar products or services which accounted for 10 percent or more of consolidated revenue in any of the last three fiscal years or 15 percent or more of consolidated revenue, if total revenue did not exceed $50,000,000 during any of such fiscal years. (ii) A description of the status of a product or segment (e.g. whether in the planning stage, whether prototypes exist, the degree to which product design has progressed or whether further engineering is necessary), if there has been a public announcement of, or if the registrant otherwise has made public information about, a new product or segment that would require the investment of a material amount of the assets of the registrant or that otherwise is material. This paragraph is not intended to require disclosure of otherwise nonpublic corporate information the disclosure of which would affect adversely the registrant‘s competitive position. (iii) The sources and availability of raw materials. (iv) The importance to the segment and the duration and effect of all patents, trademarks, licenses, franchises and concessions held. (v) The extent to which the business of the segment is or may be seasonal. (vi) The practices of the registrant and the industry (respective industries) relating to working capital items (e.g., where the registrant is required to carry significant amounts of inventory to meet rapid delivery requirements of customers or to assure itself of a continuous allotment of goods from suppliers; where the registrant provides rights to return merchandise; or where the registrant has provided extended payment terms to customers). (vii) The dependence of the segment upon a single customer, or a few customers, the loss of any one or more of which would have a material adverse effect on the segment. The name of any customer and its relationship, if any, with the registrant or its subsidiaries shall be disclosed if sales to the customer by one or more segments are made in an aggregate amount equal to 10 percent or more of the registrant‘s consolidated revenues and the loss of such customer would have a material adverse effect on the registrant and its subsidiaries taken as a whole. The names of other customers may be included, unless in the particular case the effect of including the names would be misleading. For purposes of this paragraph, a group of customers under common control or customers that are affiliates of each other shall be regarded as a single customer. (viii) The dollar amount of backlog orders believed to be firm, as of a recent date and as of a comparable date in the preceding fiscal year, together with an indication of the portion thereof not reasonably expected to be filled within the current fiscal year, and seasonal or other material aspects of the backlog. (There may be included as firm orders government orders that are firm but not yet funded and contracts awarded but not yet signed, provided an appropriate statement is added to explain the nature of such orders and the amount thereof. The portion of orders already included in sales or operating revenues on the basis of percentage of completion or program accounting shall be excluded.) (ix) A description of any material portion of the business that may be subject to renegotiation of profits or termination of contracts or subcontracts at the election of the Government. (x) Competitive conditions in the business involved including, where material, the identity of the particular markets in which the registrant competes, an estimate of the number of competitors and the registrant‘s competitive position, if known or reasonably available to the registrant. Separate consideration shall be given to the principal products or services or classes of products or services of the segment, if any. Generally, the names of competitors need not be disclosed. The registrant may include such names, unless in the particular case the effect of including the names would be misleading. Where, however, theregistrant knows or has reason to know that one or a small number of competitors is dominant in the industry it shall be identified. The principal methods of competition (e.g., price, service, warranty or product performance) shall be identified, and positive and negative factors pertaining to the competitive position of the registrant, to the extent that they exist, shall be explained if known or reasonably available to the registrant. (xi) If material, the estimated amount spent during each of the last three fiscal years on company-sponsored research and development activities determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, state, if material, the estimated dollar amount spent during each of such years on customer-sponsored research activities relating to the development of new products, services or techniques or the improvement of existing products, services or techniques. (xii) Appropriate disclosure also shall be made as to the material effects that compliance with Federal, State and local provisions which have been enacted or adopted regulating the discharge of materials into the environment, or otherwise relating to the protection of the environment, may have upon the capital expenditures, earnings and competitive position of the registrant and its subsidiaries. The registrant shall disclose any material estimated capital expenditures for environmental control facilities for the remainder of its current fiscal year and its succeeding fiscal year and for such further periods as the registrant may deem materials. (xiii) The number of persons employed by the registrant. (d) Financial information about geographic areas. (1) State for each of the registrant‘s last three fiscal years, or for each fiscal year the registrant has been engaged in business, whichever period is shorter: (i) Revenues from external customers attributed to: (B) All foreign countries, in total, from which the registrant derives revenues; and (C) Any individual foreign country, if material. Disclose the basis for attributing revenues from external customers to individual countries. (ii) Long-lived assets, other than financial instruments, long-term customer relationships of a financial institution, mortgage and other servicing rights, deferred policy acquisition costs, and deferred tax assets, located in: (B) All foreign countries, in total, in which the registrant holds assets; and (C) Any individual foreign country, if material. (2) A registrant shall report the amounts based on the financial information that it uses to produce the general-purpose financial statements. If providing the geographic information is impracticable, the registrant shall disclose that fact. A registrant may wish to provide, in addition to the information required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section, subtotals of geographic information about groups of countries. To the extent that the disclosed information conforms with generally accepted accounting principles, the registrant may include in its financial statements a cross reference to this data in lieu of presenting duplicative data in its financial statements; conversely, a registrant may cross-reference to the financial statements. (3) A registrant shall describe any risks attendant to the foreign operations and any dependence on one or more of the registrant‘s segments upon such foreign operations, unless it would be more appropriate to discuss this information in connection with the description of one or more of the registrant‘s segments under paragraph (c) of this item. (4) If the registrant includes, or is required by Article 3 of Regulation S-X (17 CFR 210), to include, interim financial statements, discuss any facts relating to the information furnished under this paragraph (d) that, in the opinion of management, indicate that the three year financial data for geographic areas may not be indicative of current or future operations. To the extent necessary to the discussion, include comparative information. (e) Available information. Disclose the information in paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this section in any registration statement you file under theSecurities Act (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.), and disclose the information in paragraphs (e)(3) and (e)(4) of this section if you are an accelerated filer or a large accelerated filer (as defined in § 240.12b-2 of this chapter) filing an annual report on Form 10-K (§ 249.310 of this chapter): (1) Whether you file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If you are a reporting company, identify the reports and other information you file with the SEC. (2) That the public may read and copy any materials you file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549. State that the public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. If you are an electronic filer, state that the SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC and state the address of that site ( http://www.sec.gov ).
(3) You are encouraged to give your Internet address, if available, except that if you are an accelerated filer or a large accelerated filer filing your annual report on Form 10-K, you must disclose your Internet address, if you have one.
4) (i) Whether you make available free of charge on or through your Internet website, if you have one, your annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q (§ 249.308a of this chapter), current reports on Form 8-K (§ 249.308 of this chapter), and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (15 U.S.C. 78m(a) or 78o(d)) as soon as reasonably practicable after you electronically file suchmaterial with, or furnish it to, the SEC; (ii) If you do not make your filings available in this manner, the reasons you do not do so (including, where applicable, that you do not have an Internet website); and (iii) If you do not make your filings available in this manner, whether you voluntarily will provide electronic or paper copies of your filings free of charge upon request. (f) Reports to security holders. Disclose the following information in any registration statement you file under the Securities Act: (1) If the SEC’s proxy rules or regulations, or stock exchange requirements, do not require you to send an annual report to security holders or to holders of American depository receipts, describe briefly the nature and frequency of reports that you will give to security holders. Specify whether the reports that you give will contain financial information that has been examined and reported on, with an opinion expressed “by” an independent public or certified public accountant. (2) For a foreign private issuer, if the report will not contain financial information prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, you must state whether the report will include a reconciliation of this information with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. (g) Enforceability of civil liabilities against foreign persons. Disclose the following if you are a foreign private issuer filing a registration statement under the Securities Act: (1) Whether or not investors may bring actions under the civil liability provisions of the U.S. Federal securities laws against the foreign private issuer, any of its officers and directors who are residents of a foreign country, any underwriters or experts named in the registration statement that are residents of a foreign country, and whether investors may enforce these civil liability provisions when the assets of the issuer or these other persons are located outside of the United States. The disclosure must address the following matters: (i) The investor’s ability to effect service of process within the United States on the foreign private issuer or any person; (ii) The investor’s ability to enforce judgments obtained in U.S. courts against foreign persons based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. Federal securities laws; (iii) The investor’s ability to enforce, in an appropriate foreign court, judgments of U.S. courts based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. Federal securities laws; and (iv) The investor’s ability to bring an original action in an appropriate foreign court to enforce liabilities against the foreign private issuer or any person based upon the U.S. Federal securities laws. (2) If you provide this disclosure based on an opinion of counsel, name counsel in the prospectus and file as an exhibit to the registration statement a signed consent of counsel to the use of its name and opinion. (h) Smaller reporting companies. A smaller reporting company, as defined by § 229.10(f)(1), may satisfy its obligations under this Item by describing the development of its business during the last three years. If the smaller reporting company has not been in business for three years, give the same information for predecessor(s) of the smaller reporting company if there are any. This business development description should include: (1) Form and year of organization;
(2) Any bankruptcy, receivership or similar proceeding; and
(3) Any material reclassification, merger, consolidation, or purchase or sale of a significant amount of assets not in the ordinary course of business. (4) Business of the smaller reporting company. Briefly describe the business and include, to the extent material to an understanding of the smaller reporting company: (i) Principal products or services and their markets; (iii) Status of any publicly announced new product or service; (iv) Competitive business conditions and the smaller reporting company’s competitive position in the industry and methods of competition; (v) Sources and availability of raw materials and the names of principal suppliers; (vi) Dependence on one or a few major customers; (vii) Patents, trademarks, licenses, franchises, concessions, royalty agreements or labor contracts, including duration; (viii) Need for any government approval of principal products or services. If government approval is necessary and the smaller reporting company has not yet received that approval, discuss the status of the approval within the government approval process; (ix) Effect of existing or probable governmental regulations on the business; (x) Estimate of the amount spent during each of the last two fiscal years on research and development activities, and if applicable, the extent to which the cost of such activities is borne directly by customers; (xi) Costs and effects of compliance with environmental laws (federal, state and local); and (xii) Number of total employees and number of full-time employees. (5) Reports to security holders. Disclose the following in any registration statement you file under the Securities Act of 1933: (i) If you are not required to deliver an annual report to security holders, whether you will voluntarily send an annual report and whether the report will include audited financial statements; (ii) Whether you file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If you are a reporting company, identify the reports and other information you file with the Commission; and (iii) That the public may read and copy any materials you file with the Commission at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days during the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. State that the public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330. State that the Commission maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the Commission and state the address of that site ( http://www.sec.gov ). You are encouraged to give your Internet address, if available. (6) Foreign issuers. Provide the information required by Item 101(g) of Regulation S-K (§ 229.101(g)).