During the busiest capital markets boom most practitioners, including myself, have ever experienced, on October 13, 2021, in a whopping 432-page release, the SEC amended and modernized the filing fee payment methods and disclosure requirements. The amendments revise most fee-bearing forms, including Securities Act registration statements, schedules, and related rules to require companies and funds to include all required information for filing fee calculation in a structured format. The amendments also add new payment methods including ACH and debit and credit card options while eliminating the antiquated paper checks and money orders as a payment option.
The amendments are generally effective January 31, 2022. The changes in payment type options will be effective May 31, 2022. Pursuant to the transition provision, large-accelerated filers will become subject to the structuring requirements for filings they submit on or after 30 months after the January 31, 2022, effective date. Accelerated filers, certain investment companies that file registration statements on Forms N-2 and N-14,
In December 2019 the OTC Markets updated its Pink Disclosure Guidelines and Attorney Letter Agreement and Guidelines. The Pink disclosure guidelines and attorney letter apply to companies that elect to report directly to OTC Markets pursuant to its Alternative Reporting Standard. Furthermore, in January 2020 OTC Markets amended the OTCQB standards related to the disclosure of convertible debt and notification procedures for companies undergoing a change in control. The OTCQB also updated its criteria for determining independence of directors, and added additional transfer agent requirements for Canadian Companies.
The OTC Markets divide issuers into three (3) levels of quotation marketplaces: OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Open Market. The OTC Pink Open Market, which involves the highest-risk, highly speculative securities, is further divided into three tiers: Current Information, Limited Information and No Information. Companies trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Current Information tiers of OTC Markets have the option of reporting directly to OTC Markets under its Alternative
On March 1, 2017, the SEC passed a final rule requiring companies to include hyperlinks to exhibits in filings made with the SEC. The amendments require any company filing registration statements or reports with the SEC to include a hyperlink to all exhibits listed on the exhibit list. In addition, because ASCII cannot support hyperlinks, the amendment also requires that all exhibits be filed in HTML format. The rule change was made to make it easier for investors and other market participants to find and access exhibits listed in current reports, but that were originally provided in previous filings.
The SEC first proposed the rule change on August 31, 2016, as discussed in my blog HERE. The new rule continues the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance’s ongoing Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative. I anticipate that this initiative will not only continue but gain traction in the coming years under the new administration as, hopefully, more duplicative, antiquated and immaterial requirements come