Many clients seek to register convertible securities, such as convertible debentures, warrants, options or convertible preferred stock. The question most often asked is how many share need to be registered, and in particular, does the Company need to register the shares underlying the convertible security.
First, it is essential to review a few basic facts on what a convertible security is and how it works.
Convertible Security Defined
A “convertible security” is a security that can be converted into a different security – typically shares of the company’s common stock. In most cases, the holder of the convertible determines whether and when a conversion occurs. In other cases, the company may retain the right to determine when the conversion occurs.
Companies that may be unable to tap conventional sources of funding sometimes offer convertible securities as a way to raise money more quickly. In a conventional convertible security financing, the conversion formula is generally fixed – meaning that the convertible
While the issuance of small numbers of shares as prizes or awards to employees may be made without Securities Act Registration, if such awards are tied to the achievement of specific goals (eg. sales goals) by individual employees, an offer or sale requiring registration may be involved. When tied to the achievement of specific goals, the share awards may constitute compensation for services performed or to be performed by the employees that would amount to a disposition of the shares for value and a “sale” of the shares to employees requiring either registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933.
Although many exemptions may be available for the issuance of securities to employees, Rule 701 provides an excellent exemption for non-reporting entities. In particular, Rule 701 is only available to issuers that are not subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act 1934. The beauty of Rule 701 is that ninety days after the