The SEC recently adopted amendments pursuant to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (commonly referred to as the FAST Act) to modernize and simplify disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K, and related rules and forms, for public companies, investment advisers and investment companies. Such amendments include changes to, among others, Item 102 (Description of Property), Item 303 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations), Item 503 (Prospectus Summary and Risk Factors), Item 601 (Exhibits) and various rules related to incorporation by reference.
Among the most impactful changes are:
1. Allowing companies to generally exclude discussion of the earliest of three years required by Item 303 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) if such discussion has already been included in a prior filing.
2. Limiting the disclosure required by Item 102 (Description of Property) to only those physical properties that are material.
3. With respect to exhibits to SEC filings (Item 601):
(a) Allowing companies to omit attachments such as schedules and exhibits to their material contracts filed as exhibits to SEC filings if such attachments don't contain material information or were not otherwise disclosed.
(b) Eliminating the requirement (other than for newly reporting companies) to file as exhibits material contracts that were entered into less than two years before that filing.
(c) Permitting companies to omit from material contracts and certain other exhibits to SEC filings confidential information that is not material and would likely cause such companies competitive harm if made public, without requiring companies to first file confidential treatment requests.
(d) Eliminating the requirement to file as an exhibit to SEC filings any document that is incorporated by reference in such filing, but instead requiring companies to provide hyperlinks to documents incorporated by reference.
4. Permitting companies to omit disclosure about Section 16 reports if all reports have been timely filed (and eliminating the box on the cover of Form 10-Ks regarding Section 16 disclosure).
The rules also add a few requirements regarding Inline XBRL tagging of cover pages, among others.
Registrants will be required to disclose on the cover page of Forms 8-K, 10-Q, 10-K, 20-F and 40-F the national exchange or principal U.S. market for their securities, their trading symbol and the title of each class of securities.
The final rules, which can be found here, are effective 30 days after publication in the federal register, except for the amendments to the rules governing the redaction of confidential information in material contracts referenced in Item 3(c) above, which are effective as of the date of publication in the federal register.