Magazine article Management Review

The Web, the Sec and You

Magazine article Management Review

The Web, the Sec and You

Article excerpt

The Internet may sound like an odd place to run into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but it's not. Any company that has a Web site must obey SEC rules regarding the dissemination of information, says Bob Donlon, a partner at Smith Helms Mulliss & Moore LLP, a Charlotte, North Carolina, law firm. That's because a Web site is regarded as a tool to communicate product, marketing, business and financial information, much like an annual report.

"The whole idea behind securities laws is to provide incentives to companies for the dissemination of full and complete information on a company," Donlon says. So the agency likes companies to share information with the public. But that information must be truthful and not "hyped."

In general, treat your Web site as a "floating" press release, and follow the SEC's rules regarding such information dispersal. Donlon also offers these tips on how to keep a Web site on the straight and narrow with the SEC:

* Have legal counsel review all information posted on the Web. …

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