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A company's release of all information pertaining to the company's business activity, regardless of how that information may influence investors.


The voluntary or required release of information relevant to a security, company, fund, or anything else. In order to be listed on an exchange, a company must provide disclosure on itself by registering with the SEC and abiding by regulations that govern what information about itself that the company releases. Disclosure exists to prevent price manipulation and anything else that would disrupt the efficiency of trade. See also: Transparency.


The submission of facts and details concerning a situation or business operation. In general, security exchanges and the SEC require firms to disclose to the investment community the facts concerning issues that will affect the firms' stock prices. Disclosure is also required when firms file for public offerings. See also full disclosure.


A disclosure document explains how a financial product or offering works. It also details the terms to which you must agree in order to buy it or use it, and, in some cases, the risks you assume in making such a purchase.

For example, publicly traded companies must provide all available information that might influence your decision to invest in the stocks or bonds they issue. Mutual fund companies are required to disclose the risks and costs associated with buying shares in the fund.

Government regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), self-regulating organizations, state securities regulators, and NASD require such disclosures.

Similarly, federal and local governments require lenders to explain the costs of credit, and banks to explain the costs of opening and maintaining an account.

Despite the consumer benefits, disclosure information isn't always easily accessible. It may be expressed in confusing language, printed in tiny type, or so extensive that consumers choose to ignore it.

References in periodicals archive ?
Under the FTC Rule, state NASAA standards, and the federal E-Sign law, a franchise system may deliver a franchise disclosure document by electronic means, or in machine readable media (such as a CD), provided that the disclosure document: is delivered as a single, integrated, document or file (a non-editable format like PDF is recommended); has no extraneous content beyond what is required or permitted by law; has no links to or from external documents or content; is delivered in a form that enables the recipient to store, download, retrieve, maintain and print the disclosure document for future reference and; conforms as to its content and format to the requirements of law.
In another important change, the revised rule permits franchise systems to furnish their disclosure documents not just to prospective franchisees themselves, but to their "representatives" (attorneys, accountants or other agents).
Therefore, sellers who make such promises must include the material terms of the refund or cancelation policies in an attachment to the disclosure document.
The disclosure document must attach copies of all agreements the franchisee must execute as part of the franchise, a copy of the financial statements, reports and other documents as required by the franchise regulation.
Today's implementation of the all electronic standard for primary market documents, along with a companion pilot system for the submission of continuing disclosure documents, significantly increases the volume of document submissions to EMMA.
This would include not only delivery requirements for disclosure documents, but also tile importance of not making financial performance representations outside of the disclosure document.
In addition to the governmental entity issuing municipal securities, public officials of the issuer who have ultimate authority to approve the issuance of securities and related disclosure documents have responsibilities under the federal securities laws, as well.
Consequently, while some delays are expected as they are every spring given the number of renewal filings, franchisors should not expect undue difficulty with franchise registration states if they have carefully prepared their disclosure documents.
Investors and securityholders are urged to read the disclosure documents regarding the proposed merger when they become available because they will contain important information.
The Commission (SEC) is issuing this report to emphasize the responsibilities under the federal securities laws of local government officials who authorize the issuance of municipal securities and related disclosure documents and the critical role such officials play with respect to the representations contained in the Official Statements for these securities.
Meredith Cross, deputy director of the division of corporation finance of the SEC, told the Journal that although all of the comment letters agreed that disclosure documents were too complex, there was no consensus on how to achieve simplification.