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The process of submitting appropriate documents to a government regulator before an activity may be conducted. For example, a company must register with the SEC or the equivalent state agency before it may issue stock. In other words, registration is the process of publicly announcing that one intends to conduct an activity and taking all steps to ensure that the activity is done legally and correctly.
The preparation of a security issue for public sale. For registration, the issuer hires an underwriting firm to prepare a registration statement that is submitted to the SEC or to a state authority. As part of this process, an investment banker brings in a public accounting firm to audit the issuer's financial condition. See also cooling-off period, gun jumping, piggyback registration.