The Federal Securities Act and the Locked-in Stockholder

The Securities Act of 1933 is generally identified with Securities and Exchange Commission registration and the attendant disclosure for primary and secondary public offerings of securities. Because of the uncertain scope of the registration requirements, however, it has the practical effect of seriously restricting certain security holders in selling or dealing in their securities. Security holders so restricted may be underwriters themselves or persons considered to be underwriters for the particular transaction. The difficulties arise in determining which security holders are included within this class and which transactions by those parties are affected. It is to these problems that the major portion of this article is devoted. But first, by way of introduction and background, the registration scheme under the Securities Act should be briefly outlined.