SEC Client Alert – Final Rules on Hyperlinks in Filed Documents

In March 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted final rules to require hyperlinks from each exhibit index to the respective filed documents. The final rules require the use of Hyper Text Markup Language (“HTML”) formatting for all filings subject to the hyperlink rule.  The final rules will apply to most registration statements as well as Exchange Act reports.  The hyperlinks must be directed to documents filed on the SEC EDGAR system.  The SEC EDGAR will not accept documents that include hyperlinks to external websites. Under the final rules, a mistaken or nonfunctioning hyperlink will not render the filing materially deficient, thus inaccurate hyperlinks alone will not adversely affect an issuer’s eligibility to use a short-form registration statement, such as a Form S-3. The final rules regarding hyperlinks will be effective for most issuers on September 1, 2017.  For smaller reporting companies (and non-accelerated filers who submit filings in ASCII format), the final rules will not be effective until September 1, 2018.  Please do not hesitates to contact us if you have any questions or comments.