Investor's wiki

500 Shareholder Threshold

500 Shareholder Threshold

What Was the 500 Shareholder Threshold?

The 500 shareholder threshold for investors is an obsolete rule required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that set off public reporting requirements of a company when it arrived at that numerous or more distinct shareholders. Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 calls for issuers of securities to register with the SEC and start public spread of financial data in the span of 120 days of the finish of a fiscal year.

New regulations presently require a 2,000 shareholder threshold.

Figuring out the 500 Shareholder Threshold

The 500 shareholder threshold was initially acquainted in 1964 with address grumblings of fraudulent activity showing up in the over-the-counter (OTC) market. Since firms with less than the threshold number of investors were not required to uncover their financial data, outside purchasers couldn't pursue completely educated choices in regards to their investments due to a lack of transparency and claims of stock fraud.

The 500 shareholder threshold forced companies that had in excess of 499 investors to give adequate disclosure to the protection of investors and for oversight by regulators. Albeit the company could remain privately-held, it would need to file public reports in comparative fashion to those of publicly traded companies. In the event that the number of investors fell back below 500, the disclosures would as of now not be required.

Private companies generally keep away from public reporting as far as might be feasible by keeping the number of individual shareholders low, which is useful in light of the fact that mandatory reporting can consume a great deal time and money and furthermore places confidential financial data in the hands of contenders.

The 2,000 Shareholder Threshold

With the power of startup firms in the technology sector during the 1990s and 2000s, the 500 shareholder threshold rule turned into an issue for quickly developing companies like Google and Amazon that ideal to stay private even as it attracted more private investors. While other factors were evidently in play in the decision of these notable monsters to open up to the world, the 500 rule was a key consideration, as per market eyewitnesses.

The threshold was accordingly increased to 2,000 shareholders in 2012 with the section of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Presently, a private company is allowed to have up to 1,999 holders of record without the registration requirement of the Exchange Act. The current 2,000-shareholder threshold gives the new generation of super-growth companies a bit more privacy and space to breathe before they choose to file for a initial public offering (IPO).


  • The 500 shareholder threshold was a rule commanded by the SEC that required companies to publicly reveal financial statements and other data assuming they accomplished at least 500 distinct shareholders.
  • The rule, in place from 1964-2012, was intended to discourage fraud, mistiness, and deception asserted in the over-the-counter market.
  • Today, the shareholder threshold is currently 2,000, to a great extent in response to the fast growth of investment in tech new companies that made the 500 limit be reached too rapidly.