Glossaries in Prospectuses and Annual Reports


This practice note provides an overview of the usage of glossaries of terms in prospectuses and highlights the types of industries in which glossaries are commonly used. In efforts to ensure that information about securities offerings is provided by registered issuers to prospective investors in a uniform manner, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has established guidelines and regulations with respect to required disclosures in filed documents such as the prospectus and annual reports. The Plain English Rules, introduced in 1998, specifically require that the information disclosed in prospectuses is presented in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. See Plain English Rules, SEC Release No. 334-7497 The SEC’s goal in adopting the plain English rules and related guidance is to help investors better understand the information being presented to them, and as a result, to make more informed investment decisions.