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Does It Make Sense to Relax Regulations for Small Companies?

Louis M. Thompson | March 20, 2012

If Congress has its way, small companies that want to go public could luck out with a less-rigorous initial public offering process and exemptions from numerous Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements, such as shareholder say-on-pay votes and audits of internal controls over financial reporting.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to do all that (and more) in mid-March on a bipartisan, 390-23 vote. The “Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act” creates a new category of public company filer, the “emerging growth company,” defined as companies that have been public for less than five years and have less than $1 billion in annual revenue and less than $700 million in market capitalization.

Now the Senate is considering a nearly identical bill sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa...

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