Study: Number of SEC Registrants Dropped Near 40 Percent Since 2010

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 25, 2017
Down Arrow

The number of companies registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission has plummeted over 15 years, dropping nearly 40 percent since 2010, according to Audit Analytics. The year 2000 had 13,337 companies under SEC oversight, but 15 years later that number dropped to 8,094, a decrease of 39 percent. The numbers indicate that, more and more, companies don't see a benefit in going public, with Audit Analytics noting that this is especially the case for smaller companies. As for why this is the case, there's nothing sure, but a few theories are floating around. 

One is that public companies have become too regulated, with too many complex compliance issues that most businesses can't really afford to address, such as the increased disclosures from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Another explanation points to the rise of mergers and acquisitions among public companies, which logically means there would be fewer public companies out there. There's also a lack of urgency around going public today, as debt is both cheap and abundant, as is access to private venture capital. 

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