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Q: SEC (Security Exchange Commission) requirments ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: SEC (Security Exchange Commission) requirments
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: brushabrasha-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 10 Jan 2006 16:48 PST
Expires: 09 Feb 2006 16:48 PST
Question ID: 431787
Is it allowable by the SEC to typeset a Form 10-K using a point size
smaller than 9pt?
I.E. What is the current SEC guidline for minimum type size for a printed
Form 10-K. In the past the requirment has been "the visual equivilent
of 9pt Roman."  Has this changed since the dawning of electonic
filing?  We want to fit a lot of copy in one page and can't make it
fit unless we shrink the type below 9 pt.
Subject: Re: SEC (Security Exchange Commission) requirments
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 10 Jan 2006 17:50 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I have good news and bad news!

The good news is that tabular data is acceptable at 8 pt Roman.

The bad news, though, is that non-table text is anticipated to be
submitted at 10 pt or larger.

The actual rule, which was updated in 2002, is here:

and the relevant excerpt is:

Rule 12b-12 -- Requirements as to Paper, Printing and Language
[Effective Nov. 4, 2002.]

c.  The body of all printed statements and reports and all notes to
financial statements and other tabular data included therein shall be
in roman type at least as large and as legible as 10-point modern
type. However, to the extent necessary for convenient presentation,
financial statements and other tabular data, including tabular data in
notes, may be in roman type at least as large and as legible as
8-point modern type. All such type shall be leaded at least 2 points.


I trust that is exactly what you were looking for.  

But please don't rate this answer if you need any additional
information.  Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'm at your


search strategy -- Google search on: [ sec "visual equivalent" form gov ]

Request for Answer Clarification by brushabrasha-ga on 11 Jan 2006 08:48 PST
when you say: anticipated to be submitted at 10pt., does this mean
10pt minimum is a must or a suggestion?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 11 Jan 2006 09:13 PST
Hello brushabrasha-ga,

Sorry if me choice of wording caused any ambiguity.  The language of
the rule itself seems clear and unambiguous, though:

"...shall be in roman type at least as large and as legible as 10-point modern

The use of "shall be" is standard legalese for
"this-is-what-you-have-to-do", with no real wiggle room.   Looks to me
as if 10-point type is the minimum acceptable size (except for tabular
entries, where 8-point is allowed).

Best of luck,


Request for Answer Clarification by brushabrasha-ga on 11 Jan 2006 09:43 PST
Thanks for this. But doesn't the fact that these documents are first
electronically filed with the SEC allow for printed copies to be
reflowed in a different , more cosmetic format. This is probably a
second questions isn't it?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 11 Jan 2006 11:14 PST

Your question is coming awfully close to asking for legal advice,
which I am not allowed to offer (see disclaimer, bottom of page) and
even if I were, wouldn't feel competent to do so.

As far as I can tell, the standard I cited is pretty absolute, and the
existence of an e-filing pathway doesn't affect it one way or the

However, I will not an option that *may* provide some leeway -- the
very first part of the rule that I linked to in my answer reads as

a.  Statements and reports shall be filed on good quality, unglazed
white paper, no larger than 8-1/2 x 11 inches in size, insofar as
practicable. To the extent that the reduction of larger documents
would render them illegible, such documents may be filed on paper
larger than 8-1/2 x 11 inches in size.

In other words, you're not limited to a standard 8 1/2 x 11 piece of
paper.  The rule is silent on just how large a piece of paper can be,
though you'd probably want to exercise a bit of restraint in that

As for electronic filing, the actual standards are here:
Regulation S-T

The document does not specify type size, but it does say (page 16)
that there can be a maximum of 80 characters per line for text, and
132 characters per line for tables.

Hope that helps...let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

brushabrasha-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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