I am thinking about starting a website where I want to recommend stocks to buy and sell. Are there any disclosures or other legal work/writing that has to be posted on the site so that we are protected from lawsuits?
4 Answers from Attorneys
You must have a disclaimer and also any stock you recommend you will need to disclose whether you have any holdings in the name (ie. long or short).
Disclaimer: This post does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor should this answer be considered legal advice.
There are tons of regulations and disclosure requirements. You had better contact SEC to demand their requirements. It is one thing to have an internet site and another to have a blog with free exchange of ideas. The biggest determinant is your motive in running the site and what you want to accomplish. If you want to drum up business, you had better be very careful about how you go about running your site.
You may be considered an Investment Advisor under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and SEC regulations.
You will need to consult with your own lawyer who can evaluate your objectives carefully to ensure that you are in compliance with the relevant law.
This is not something you should just jump into on your own because even though it is not a likely outcome it is possible to be found criminally liable under the right conditions and of course there is extreme civil exposure in this type of business.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
I concur in all of the foregoing. Transparancy and full disclosure of your intentions and any possible conflicts are the watchwords.
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