Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land (who claims to be on vacation) makes an interesting point about Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s claims that the company isn’t planning to do an IPO any time soon. He may not want to issue shares and file a prospectus, Danny says, but the social-networking site will likely have to start filing financial documents with the SEC soon — at which point it might as well go all the way and get a stock-exchange listing.
As Danny notes, U.S. securities rules require a company to file financial reports with the SEC if it has more than $10-million in assets (gee, does Facebook have that much do you think?) and more than 500 employees who hold stock options. At the moment, Facebook has about 300 employees, most of whom likely have options, and it is growing quickly. This SEC rule also snared Google, which confided in its prospectus that the clause accelerated its IPO offering.