The Securities & Exchange Commission allows for the public sale or transfer of restricted securities under Rule 144. Only the company's transfer agent can remove the restrictive legend on your stock certificate, but your broker can help you with this process, providing the forms you will need to complete. Be prepared for this process to take several weeks, assuming you have concluded the required waiting period for holding your shares.
Things You'll Need
- Rule 144 Seller's Representation Letter from your broker
- SEC Form 144
- Irrevocable Stock Power form from your broker
Contact your brokerage firm and request the paperwork required to remove the restrictive legend on your stock certificate.
Confirm with your brokerage firm that it will send you, at a minimum, the Rule 144 Seller's Representation Letter, the SEC Form 144 and a Stock Power form. Your firm may also require additional forms.
Determine whether your status is "affiliate" or "non-affiliate" of the company and complete the Seller's Representation letter accordingly.
Contact your company or your company's transfer agent to obtain the appropriate IRS Identification Number and SEC File Number. You will need this information in order to complete the SEC Form 144.
Complete and sign your brokerage firm's Irrevocable Stock Power form. This form allows your broker to negotiate the certificate on your behalf, but it does not give your broker ownership of the shares.
Make and keep a copy of your completed forms and your stock certificate.
Contact your brokerage firm upon its receipt of your package and ensure you completed all forms correctly. If it sees a problem, you can likely correct it without its having to mail back the entire package.
Follow up with the issuer's transfer agent if the restriction on your certificate has not been removed within six weeks of your sending in your paperwork. Your broker must depend on the transfer agent to complete this step.