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What is the Uniform Securities Act?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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The Uniform Securities Act is an act that is part of the law of the United States of America. Essentially, this federal act serves as the model or starting point for state-level regulations that are aimed at standardizing the buying and selling of securities. The point of the Uniform Securities Act is to create an environment in which it is possible to identify and deal with fraudulent activity across state lines.

There have been several incarnations of the Uniform Securities Act. The first attempt to set a standard of this type was in 1930. At that time, the Uniform Sales of Securities Act was adopted, and included components that could easily be adopted by states and supported by the federal government. This act met with only limited success, however. By 1943, the creating entity, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, chose to drop the act from the list of active uniform acts.

A second attempt to present a viable option came in the form of the Uniform Securities Act of 1956. Considered to be more comprehensive and thus a better foundation to work with, this version of the act was able to garner substantial support from many of the states around the nation. Many still consider the 1956 Uniform Securities Act to be a milestone in helping to establish uniform state laws dealing with securities and other investments.

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Amended versions of the Uniform Securities Act have appeared in later years, but have met with minimal success. In 1985, a new incarnation of the act appeared, but did not seem to have sufficient enhancements to attract much in the way of attention. The 1985 act was amended in 1988, but still was not considered to be an improvement over the 1956 document. The most recent attempt at a new version took place in 2002. To date, none of the prepared documents since the 1956 Uniform Securities Act have met with any great enthusiasm from a majority of the states within the Union.

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