The Securities and Exchange Commission rules that govern the financial-reporting and insider-investment activities of public companies can seem confusing. Ralph Sutcliffe, a partner at the New York City law firm of Kronish, Lieb, Weiner & Hellman, warns companies to stay on top of those rules, which include:

Form 3: All corporate insiders -- officers, directors, and shareholders with stock stakes of 10% or higher -- must report all their company-stock transactions through this form. It is filed with the SEC when a company goes public and thereafter whenever someone becomes an insider.

Form 4: Insiders must file a Form 4 for any company stock transaction within 10 days after the end of the month in which it occurred.

If you're still unclear about your insider-trading status and you're reluctant to start your lawyer's meter running, it's worth investing $450 in "Think Twice," a 30-minute video that includes advice from former SEC chairman David Ruder and other experts. For more information call 212-229-7233.

-- Jill Andresky Fraser