The Securities Act of 1933 is one of the two most important securities laws, together with the confusingly similar sounding Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Securities Act of 1933 primarily regulates the offering and sale of securities by a company itself or by an underwriter acting on the company's behalf.
The core of the Securities Act is contained in Section 5, and requires that a company file a registration statement prior to offering or selling securities. The Securities Act contains numerous exceptions to that requirement, including the private placement exemption and the related Regulation D exemption that has been issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. These exemptions mean that the Securities Act primarily applies to public offerings and sales of securities.
The Securities Act of 1933 is often called the "Securities Act" to distingush it from the Securities Exchange Act which is often called the "Exchange Act."