VERISIGN INC/CA
424B3, 2000-03-14
COMPUTER PROGRAMMING SERVICES
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<PAGE>

                                                FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 424(b)(3)
                                                      REGISTRATION NO. 333-94445


                                4,391,409 SHARES

                                 VERISIGN, INC.

                                  COMMON STOCK
                              ___________________

     All of the 4,391,409 shares of common stock of VeriSign, Inc. are being
sold by a stockholder of VeriSign.  VeriSign will not receive any proceeds from
the sale of shares offered by the selling stockholder.  See "Selling
Stockholder" and "Plan of Distribution."

     The common stock is listed on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol
"VRSN."  The shares of common stock offered will be sold as described under
"Plan of Distribution."

     On March 8, 2000, the closing price per share of the common stock on the
Nasdaq National Market was $203.



                              ___________________

The common stock offered involves a high degree of risk.  See "RISK FACTORS" on
                                    page 4.
                              ___________________


           The date of this prospectus is March 13, 2000.
<PAGE>

                               TABLE OF CONTENTS

<TABLE>
<S>                                                                      <C>
VeriSign, Inc........................................................     3

Risk Factors.........................................................     4

Use of Proceeds......................................................    14

Selling Stockholder..................................................    15

Plan of Distribution.................................................    16

Legal Matters........................................................    18

Experts..............................................................    18

Documents Incorporated By Reference In This Prospectus...............    19

Where You Can Find More Information..................................    19
</TABLE>
<PAGE>

                                 VERISIGN, INC.

     VeriSign is the leading provider of Internet trust services and digital
certificate solutions needed by websites, enterprises and individuals to conduct
trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks.  We
have established strategic relationships with industry leaders, including AT&T,
British Telecommunications, or BT, Cisco, Microsoft, Netscape, Network
Associates, RSA, Security Dynamics and VISA, to enable widespread utilization of
our digital certificate services and to assure their interoperability with a
wide variety of applications and network equipment.  We have used our secure
online infrastructure to issue over 180,000 of our website digital certificates
and over 3.9 million of our digital certificates for individuals.  Our Website
Digital Certificate services are used by all of the Fortune 500 companies with a
Web presence.  We also offer the VeriSign OnSite service, which allows an
organization to leverage our trusted service infrastructure to develop and
deploy customized digital certificate services for use by its employees,
customers and business partners.  Over 600 enterprises have subscribed to the
OnSite service since its introduction in November 1997, including Bank of
America, Hewlett-Packard, the Internal Revenue Service, Kodak, Sumitomo Bank,
Texas Instruments and USWest.  We market our Internet trust services worldwide
through multiple distribution channels, including the Internet, direct sales,
telesales, value-added resellers, or VARs, systems integrators and our
affiliates, and intend to expand these distribution channels.

     VeriSign was incorporated in Delaware in April 1995.  Our executive offices
are located at 1350 Charleston Road, Mountain View, California 94043-1331.  Our
telephone number at this location is (650) 961-7500.  Our website is located at
http://www.verisign.com.  Information contained in our website is not part of
this prospectus.
<PAGE>

                                  RISK FACTORS

     You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below
before making an investment decision.  These risks and uncertainties are not the
only ones facing VeriSign.  Additional risks and uncertainties not currently
known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business
operations.

     If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial
condition or operating results could be harmed.  In that case, the trading price
of our common stock could decline and you may lose all or part of your
investment.

     This prospectus also contains forward-looking statements that involve risks
and uncertainties.  Our actual results could differ materially from those
anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors
including the risks faced by us described below and elsewhere in this
prospectus.

We have a limited operating history.

     VeriSign was incorporated in April 1995, and we began introducing our
Internet trust services in June 1995.  Accordingly, we have only a limited
operating history on which to base an evaluation of our business and prospects.
Our prospects must be considered in light of the risks and uncertainties
encountered by companies in the early stages of development.  These risks and
uncertainties are often worse for companies in new and rapidly evolving markets.
Our success will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to, the
following:

   .  the rate and timing of the growth and use of IP networks for electronic
      commerce and communications;

   .  the extent to which digital certificates are used for electronic commerce
      and communications;

   .  the continued evolution of electronic commerce as a viable means of
      conducting business;

   .  the demand for our Internet trust services;

   .  competition levels;

   .  the perceived security of electronic commerce and communications over IP
      networks;

   .  the perceived security of our services, technology, infrastructure and
      practices; and

   .  our continued ability to maintain our current, and enter into additional,
      strategic relationships.

   To address these risks we must, among other things:

   .  successfully market our Internet trust services and our digital
      certificates to new and existing customers;

   .  attract, integrate, train, retain and motivate qualified personnel;

   .  respond to competitive developments;
<PAGE>

   .  successfully introduce new Internet trust services; and

   .  successfully introduce enhancements to our existing Internet trust
      services to address new technologies and standards.

   We cannot be certain that we will successfully address any of these risks.

Our business depends on the adoption of IP networks.

     To date, many businesses and consumers have been deterred from utilizing IP
networks for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

   .  potentially inadequate development of network infrastructure;

   .  security concerns including the potential for merchant or user
      impersonation and fraud or theft of stored data and information
      communicated over IP networks;

   .  inconsistent quality of service;

   .  lack of availability of cost-effective, high-speed service;

   .  limited numbers of local access points for corporate users;

   .  inability to integrate business applications on IP networks;

   .  the need to operate with multiple and frequently incompatible products;
      and

   .  a lack of tools to simplify access to and use of IP networks.

     The adoption of IP networks will require a broad acceptance of new methods
of conducting business and exchanging information.  Companies and government
agencies that already have invested substantial resources in other methods of
conducting business may be reluctant to adopt new methods.  Also, individuals
with established patterns of purchasing goods and services and effecting
payments may be reluctant to change.

Our market is new and evolving.

     We target our Internet trust services at the market for trusted and secure
electronic commerce and communications over IP networks.  This is a new and
rapidly evolving market that may not continue to grow.  Accordingly, the demand
for our Internet trust services is very uncertain.  Even if the market for
electronic commerce and communications over IP networks grows, our Internet
trust services may not be widely accepted.  The factors that may affect the
level of market acceptance of digital certificates and, consequently, our
Internet trust services, include the following:

   .  market acceptance of products and services based upon authentication
      technologies other than those we use;

   .  public perception of the security of digital certificates and IP networks;

   .  the ability of the Internet infrastructure to accommodate increased levels
      of usage; and
<PAGE>

   .  government regulations affecting electronic commerce and communications
      over IP networks.

     Even if digital certificates achieve market acceptance, our Internet trust
services may fail to address the market's requirements adequately.  If digital
certificates do not achieve market acceptance in a timely manner and sustain
acceptance, or if our Internet trust services in particular do not achieve or
sustain market acceptance, our business would be harmed.

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate and our future revenues and
profitability are uncertain.

     Our quarterly operating results have varied and may fluctuate significantly
in the future as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside our
control.  These factors include the following:

   .  continued market acceptance of our Internet trust services;

   .  the long sales and implementation cycles for, and potentially large order
      sizes of, certain of our Internet trust services;

   .  the timing and execution of individual contracts;

   .  customer renewal rates for our Internet trust services;

   .  the timing of releases of new versions of Internet browsers or other
      third-party software products and networking equipment which include our
      digital certificate service interface technology;

   .  the mix of our services sold during a quarter;

   .  our success in marketing other Internet trust services to our existing
      customers and to new customers;

   .  continued development of our direct and indirect distribution channels,
      both in the U.S. and abroad;

   .  market acceptance of our Internet trust services or our competitors'
      products and services;

   .  our ability to attract, integrate, train, retain and motivate a
      substantial number of sales and marketing, research and development and
      technical support personnel;

   .  our ability to expand our operations;

   .  our success in assimilating the operations and personnel of any acquired
      businesses;

   .  the amount and timing of expenditures related to expansion of our
      operations;

   .  the impact of price changes in our Internet trust services or our
      competitors' products and services; and

   .  general economic conditions and economic conditions specific to IP network
      industries.

     Our limited operating history and the emerging nature of our market make it
difficult to predict future revenues.  Our expenses are based, in part, on our
expectations regarding future revenues, and are
<PAGE>

largely fixed in nature, particularly in the short term. We may be unable to
predict our future revenues accurately or to adjust spending in a timely manner
to compensate for any unexpected revenue shortfall. Accordingly, any significant
shortfall of revenues in relation to our expectations could cause significant
declines in our quarterly operating results.

     Due to all of the foregoing factors, our quarterly revenues and operating
results are difficult to forecast.  Therefore, we believe that period-to-period
comparisons of our operating results will not necessarily be meaningful, and you
should not rely upon them as an indication of our future performance.  Also, it
is likely that our operating results will fall below our expectations and the
expectations of securities analysts or investors in some future quarter.  If
this happens, the market price of our common stock could decline.

System interruptions and security breaches could harm our business.

     We depend on the uninterrupted operation of our secure data centers and our
other computer and communications systems.  We must protect these systems from
loss, damage or interruption caused by fire, earthquake, power loss,
telecommunications failure or other events beyond our control.  Most of our
systems are located at, and most of our customer information is stored in, our
facilities in Mountain View, California and, with respect to our operations in
Japan, Kawasaki, Japan, areas susceptible to earthquakes.  Any damage or failure
that causes interruptions in our secure data centers and our other computer and
communications systems could harm our business.  In addition, our ability to
issue digital certificates depends on the efficient operation of the Internet
connections from customers to our secure data centers.  These connections depend
upon efficient operation of web browsers, Internet service providers and
Internet backbone service providers, all of which have had periodic operational
problems or experienced outages in the past.  Any of these problems or outages
could decrease customer satisfaction.

     Our success also depends upon the scalability of our systems.  Our systems
have not been tested at the volumes that may be required in the future.  Thus,
it is possible that a substantial increase in demand for our Internet trust
services could cause interruptions in our systems.  Any interruptions could harm
our ability to deliver our Internet trust services and therefore could harm our
business.

     Although we periodically perform, and retain accredited third parties to
perform, audits of our operational practices and procedures, we may not be able
to remain in compliance with our internal standards or those set by third-party
auditors.  If we fail to maintain these standards, we may have to expend
significant time and money to return to compliance and our business could
suffer.

     We retain certain confidential customer information in our secure data
centers.  It is critical to our business strategy that our facilities and
infrastructure remain secure and are perceived by the marketplace to be secure.
Despite our security measures, our infrastructure may be vulnerable to physical
break-ins, computer viruses, attacks by hackers or similar disruptive problems.
It is possible that we may have to expend additional financial and other
resources to address these problems.  Any physical or electronic break-ins or
other security breaches or compromises of the information stored at our secure
data centers may jeopardize the security of information stored on our premises
or in the computer systems and networks of our customers.  In this event, we
could face significant liability and customers could be reluctant to use our
Internet trust services.  This type of occurrence could also result in adverse
publicity and therefore harm the market's perception of the security of
electronic commerce and communications over IP networks as well as of the
security or reliability of our services.
<PAGE>

We face significant competition.

     We anticipate that the market for services that enable trusted and secure
electronic commerce and communications over IP networks will remain intensely
competitive.  We compete with larger and smaller companies that provide products
and services that are similar to certain aspects of our Internet trust services.
We expect that competition will increase in the near term, and that our primary
long-term competitors may not yet have entered the market.  Increased
competition could result in pricing pressures, reduced margins or the failure of
our Internet trust services to achieve or maintain market acceptance, any of
which could harm our business.  Several of our current and potential competitors
have longer operating histories and significantly greater financial, technical,
marketing and other resources.  As a result, we may not be able to compete
effectively.

We may experience future losses.

     We have experienced substantial net losses in the past.  As of September
30, 1999, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $52.0 million.
VeriSign's limited operating history, the emerging nature of its market and the
factors described under "--Our business depends on-the adoption of IP networks"
and "--Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate and our future revenues and
profitability are uncertain," among other factors, make prediction of our future
operating results difficult.  As a result, we may incur additional losses in the
future.  Although our revenues have grown in recent periods, we may be unable to
sustain this growth.  Therefore, you should not consider our historical growth
indicative of future revenue levels or operating results.

Technological changes will affect our business.

     The emerging nature of the Internet and digital certificate markets and
their rapid evolution requires us to continually improve the performance,
features and reliability of our Internet trust services, particularly in
response to competitive offerings.  We must also introduce any new Internet
trust services as quickly as possible.  The success of new Internet trust
services depends on several factors, including proper new service definition and
timely completion, introduction and market acceptance of our new Internet trust
services.  We may not succeed in developing and marketing new Internet trust
services that respond to competitive and technological developments and changing
customer needs.  This could harm our business.

We must manage our growth and expansion.

     Our historical growth has placed, and any further growth is likely to
continue to place, a significant strain on our resources.  VeriSign has grown
from 26 employees at December 31, 1995 to 371 employees at September 30, 1999.
We have also opened additional sales offices and have significantly expanded our
operations, both in the U.S. and abroad, during this time period.  We also
expanded our operations by acquiring SecureIT during 1998 and, in January 2000
we acquired Signio and Thawte.  To be successful, we will need to implement
additional management information systems, develop further our operating,
administrative, financial and accounting systems and controls and maintain close
coordination among our executive, engineering, accounting, finance, marketing,
sales and operations organizations.  Any failure to manage growth effectively
could harm our business.

We depend on key personnel.

     We depend on the performance of our senior management team and other key
employees.  Our success will also depend on our ability to attract, integrate,
train, retain and motivate these individuals
<PAGE>

and additional highly skilled technical and sales and marketing personnel, both
in the U.S. and abroad. There is intense competition for these personnel. In
addition, our stringent hiring practices for some of our key personnel, which
consist of background checks into prospective employees' criminal and financial
histories, further limit the number of qualified persons for these positions.
VeriSign has no employment agreements with any of its key executives that
prevent them from leaving VeriSign at any time. In addition, we do not maintain
key person life insurance for any of our officers or key employees other than
our President and Chief Executive Officer. The loss of the services of any of
our senior management team or other key employees or our failure to attract,
integrate, train, retain and motivate additional key employees could harm our
business.

We must establish and maintain strategic relationships.

     One of our significant business strategies has been to enter into strategic
or other similar collaborative relationships in order to reach a larger customer
base than we could reach through our direct sales and marketing efforts.  We may
need to enter into additional relationships to execute our business plan.  We
may not be able to enter into additional, or maintain our existing, strategic
relationships on commercially reasonable terms.  If we failed to do so, we would
have to devote substantially more resources to the distribution, sale and
marketing of our Internet trust services than we would otherwise need to do.
Furthermore, as a result of our emphasis on these relationships, our success in
them will depend both on the ultimate success of the other parties to these
relationships, particularly in the use and promotion of IP networks for trusted
and secure electronic commerce and communications, and on the ability of certain
of these parties to market our Internet trust services successfully.  Failure of
one or more of our strategic relationships to result in the development and
maintenance of a market for our Internet trust services could harm our business.

     Our existing strategic relationships do not, and any future strategic
relationships may not, afford VeriSign any exclusive marketing or distribution
rights.  In addition, the other parties may not view their relationships with us
as significant for their own businesses.  Therefore, they could reduce their
commitment to VeriSign at any time in the future.  These parties could also
pursue alternative technologies or develop alternative products and services
either on their own or in collaboration with others, including our competitors.
If we are unable to maintain our strategic relationships or to enter into
additional strategic relationships, our business could suffer.

Certain of our Internet trust services have lengthy sales and implementation
cycles.

     We market many of our Internet trust services directly to large companies
and government agencies.  The sale and implementation of our services to these
entities typically involves a lengthy education process and a significant
technical evaluation and commitment of capital and other resources.  This
process is also subject to the risk of delays associated with customers'
internal budgeting and other procedures for approving large capital
expenditures, deploying new technologies within their networks and testing and
accepting new technologies that affect key operations.  As a result, the sales
and implementation cycles associated with certain of our Internet trust services
can be lengthy.  Our quarterly and annual operating results could be harmed if
orders forecasted for a specific customer for a particular quarter are not
realized.

Our Internet trust services could have unknown defects.

     Services as complex as those we offer or develop frequently contain
undetected defects or errors.  Despite testing, defects or errors may occur in
existing or new Internet trust services, which could result in loss of or delay
in revenues, loss of market share, failure to achieve market acceptance,
diversion of
<PAGE>

development resources, injury to our reputation, tort or warranty
claims, increased insurance costs or increased service and warranty costs, any
of which could harm our business.  Furthermore, we often provide implementation,
customization, consulting and other technical services in connection with the
implementation and ongoing maintenance of our Internet trust services and our
digital certificate service agreements.  The performance of these Internet trust
services typically involves working with sophisticated software, computing and
communications systems.  Our failure or inability to meet customer expectations
or project milestones in a timely manner could also result in loss of or delay
in revenues, loss of market share, failure to achieve market acceptance, injury
to our reputation and increased costs.

Public key cryptography technology is subject to risks.

     Our Internet trust services depend on public key cryptography technology.
With public key cryptography technology, a user is given a public key and a
private key, both of which are required to encrypt and decode messages.  The
security afforded by this technology depends on the integrity of a user's
private key and that it is not stolen or otherwise compromised.  The integrity
of private keys also depends in part on the application of certain mathematical
principles known as "factoring."  This integrity is predicated on the assumption
that the factoring of large numbers into their prime number components is
difficult.  Should an easy factoring method be developed, then the security of
encryption products utilizing public key cryptography technology would be
reduced or eliminated.  Furthermore, any significant advance in techniques for
attacking cryptographic systems could also render some or all of our existing
Internet trust services obsolete or unmarketable.  If improved techniques for
attacking cryptographic systems are ever developed, we would likely have to
reissue digital certificates to some or all of our customers, which could damage
our reputation and brand or otherwise harm our business.  In the past there have
been public announcements of the successful decoding of certain cryptographic
messages and of the potential misappropriation of private keys.  This type of
publicity could also hurt the public perception as to the safety of the public
key cryptography technology included in our digital certificates.  This negative
public perception could harm our business.

Our international operations are subject to risks.

     Revenues of VeriSign Japan and revenues from other international affiliates
and customers accounted for approximately 26% of our revenues in the nine months
ended September 30, 1999 and 14% of our revenues for the full year of 1998.  We
intend to expand our international operations and international sales and
marketing activities.  Expansion into these markets has required and will
continue to require significant management attention and resources.  We may also
need to tailor our Internet trust services for a particular market and to enter
into international distribution and operating relationships.  We have limited
experience in localizing our Internet trust services and in developing
international distribution or operating relationships.  We may not succeed in
expanding our Internet trust service offerings into international markets.

     Any of these factors could harm our business.  In addition, there are
certain risks inherent in doing business on an international basis, including,
among others:

   .  regulatory requirements;

   .  legal uncertainty regarding liability;
<PAGE>

   .  export and import restrictions on cryptographic technology and products
      incorporating that technology;

   .  tariffs and other trade barriers;

   .  difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;

   .  longer sales and payment cycles;

   .  problems in collecting accounts receivable;

   .  difficulties of authenticating customer information;

   .  political instability;

   .  seasonal reductions in business activity; and

   .  potentially adverse tax consequences.

     We have licensed to certain international affiliates the VeriSign
Processing Center platform, which is designed to replicate our own secure data
centers and allows the affiliate to offer back-end processing of Internet trust
services. The VeriSign Processing Center platform provides these affiliates with
the knowledge and technology to offer Internet trust services similar to those
offered by VeriSign. It is critical to our business strategy that the facilities
and infrastructure used in issuing and marketing digital certificates remain
secure and be perceived by the marketplace to be secure. Although we provide our
affiliates with training in security and trust practices, network management and
customer service and support, these practices are performed by our affiliates
and are outside of our control. Any failure of an affiliate to maintain the
privacy of confidential customer information could result in negative publicity
and therefore damage the market's perception of the security of our services as
well as the security of electronic commerce and communication over IP networks
generally. For further information, please see "--System interruptions and
security breaches could harm our business."

     All of our international revenues from sources other than VeriSign Japan
are denominated in U.S. dollars.  If additional portions of our international
revenues were to be denominated in foreign currencies, we could become subject
to increased risks relating to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

We could be affected by government regulation.

     Exports of software products utilizing encryption technology are generally
restricted by the U.S. and various non-U.S. governments.  Although we have
obtained approval to export our Global Server digital certificate service and
none of our other Internet trust services are currently subject to export
controls under U.S. law, the list of products and countries for which export
approval is required could be revised in the future to include more digital
certificate products and related services. If we do not obtain required
approvals we may not be able to sell certain Internet trust services in
international markets. There are currently no federal laws or regulations that
specifically control certificate authorities, but a limited number of states
have enacted legislation or regulations with respect to certificate authorities.
If the market for digital certificates grows, the U.S. federal or state or non-
U.S. governments may choose to enact further regulations governing certificate
authorities or other providers of digital certificate products

<PAGE>

and related services. These regulations or the costs of complying with these
regulations could harm our business.

Acquisitions could harm our business.

     Since January 1998 we have acquired three businesses.  We may acquire
additional businesses, technologies, product lines or service offerings in the
future.  Acquisitions involve a number of risks including, among others:

   .  the difficulty of assimilating the operations and personnel of the
      acquired businesses;

   .  the potential disruption of our business;

   .  our inability to integrate, train, retain and motivate key personnel of
      the acquired businesses;

   .  the diversion of our management from our day-to-day operations;

   .  our inability to incorporate acquired technologies successfully into our
      Internet trust services;

   .  the additional expenses associated with completing acquisitions and
      amortizing any acquired intangible assets;

   .  the potential impairment of relationships with our employees, customers
      and strategic partners; and

   .  the inability to maintain uniform standards, controls, procedures and
      policies.

   If we are unable to successfully address any of these risks, our business
could be harmed.

We face risks related to intellectual property rights.

     Our success depends on our internally developed technologies and other
intellectual property.  Despite our precautions, it may be possible for a third
party to copy or otherwise obtain and use our intellectual property or trade
secrets without authorization.  In addition, it is possible that others may
independently develop substantially equivalent intellectual property.  If we do
not effectively protect our intellectual property, our business could suffer.

     In the future we may have to resort to litigation to enforce our
intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the
validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others.  This type of
litigation, regardless of its outcome, could result in substantial costs and
diversion of management and technical resources.

     We also license third-party technology, such as public key cryptography
technology licensed from RSA and other technology that is used in our products,
to perform key functions.  These third-party technology licenses may not
continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms or at all.  Our
business could suffer if we lost the rights to use these technologies.  A third
party could claim that the licensed software infringes any patent or other
proprietary right.  Litigation between the licensor and a third party or between
us and a third party could lead to royalty obligations for which we are not
indemnified or for which indemnification is insufficient, or we may not be able
to obtain any additional license on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
<PAGE>

    The loss of, or our inability to obtain or maintain, any of these technology
licenses could delay the introduction of our Internet trust services until
equivalent technology, if available, is identified, licensed and integrated.
This could harm our business.

     From time to time, we have received, and may receive in the future, notice
of claims of infringement of other parties' proprietary rights.  Infringement or
other claims could be made against us in the future.  Any claims, with or
without merit, could be time-consuming, result in costly litigation and
diversion of technical and management personnel, cause product shipment delays
or require us to develop non-infringing technology or enter into royalty or
licensing agreements.  Royalty or licensing agreements, if required, may not be
available on acceptable terms or at all.  If a successful claim of product
infringement were made against us and we could not develop non-infringing
technology or license the infringed or similar technology on a timely and cost
effective basis, our business could be harmed.

Year 2000 issues could affect our business.

     We are in the process of assessing and remediating any year 2000 issues
with the computer communications, software and security systems that we use to
deliver and manage our Internet trust services and to manage our internal
operations.  Despite our testing and remediating, our systems may contain errors
or faults with respect to the year 2000.  For a more detailed discussion of Year
2000 issues, please see "Item 2:  Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Year 2000 Compliance" in our
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1999, filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 10, 1999.  If our systems
do not operate properly with regard to the year 2000 and thereafter we could
incur unanticipated expenses to remedy any problems, which could harm our
business.

     Customer's purchasing plans could be affected by year 2000 issues as they
may need to expend significant resources to correct their existing systems.
This situation may result in reduced funds available to implement the
infrastructure needed to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and
communications over IP networks or to purchase our Internet trust services.
These factors could harm our business.

We have implemented anti-takeover provisions.

     Provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and
Bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law could make it more difficult for a
third party to acquire us, even if doing so would be beneficial to our
stockholders.

Future sales of shares could affect our stock price.

     If our stockholders sell substantial amounts of our common stock in the
public market following this offering, the market price of our common stock
could fall.  We have outstanding approximately 103,440,285 shares of common
stock (assuming no exercise of outstanding options after December 31, 1999),
substantially all of which are currently eligible for sale in the public market.

     These share numbers exclude 17,742,218 shares subject to outstanding
stock options and 5,046,293 shares reserved for future issuance under our
stock plans as of December 31, 1999.

<PAGE>

Our stock price may be volatile.

     The market price of our common stock has fluctuated in the past and is
likely to fluctuate in the future.  In addition, the market prices of securities
of other technology companies, particularly Internet-related companies, have
been highly volatile.  Factors that may have a significant effect on the market
price of our common stock include:

   .  fluctuations in our operating results;

   .  announcements of technological innovations or new Internet trust services
      by us or new products or services by our competitors;

   .  analysts' reports and projections;

   .  regulatory actions; and

   .  general market, economic or political conditions in the U.S. or abroad.

     Investors may not be able to resell their shares of our common stock at or
above the offering price.

                                USE OF PROCEEDS

     VeriSign will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of shares by
the selling stockholder.
<PAGE>

                              SELLING STOCKHOLDER

     The following table sets forth certain information known to VeriSign with
respect to the beneficial ownership of the Company's common stock as of January
5, 2000 by the selling stockholders.  Except as set forth below, none of the
selling stockholders has had any position, office or other material relationship
with VeriSign within the past three years.  The percentage ownership is based on
103,440,285 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 1999.  Shares
of common stock subject to options are counted as outstanding for the purpose of
computing the percentage ownership of the person holding the options but not for
computing the percentage ownership of any other person.  The table assumes that
the selling stockholders sell all of the shares offered by them in this
offering.  However, VeriSign is unable to determine the exact number of shares
that will actually be sold or when or if these sales will occur.  VeriSign will
not receive the proceeds of any shares sold under this prospectus.

     The selling stockholder has advised VeriSign that it is the beneficial
owner of the shares being offered.

<TABLE>
<CAPTION>
                                          Shares Beneficially                          Shares Beneficially
                                         Owned Before Offering      Shares Being      Owned After Offering
                                       --------------------------                  ---------------------------
Name                                      Number        Percent       Offered         Number        Percent
- ----                                   -------------  -----------  --------------  ------------  -------------
<S>                                    <C>            <C>          <C>             <C>           <C>
Mark Shuttleworth....................    4,391,409     4.2%          4,391,409             0              0
</TABLE>

___________________

     Mr. Shuttleworth received the shares he proposes to sell under this
prospectus under the terms of an Exchange Agreement dated as of December 19,
1999 by and between VeriSign and Mr. Shuttleworth.  Under this Agreement,
VeriSign issued to Mr. Shuttleworth 4,391,409 shares of common stock in exchange
for all of the outstanding stock of Thawte Holdings (Pty) Ltd., a South Africa
corporation, and Thawte USA, Inc., a North Carolina corporation which we
collectively refer to as THAWTE.  Of these shares, 439,141 will be held in
escrow until January 2001, in order to secure the indemnification obligations of
Mr. Shuttleworth under the exchange agreement.
<PAGE>

                              PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     The selling stockholder received its shares under an Exchange Agreement in
connection with the acquisition by VeriSign of THAWTE.  To VeriSign's knowledge,
the selling stockholder has not entered into any agreement, arrangement or
understanding with any particular broker or market maker with respect to the
shares offered hereby, nor does VeriSign know the identity of the brokers or
market makers that will participate in the offering.

     The shares of common stock may be offered and sold from time to time by the
selling stockholder or by its pledgees, donees, transferees and other successors
in interest only during "Permitted Windows."  A permitted window is a period of
30 (thirty) consecutive calendar days.  In order to open a permitted window
other than the first permitted window, which was opened as of the date of this
prospectus, the selling stockholder must notify VeriSign that the holder desires
to sell shares.  As provided in the Registration Rights Agreement, VeriSign may
notify the holder that (1) this prospectus is current, (2) the prospectus must
be amended or (3) if it intends to defer the opening of a permitted window as
provided in the Registration Rights Agreement, which provisions are summarized
below.  There will be no more than three permitted windows in either the first
or second 12 months subsequent to the date of this prospectus.  In addition,
there must be a 60-day interval between any two permitted windows.  In addition,
the selling stockholder agreed not to sell an amount of shares in excess of
three percent (3%) of VeriSign's outstanding common stock in any quarterly
period.

     The selling stockholder will act independently of VeriSign in making
decisions with respect to the timing, manner and size of each sale.  Sales may
be made over the Nasdaq National Market or otherwise, at then prevailing market
prices, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices.
The shares may be sold by one or more of the following:

     .  a block trade in which the broker-dealer engaged by a selling
        stockholder will attempt to sell the shares as agent but may position
        and resell a portion of the block as principal to facilitate the
        transaction;

     .  purchases by the broker-dealer as principal and resale by the broker or
        dealer for its account pursuant to this Prospectus; and

     .  ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which the broker
        solicits purchasers.

     VeriSign has been advised by the selling stockholder that it has not, as of
the date hereof, entered into any arrangement with a broker-dealer for the sale
of shares through a block trade, special offering, or secondary distribution of
a purchase by a broker-dealer.  In effecting sales, broker-dealers engaged by
the selling stockholder may arrange for other broker-dealers to participate.
Broker-dealers will receive commissions or discounts from the selling
stockholders in amounts to be negotiated immediately prior to the sale.

     In connection with distributions of the shares or otherwise, the selling
stockholder may also enter into hedging transactions.  For example, the selling
stockholder may:

     .  enter into transactions involving short sales of the shares of common
        stock by broker-dealers;

     .  sell shares of common stock short and redeliver these shares to close
        out the short position;
<PAGE>

     .  enter into option or other types of transactions that require the
        selling stockholders to deliver shares of common stock to a broker-
        dealer, who will then resell or transfer the shares of common stock
        under this prospectus; or

     .  loan or pledge shares of common stock to a broker dealer, who may sell
        the loaned shares or, in the event of default, sell the pledged shares.

     Broker-dealers or agents may receive compensation in the form of
commissions, discounts or concessions from the selling stockholder in amounts to
be negotiated in connection with the sale.  Broker-dealers and any other
participating broker-dealers may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning
of the Securities Act in connection with the sales, and any commission, discount
or concession may be deemed to be underwriting discounts or commissions under
the Securities Act.  In addition, any securities covered by this prospectus
which qualify for sale under Rule 144 of the Securities Act may be sold under
Rule 144 rather than under this prospectus.

     VeriSign has advised the selling stockholder that the anti-manipulation
rules under the Exchange Act may apply to sales of shares in the market and to
the activities of the selling stockholder and his affiliates.  The selling
stockholder has advised VeriSign that during the time that they may be engaged
in the attempt to sell shares registered, he will:

     .  not engage in any stabilization activity in connection with any of
        VeriSign's securities;

     .  not bid for or purchase any of VeriSign's securities or any rights to
        acquire VeriSign's securities, or attempt to induce any person to
        purchase any of VeriSign's securities or rights to acquire VeriSign's
        securities other than as permitted under the Exchange Act;

     .  not effect any sale or distribution of the shares until after the
        prospectus shall have been appropriately amended or supplemented, if
        required, to set forth the terms thereof; and

     .  effect all sales of shares in broker's transactions through broker-
        dealers acting as agents, in transactions directly with market makers or
        in privately negotiated transactions where no broker or other third
        party (other than the purchaser) is involved.

     Under certain circumstances, VeriSign has the ability to defer the opening
of a permitted window if, in the good faith judgment of the board of directors
of VeriSign, it would be seriously detrimental to VeriSign and its stockholders
for a permitted window to be in effect due to the existence of a material
development or potential material development with respect to or involving
VeriSign which VeriSign would be obligated to disclose in the prospectus, which
disclosure would in the good faith judgment of the board of directors of
VeriSign be premature or otherwise inadvisable at that time and would have a
material adverse affect upon VeriSign and its stockholders.

     This offering will terminate on the earlier to occur of

     .  two years from the date of this prospectus;

     .  the date on which all shares offered have been sold by the selling
        stockholder; or

     .  the shares may be sold by the selling stockholder in a three month
        period under Rule 144 or 145 under the Securities Act.
<PAGE>

     VeriSign will pay the expenses of registering the shares under the
Securities Act, including registration and filing fees, printing expenses,
administrative expenses and certain legal and accounting fees.  The selling
stockholder will bear all discounts, commissions or other amounts payable to
underwriters, dealers or agents as well as fees and disbursements for legal
counsel retained by the selling stockholder.

     Upon the occurrence of any of the following events, this prospectus will be
amended to include additional disclosure before offers and sales of the
securities in question are made:

     .  to the extent the securities are sold at a fixed price or at a price
        other than the prevailing market price, the price would be set forth in
        the prospectus,

     .  if the securities are sold in block transactions and the purchaser
        acting in the capacity of an underwriter wishes to resell, the
        arrangements would be described in the prospectus,

     .  if the selling stockholder sells to a broker-dealer acting in the
        capacity as an underwriter, the broker-dealer will be identified in the
        prospectus and

     .  if the compensation paid to broker-dealers is other than usual and
        customary discounts, concessions or commissions, disclosure of the terms
        of the transaction would be included in the prospectus.

                                 LEGAL MATTERS

     The validity of the shares of common stock offered hereby will be passed
upon for VeriSign by Fenwick & West LLP, Palo Alto, California.

                                    EXPERTS

     The consolidated financial statements of VeriSign, Inc., and subsidiaries
as of December 31, 1999 and 1998 and for each of the years in the three-year
period ended December 31, 1999, have been incorporated by reference herein and
in the registration statement in reliance upon the report of KPMG LLP,
independent auditors, incorporated by reference herein, and upon the authority
of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

     The combined financial statements of Thawte Holdings (Pty) Ltd., Thawte
Consulting (Pty) Ltd. and Thawte USA, Inc. as of February 28, 1999 and 1998, and
for each of the years in the two-year period ended February 28, 1999, have been
incorporated by reference herein and in the registration statement in reliance
upon the report of KPMG Inc., independent auditors, incorporated by reference
herein and upon the authority of said firm as expects in accounting and
auditing.

     The financial statements of Signio, Inc. (formerly Payment Net, Inc.) as of
December 31, 1999 and 1998, and for each of the years in the two-year period
ended December 31, 1999, have been incorporated by reference herein and in the
registration statement in reliance upon the report of KPMG LLP, independent
auditors, incorporated by reference herein and upon the authority of said firm
as experts in accounting and auditing.
<PAGE>

                  DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN THIS
                                   PROSPECTUS

     This Prospectus incorporates documents by reference which are not presented
in this prospectus or delivered with this prospectus.

     All documents filed by VeriSign pursuant to Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or
15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act, after the date of this prospectus are
incorporated by reference into and to be a part of this prospectus from the date
of filing of those documents.

     You should rely only on the information contained in this document or that
we have referred you to.  We have not authorized anyone to provide you with
information that is different.

     The following documents which were filed by VeriSign with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, are incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

     .  VeriSign's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March
        31, 1999, June 30, 1999 September 30, 1999, as amended;

     .  VeriSign's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
        1998;

     .  VeriSign's Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 6,
        2000, February 16, 2000, March 7, 2000 and March 8, 2000;

     .  VeriSign's Current Report on Form 8-K/A filed with the SEC on March 10,
        2000;

     .  VeriSign's Definitive Proxy Statement for its 1999 Annual Meeting of
        Stockholders filed with the SEC on April 22, 1999; and

     .  VeriSign's Registration Statement on Form 8-A (SEC file number 000-23593
        and filing date January 5, 1998, which describes VeriSign's common
        stock)

     Any statement contained in a document incorporated or deemed to be
incorporated herein by reference will be deemed to be modified or superseded for
purposes of this prospectus to the extent that a statement contained in this
prospectus or any other subsequently filed document that is deemed to be
incorporated in this prospectus by reference modifies or supersedes the
statement.  Any statement so modified or superseded will not be deemed, except
as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this prospectus.

                      WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     The documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus are available
from us upon request.  We will provide a copy of any and all of the information
that is incorporated by reference in this prospectus, not including exhibits to
the information unless those exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference
into this prospectus, to any person, without charge, upon written or oral
request.

     Requests for documents should be directed to VeriSign, Inc., Attention:
Investor Relations, 1350 Charleston Road, Mountain View, California, 94043-1331,
telephone number (650) 429-3550.

     We file reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.  Copies of our reports, proxy statements and other
information may be inspected and copied at the public reference facilities
maintained by the SEC:
<PAGE>

Judiciary Plaza            Citicorp Center             Seven World Trade Center
Room 1024                  5000 West Madison Street    13th Floor
450 Fifth Street, N.W.     Suite 1400                  New York, New York 10048
Washington, D.C. 20549     Chicago, Illinois 60661


     Copies of these materials can also be obtained by mail at prescribed rates
from the Public Reference Section of the SEC, 450 Fifth Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20549 or by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.  The SEC
maintains a website that contains reports, proxy statements and other
information regarding each of us.  The address of the SEC website is
http://www.sec.gov.

     VeriSign has filed a registration statement under the Securities Act with
the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the shares to be sold by
the selling stockholder.  This prospectus has been filed as part of the
registration statement.  This prospectus does not contain all of the information
set forth in the registration statement because certain parts of the
registration statement are omitted in accordance with the rules and regulations
of the SEC.  The registration statement is available for inspection and copying
as set forth above.

     This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of
an offer to purchase, the securities offered by this prospectus or the
solicitation of a proxy, in any jurisdiction to or from any person to whom or
from whom it is unlawful to make an offer, solicitation of an offer or proxy
solicitation in that jurisdiction.  Neither the delivery of this prospectus nor
any distribution of securities pursuant to this prospectus shall, under any
circumstances, create any implication that there has been no change in the
information set forth or incorporated herein by reference or in our affairs
since the date of this prospectus.



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