The Securities and Exchange Commission appears ready to extend a transition period for some private equity firms and other investment advisers required to register with the agency under provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The changes have been the cause of much worry and harried preparation among advisers, particularly smaller and mid-sized private-equity firms subject to new requirements under the legislation.

SEC Associate Director Robert Plaze told Reuters the transition period would likely be extended, but stressed the agency had not yet acted.

He was reiterating comments contained in an April 8 letter made public on the agency’s website. The letter was addressed to David Massey, the deputy securities administrator for the state of North Carolina and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

“We anticipate that the Commission will complete its implementing rulemaking by July 21, 2011 in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, but expect in connection therewith that the Commission will consider providing additional time for investment advisers affected by these provisions to come into compliance,” Plaze wrote.