The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System (EDGAR) is designed to perform a variety of automated tasks, such as collection, acceptance, indexing, forwarding, and validation of any submissions by those who must file their forms with SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission). The goal of EDGAR filing is to increase the fairness and efficiency of the market for corporations, investors, and the economy. It works by accelerating the acceptance, receipt, analysis, and dissemination of any time-sensitive corporate data filed to the agency.
What Documents Can/Must Be Filed
While it makes the process much simpler, all documents cannot be filed by public companies to the Commission through EDGAR filing. As of May 6, 1996, all public companies (domestic) must file everything with EDGAR, except hardship exemption files that must be made in paper form. All third-party filing, as well as Schedules 13D and tender offers, can also be filed with the system.
Likewise, some documents can voluntarily be filed through the system but aren’t necessarily required, including:
- Forms 3, 4, 5. These are security ownership/transaction reports from corporate insiders. Anything filed before June of 2003 can be filed with EDGAR but aren’t required. Those filed after the cut-off date have to be filed through EDGAR.
- Filings by foreign governments and companies before November 2002 could be filed electronically, and anything after that date must be filed on EDGAR.
- Form 144 can also be filed electronically if the filer chooses to do so.
The annual report to shareholders doesn’t need to be submitted electronically unless investment companies are involved. However, companies can voluntarily do so if they choose. Likewise, any annual report for Form 10-KSB or 10-K must be filed on the EDGAR system. It is also the filer’s right to follow up with PDF copies. Visit Colonial Stock Transfer for more information.
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