Research Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors

This is a great introduction to resources that you can use to research any public company. All public companies must report their financials; quarterly reports, end of year tax forms, changes in top management, and so on. If you ever need to look up a company, this will give you the tools you need to navigate the public records system.


The SEC's EDGAR database provides free public access to corporate information, allowing you to quickly research a company's financial information and operations by reviewing registration statements, prospectuses, and periodic reports filed on Forms 10K and 10-Q. You also can find information about recent corporate events reported on Form 8-K but that a company does not have to disclose to investors. 

EDGAR also provides access to comment and response letters relating to disclosure filings made after August 1, 2004, and reviewed by either the Division of Corporation Finance or the Division of Investment Management. On May 22, 2006, the staffs of the Divisions of Corporation Finance and Investment Management began to use the EDGAR system to issue notifications of effectiveness for Securities Act registration statements and post-effective amendments, other than those that become effective automatically by law. These notifications will be posted to the EDGAR system the morning after a filing is determined to be effective. 

We currently are making enhancements to EDGAR. You can check our EDGAR Search Updates for the most recent changes. The SEC also is committed to transforming the EDGAR database from a form-based electronic filing cabinet to a dynamic real-time search tool with interactive capabilities using XBRLcomputer language. 

To use EDGAR most effectively, you should know which categories of information appear in which SEC filings and which search methods will work best. You also should understand the system's limitations. In this guide, you'll find tips for using EDGAR and answers to frequently asked questions about researching public companies. We also include in the FAQs, a description of available mutual fund and variable insurance product searches 

Source: US Securities and Exchange Commission,
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