What is the 10-K?

If you have a public company, the SEC (or Security’s Exchange Commission) will require that you file a form each year called the “10-K.” This form provides an extensive overview of the company’s performance from the past year. This report is different from the “Annual Report to Shareholders,” which companies will provide its shareholders each year detailing much of the same information. Distinct from the 10-K, the shareholders’ report is a slick and glossy report that is given to its shareholders at the annual meeting.

If you have a company that has $10 million in assets, and those securities are owned by 500 owners or more, then you are also required to file a 10-K report regardless of whether your company is publicly held or not. If a shareholder would like a copy of the 10-K report, the company is required by law to provide one to the shareholder. You can also find larger companies posting their 10-K reports on their websites as they are required by law to make the information free and available. There is a website that the SEC provides with an enormous database storing 10-K reports and other SEC filings, which is available for people to search. It is called the EDGAR database.

Every company that meets the guidelines specified must file their Form 10-K to the SEC within 90 days from the end of the company’s fiscal year. The form 10-K is named for the form in sections 13 and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as it was amended.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John August 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Great article. The 10K is the most important filing I look into when I’m researching about a company.

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