Information on Public SEC Filings
Investors can opt for the public Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings to gain access to information that they need. It is required of every publicly traded company to file the detailed financial statements, which includes the quarterly and annual financial statement forms to the SEC. The companies also have to file other forms which deal with the internal transactions of the management body in a company.
The information available through the public SEC filings is free of cost. The company that files must take care to follow the SEC rules and regulations. For every form and hardship exemptions, the rules may be different, so it is necessary to know the specific rules before SEC filing.
Access to Information
You may visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website www.sec.gov for information on public SEC filings. You can submit your questions regarding investments and federal securities laws to the “Questions and Comments” form available in the website.
If you want access to the SEC database having annual and quarterly reports of companies, registration statements for several offerings and IPOS and even internal trading reports, you can do so by using the online SEC search feature. You will get the result in electronic form. If you have searched the SEC website and did not find the information that you are looking for, you can request for such public records.
The public records that dates back to 1996 or earlier is not included in the database. The records not available online mainly include SEC documents and records, special reports and studies, historic Commission filings, testimony and speeches. For further information not available on the website, a written request may be made.
Request for Information
The written request should consist of your mailing address as well as a daytime telephone number; these contact information are required if you are to be contacted in case any questions arise. The request for information should also have details like the name of the company, the document you are looking for, the subject matter, the number of the file, and any other specific information pertaining to the public SEC filings. If you are able to provide the relevant data required to request information, the correct documents can be located and made available to you as soon as possible.
Every request is limited to information on a single company only. If you want information on multiple companies, you must break it into separate requests. Remember that the request that you make should show that you are willing to pay for the search and also for the paper or electronic document production costs.
After you make a request, you will receive a letter of acknowledgment from the authorities. Expect to get a response within 20 working days of making the request. In case, there is some problem or delay in response, you will be notified about it. Note that a request for a more detailed record may take many months instead of the minimum period.