Federal corporate securities laws require that businesses disclose information periodically regarding specific financial statements. Although these statements ask for straightforward information about each company’s financial state of being, it’s common for business owners to be confused by the way in which the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) asks for this information.
If your business needs to file reports with the SEC, here are the three important forms you’ll need to be familiar with.
The SEC requires that companies provide financial information in ongoing periodic statements so that these companies can be adequately monitored. The Form 10-K is an annual report, which “provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s business and financial condition,” according to the SEC. This form includes specific audited financial statements. Form 10-K must be filed within 90 days of the end of the company’s fiscal year.
Form 10-Q can be thought of as “filling in the gaps” in between filings of Form 10-K. Form 10-Q is intended to provide a continuous picture of a company’s financial standing. It must include unaudited financial statements. Form 10-Q must be filed for each of the first three quarters of the company’s fiscal year.
This form is what companies file with the SEC constantly so that shareholders can see where the company is standing. Form 8-K doesn’t need to be submitted in certain time increments; instead, it needs to be submitted after “major events,” which would be of interest to shareholders. These events include, but are not limited to, declaring bankruptcy, completing an acquisition of assets, measuring operations within the company, the unregistered sale of equity securities, and several other internal operations changes.
It is essential for American businesses to understand corporate securities laws because the risks of missing a filing deadline are very high. Although these forms may seem like a complicated hassle to the businesses themselves, all of these measures are intended to protect companies, shareholders, and investors alike. It’s no surprise that the processes abiding by corporate and securities laws are complex; U.S. money market funds alone are worth around $3 trillion, and the SEC brought down a record 755 cases in 2014, totaling $4.1 billion, for violations.
If your company needs assistance with anything related to corporate law filings, it’s imperative to contact a corporate lawyer or corporate securities law firm for assistance.