Form 10-K

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Form 10-K is a document that is audited and needed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and is given to a public entity or shareholders of mutual fund at the conclusion of every fiscal period. The document requires reporting of finance related results for the fiscal period (which includes the income statement, balance sheet, company operations related descriptions and cash flow statement) as well as comments on future outlook.

Form 10-K basically offers a detailed summary regarding the performance of a public entity. Even though Form 10-K is also referred to the annual report that a company provides to its shareholders when it organizes an annual meeting for electing directors, it is essentially very different from it.

There are many companies that combine Form 10-K along with the annual reports and share them with the shareholders. However, 10-K consists of information like history of the company, structure of organization, equity, compensation to the executive, audited finance related statements and subsidiaries apart from other types of information.

As per the federal securities law, public entities must reveal information on a recurring basis. Thus, the domestic issuers, which does not include small enterprise issuers, must file annual reports on Form 10-K and reports that are released every quarter on Form 10-Q. In addition to this, the entities must also report current and specified events using the Form 8-K and should comply with a range of other disclosure related needs.

Background on Form 10-K

Historically, it was necessary for companies to file Form 10-K with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission within a period of ninety days, after the conclusion of the fiscal period of the company. But in the month of September in 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission gave its approval to a rule, which altered the deadlines for Form 10-Q as well as Form 10-K for those issuers who possessed a public float of around seventy five million dollar, that were subjected to the reporting needs of the Exchange Act for a minimum of twelve months, that have previously submitted a minimum of one annual report as well as that which were not eligible for filing their annual and quarterly reports on Forms 10-KSB and 10-QSB. 

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