What is EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval)?

EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval) is the automated, online system the SEC provides for the receipt, acceptance, review and dissemination of documents submitted in electronic format from the SEC. The EDGAR site is free to the public for searching and viewing corporate regulatory filings on the web or via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

The SEC implemented EDGAR to improve efficiency and transparency around corporate filings. All publicly traded companies use EDGAR to submit required, time-sensitive documents to the SEC.

Documents that must be filed via EDGAR include annual and quarterly statements, tender offers, information regarding institutional investors’ holdings, Schedule 13D and other key filings, many of which are the most important to investors and analysts. Except in the case of investment companies, actual annual reports to shareholders don’t need to be submitted on EDGAR, although some companies do so voluntarily.

Filers must submit various official EDGAR filings in Interactive Data format, using Inline XBRL (iXBRL). EDGAR was phased into use over a three-year period ending May 6, 1996. Consequently, filings from that date and earlier may not be included in the system due to a hardship exemption made for hardcopy paper filings. For support and additional information, explore our SEC reporting solutions.