SEC Form 20-F

What is SEC Form 20-F?

SEC Form 20-F is the primary disclosure document required of foreign private issuers listing equity shares on exchanges in the United States. Form 20-F is most often filed with the SEC as an annual report but is also used to register classes of securities. Companies with fewer than 50% of its voting shares held by U.S. investors can file this form.

Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1943, Form 20-F is meant to help standardize reporting requirements so investors can evaluate foreign-based companies’ equities alongside U.S.-based companies’ equities. Accordingly, Form 20-F disclosures are very similar to those required of U.S. issuers, reporting information such as key operational details, market risks, corporate governance and financial statements.

However, there are two main differences. First, if a foreign private issuer prepares financial statements in accordance with home-country accounting standards or, not to IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) and IFRS (International Accounting Standards Board International Financial Reporting Standards), foreign private issuer must also furnish reconciliation with US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Second, foreign private issuers are allowed to disclose executive compensation in aggregate and are not required to provide a Compensation Discussion & Analysis.

Form 20-F is filed and displayed publicly on the SEC’s EDGAR system. For support and additional information, explore our SEC reporting solutions.