The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was formed as a result of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with the goal of protecting investors and restoring confidence in U.S. capital markets by providing more reliable information and clear rules of honest dealing.
SEC Filings are the company filings submitted to the SEC that are made public for investor use.
Which companies must file?
U.S. Companies that-
Trade securities on U.S. stock exchanges
Have more than $10 million in assets whose stock is held by more than 500 owners
Private companies with more than 500 shareholders or have made a public debt offering more than $1 million
Foreign companies that trade on U.S. stock exchanges.
Basically the 10-K equivalent for foreign companies. Foreign companies trading on U.S. Exchanges must file these reports disclosing their financial condition, results of operations and any other information that is of significance to investors; filed under U.S. GAAP principles.
Filed for initial public offering (IPO). S-1 and S-3 are both forms for filing initial registration statements, with S-3 being the most simplified form and only allowed by meeting certain requirements.