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Getting Started with EDGAR Filing

What is EDGAR?

Acquiring EDGAR Access Codes

The Securities and Exchange Commission, or "SEC," requires filing of registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through the EDGAR filing system.

Below you will find an overview of EDGAR, information on how to acquire EDGAR access codes that allow you to file electronically, and the specific purposes of each EDGAR access code.

What is EDGAR?

EDGAR stands for Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval. The SEC allows EDGAR filings in the following formats: HTML, ASCII, XML (including XBRL). Additional document types that are sent to the SEC include graphics (gif and jpeg) and PDFs (unofficial filings). Click here for a complete EDGAR overview, as presented by the SEC.

Acquiring EDGAR Access Codes

I need all new codes.
Each person or entity that will file electronically with the SEC needs to apply for codes. This is done online via the SEC's Filer Management website. This process is started by filling out the Electronic Form ID. As found in the EDGAR Filer Manual, Volume I, Chapter 4.

I need to change or update some codes.
To change or update your existing codes, use the SEC's Filer Management website and follow the respective directions referenced below for what you would like to do.

Generating Replacement Access Codes:

I only have my CIK
If you do not have access to any of your private access codes (password, passphrase or PMAC). You will need to update your passphrase, then generate replacement access codes.

I have a CIK as a Paper Filer, but need to convert to an Electronic Filer.
If you are new to the electronic filing process, but have previously filed with the SEC in paper, you must use the Converting from Paper Filer to Electronic Filer functionality (See "Converting from Paper to Electronic Filer" in the EDGAR Filer Manual (Volume I, Section

You can find complete instructions for the SEC Filer Management website in "Becoming an EDGAR Filer" in the EDGAR Filer Manual (Volume I, Chapter 3).

Defining EDGAR Access Codes

The Passphrase is the first code you create and it is used to generate all new access codes. It is confidential. The Passphrase must be eight characters. It is case sensitive and must contain at least one number and one special character (@, #, $, or *). Sample Passphrase: vx6$y!4v

Your Passphrase never expires, but can be changed if you are concerned about security. You will need to use your passphrase to reset your password every 12 months. You can also use it to reset your CCC, PMAC, and Password in the event your security is compromised.

  • CIK - Central Index Key, is equivalent to an account number, it identifies the EDGAR Filer. Using the correct CIK is critical for a filing to be associated with the correct EDGAR Filer. Be sure to verify the CIK on your Merrill proof sent to you by Customer Service or before submitting your filing on our self-service Section16Direct system. The CIK always begins with leading zeros and must be ten numeric digits. Sample CIK: 0003456789.
    • The CIK is available to the public and cannot be changed. However, when two companies merge or a company changes their name, the CIK of the surviving/new entity can be associated with the new name by updating the company profile in the EDGAR database
  • CCC - the CIK Confirmation Code. It is equivalent to a Personal Identification Number ("PIN"), and is confidential. The CCC must be eight characters. It is case sensitive and must contain at least one number and one special character (@, #, $, or *). Sample CCC: ysmajr4$
    • The CCC never expires. The CCC allows a filing to be made on your behalf by a filing agent such as Merrill. Merrill must have your CIK and a current CCC to send a filing to the SEC. Although the CCC never expires, you may want to change it if you ever change filing agents, to prevent accidental filings by a previous filing agent. It can be reset or replaced as described in the Passphrase section above. Make sure to always provide Merrill with the most current CCC to avoid an interruption in filing ability.
  • Password - used with the CIK to log in to the EDGAR filer website where your company/entity's contact and filing information is stored. It is confidential. The Password must be eight characters. It is case sensitive and must contain at least one number and one special character (@, #, $, or *). Sample Password: ut@kpv7e
    • The Password expires 12 months from when it was generated. You will need the CIK and current password to login to the EDGAR filer website and the PMAC to actually reset the password.
  • PMAC - Password Modification Access Code, is used to change the Password. It is confidential. The PMAC must be eight characters. It is case sensitive and must contain at least one number and one special character (@, #, $, or *). Sample PMAC: ad2!zq!*
    • The PMAC never expires, but can be changed if you are concerned about security. You will need the passphrase to change the PMAC.

In summary:

  • All of the codes except the CIK are eight characters and must include at least one number, one letter and one special character (@, #, $, or *), For example: xxx#4xxx.
  • They are case sensitive.
  • They are confidential and are to be maintained by you.
  • The CIK is ten digits and it is public information.
  • The only codes that Merrill Corporation needs to complete filings on your behalf are the CIK and CCC, which we keep in our records.
  • You need to keep a record of all of your codes for future reference.


EDGAR Filer Manual, Volume I, Chapter 4: Generating EDGAR Access Codes

Company Data Changes on the SEC Database

SEC Contact Information

SEC Electronic Form ID Frequently Asked Questions

SEC Reference Guide to Saving the Authentication Document as a PDF File in Adobe Acrobat

SEC Reference Guide to EDGAR Access Codes

Information for EDGAR Filers

EDGAR Filer Websites. Links and summaries of the various filing sites available.

EDGAR Portal: Your gateway to filing with the SEC

EDGAR filer website

Filer Management Website

To access the Filer Management Website FAQ, click the link Filer Management Website link above, click "Press Here to Begin," then click Frequently Asked Questions on the left side of the page.

EDGAR Company Database Search

The EDGAR company database is a subset of the data maintained by the EDGAR system and contains over 500,000 records. Filers may search for and view company information about various EDGAR filing entities; this information includes data such as company name, address, cik, and fiscal year end.

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