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What Is Form 8-K?

Whenever a US public company experiences any event of importance to shareholders or the SEC, whether a major material event or significant corporate change, Form 8-K must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within four business days. The form gives the name and description of the events and includes relevant exhibits, like press releases, financial statements and data tables. It serves as an update to Form 10-Q quarterly reports and Form 10-K annual reports that the company already has on file with the SEC.

In compliance with The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Form 8-K announces events—like an acquisition, bankruptcy, removal of a director or change in the fiscal year—on a current, as-needed basis. The wide variety of events that warrant filing the form can be related to a company’s business and operations, accounting and finances, market performance and activities, corporate leadership, asset-backed securities, regulation fair disclosure (FD) and other areas of interest.

Form 8-K filings are displayed publicly on the SEC’s online database, EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval). Most large companies also make their Form 8-Ks available on their own websites, in the Investor Relations or similarly titled section.

How Can Merrill Help?

With nearly 50 years of SEC compliance experience, and as one of the first companies to actively engage with EDGAR and the XBRL mandate, Merrill is uniquely qualified to help filers worldwide successfully navigate ever-changing SEC requirements. With Merrill, you can manage regulated disclosure with absolute security, precision and accuracy.

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