What is Form 10-K?

Definition: Form 10-K, also called 10-KSB, is an annual report that publicly traded companies are required to file with the SEC within 60 days of the fiscal year end. The 10K is a packet of different financial reports that is intended to show the financial standing and position of the company at the end of the year. This comprehensive report summarizes company history, legal structure, equity holdings, and can even briefly describe plans for the future.

What Is Form 10K Used For?

The form 10-K typically includes a set of audited financial statements, management discussion and analysis, disclosures, details about internal controls, information about executives such as compensation and ownership percentages, relationships with accounting firms with regard to independence, and even fees paid to professionals.

As you can see the form 10-K is really a comprehensive summary of not only the current financial position of the company, it is also a detailed summary of the company structure and relationship with auditors, accountants, and attorneys.


Since the scandals in the early 2000s, the SEC has become stricter with regard to the 10K filings. The deadline before the Sarbanes Oxley Act was 90 days after the fiscal year end. That has been changed to 60 days to provide the SEC, investors, and creditors with more timely information.

There are also different requirements for different sized entities. Companies with over $10 million in assets have different requirements than business with less than $10 million. Also, smaller entities are allowed to file the 10-KSB, which is a shortened version of the 10-K that requires less disclosure and less work to prepare.

Don’t get the 10-K confused with the 10-Q. The 10K is a yearly report where the K stands for years. The 10Q, on the other hand, is a quarterly report where the Q stands for quarter.

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