SEC Form 20-F

DEFINITION of 'SEC Form 20-F'

A form issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that must be submitted by all "foreign private issuers" that have listed equity shares on exchanges in the United States. Form 20-F calls for the submission of an annual report within six months of the end of the company's fiscal year, or if the fiscal year-end date changes.

The reporting and eligibility requirements for form 20-F are stated in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The information requirements are not as strict as for domestic U.S. companies; companies in which less than 50% of voting shares are held by U.S. investors may be eligible.

BREAKING DOWN 'SEC Form 20-F'

Once a company is deemed ineligible for foreign private issuer status, it must file the same forms as regular filers, such as 8-k, 10-Q, and 10-K reports, as well as reconciling accounting statements to GAAP standards.

The goal of Form 20-F is to standardize the reporting requirements of foreign-based companies so that investors can evaluate these investments alongside domestic equities.

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