What is 'SEC Form 8-A'

SEC Form 8-A is a filing required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from companies seeking to register securities that must be submitted before they can be offered on an exchange. It is also known as the Registration of Certain Classes of Securities. Known as the short-form registration statement, Form 8-A is one of the basic forms companies use to register securities for listing or quoting on an exchange under the Exchange Act for offering to the public.


The Exchange Act refers to the package of legislation that governs the U.S. securities market. Congress passed the Act in 1934 in the wake of the Great Depression. Among other things, the Act created the SEC and authorized it to register, regulate and oversee securities markets and exchanges. It also authorizes the SEC to impose regular financial reporting requirements on companies with publicly traded securities.

Information required on SEC Form 8-A includes a description of the type of securities offered, details of issuances, distribution date and terms (such as redemption rights, exchange provisions and exercise dates), plus key information about the issuer.

The SEC requires public companies that file financial statements, to use Form 8-A to issue additional securities offerings. The SEC streamlined its requirements for Form 8-A in 1997, allowing it to become effective automatically for equity securities in addition to debt securities (which already were allowed that benefit) and eliminating requiring for filing additional exhibits related to the filing with all of the relevant national exchanges. Registration statements made on Form 8-A become effective automatically 60 days after filing.

How SEC Form 8-A is Useful to Investors

SEC Form 8-A is extremely useful to investors considering the purchase of any newly issued or soon-to-be issued security. Since many new companies do not immediately receive analyst coverage, savvy investors can use this form to fill in the gaps in their research.

Form 8-A is now also relevant for companies filing initial registrations under the Obama administration’s 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. The law eased hurdles to raising financing for startups and other small or emerging businesses. The terms of the Act permit companies the SEC classifies as Tier 2, who are seeking to raise up to $50 million in funds from the general public, to use Form 8-A under certain conditions for their registration (instead of the more comprehensive Form 10 they would otherwise be required to file).

Related Forms include: SEC Form 8-A12B, 8-12B/A, 8-12G, 8-12G/A, 8-K, Form-10.

  1. SEC Form 8-A12B

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that ...
  2. SEC Form S-1

    SEC Form S-1 is the initial registration form for new securities ...
  3. SEC Form 10SB12B

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also ...
  4. SEC Form F-4

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) required ...
  5. SEC Form 1

    An application for and amendments to an application for registration ...
  6. SEC Form 1-A

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) required ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    SEC Filings: Forms You Need To Know

    The forms companies are required to file provide a clear view of their histories and progress.
  2. Insights

    Understanding the SEC

    The SEC's triple mandate of investor protection, maintenance of orderly markets and facilitation of capital formation makes it a vital player in capital markets.
  3. Investing

    Understanding The Top SEC filing forms

    It's easier than ever to keep track of your SEC filing status online.
  4. Insights

    Understand the SEC Rules on Equity Crowdfunding

    The SEC's adoption of equity crowdfunding rules, initiated under the JOBS Act, enables small investors to invest in companies that show early potential.
  5. Financial Advisor

    What Triggers an SEC Audit for Financial Advisors?

    Advisors looking to avoid an SEC audit should pay heed to this list of what may catch the regulator's attention.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Becoming A Registered Investment Advisor

    To become a registered investment advisor requires specific licensing, qualifications and regulations, but the greater freedom may be worth it.
  7. Taxes

    What IRS Form 990 Tells About a Nonprofit

    Want a picture of an organization's activities? This annual form, open to the public, sums up everything from salaries paid to missions accomplished.
  8. Tech

    ICOs Have Made It Harder for Crypto ETFs to Pass SEC Muster

    Regulators like the SEC are pushing back on "exotic" new ETFs, like those for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  9. Tech

    SEC Targets Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds In Probe

    For the first time, hedge funds have been drawn into SEC examinations regarding cryptocurrencies.
  1. How is trading volume regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?

    Learn about how the SEC uses the trading volume formula as one requirement for an exemption to the ban on the resale of restricted ... Read Answer >>
  2. How often do mutual funds report their holdings?

    Learn how mutual funds are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their portfolio holdings on a quarterly ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do I register for the CFA program for the first time?

    CFA Institute provides prospective CFA candidates with a couple registration options.1) Online Registration: This is the ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Capital Asset Pricing Model - CAPM

    Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) is a model that describes the relationship between risk and expected return and that is ...
  2. Return On Equity - ROE

    The profitability returned in direct relation to shareholders' investments is called the return on equity.
  3. Working Capital

    Working capital, also known as net working capital is a measure of a company's liquidity and operational efficiency.
  4. Bond

    A bond is a fixed income investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows ...
  5. Compound Annual Growth Rate - CAGR

    The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer ...
  6. Net Present Value - NPV

    Net Present Value (NPV) is the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows ...
Trading Center