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SEC Form S-1: What Is It? Why Is It Important?

Publisher: Fox Business News
Author: Jason Hall

There are lots of SEC forms that investors have to wade through, but few are as important as the SEC Form S-1, which is generally filed by companies in anticipation of their initial public offering.

What is SEC Form S-1?

The purpose of the SEC Form S-1 is to register a company’s securities prior to listing them on a public exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange. In doing so, the S-1 provides the SEC and prospective investors with a detailed look at the company’s business, financial statements, potential risks, and plans for the cash from the public offering.

In some ways, it’s similar to the kinds of information found in an already-public company’s SEC Form 10-K, the annual filing that contains fully audited financial results and conditions for each company’s fiscal year.

Sometimes the information in Form S-1 may need to be changed (which is often the case if the share-offering price or quantity changes before IPO). If this happens, then a company would file an SEC Form S-1/A, which is an amendment to the S-1.

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