Form 11-K

"Annual Reports of Employee Stock Purchase, Savings, and Similar Plans"

What is Form 11-K?

Form 11-K – one of many required of publicly traded companies – is a Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) form required to be filed yearly. The form includes information about stock purchases made by employees, as well as savings plans that own interests in any securities that are registered under the Securities Act of 1933.

Form 11-K

Form 11-K is a special yearly report that must be filed alongside Form 10-K every year. The form can be filed by the issuer of the security/securities in question. It is special because it focuses on employee purchase plans of stocks issued by publicly traded companies who’ve filed their securities under the previously mentioned Securities Act of 1933.


  • Form 11-K is required by the SEC, pursuant to the SEC Act of 1934.
  • The form provides information about employee stock purchase plans.
  • The information in Form 11-K is important because it helps investors – or potential investors – determine how financially and structurally sound a company is and whether it is worth investing in.

What’s Included in Form 11-K?

Form 11-K is filed pursuant to Section 15d of the SEC Act of 1934. The form is alternatively known as the Annual Reports of Employee Stock Purchase, Savings, and Similar Plans.

The act put in place a series of filing requirements for all broker-dealers and exchanges that handle employee stock plans for publicly traded companies. The requirements are numerous, and they include the following:

  • Margin requirements
  • Audit requirements
  • All proxy solicitations
  • Disclosure agreements
  • Registrations

While not exactly the same, Form11-K form is similar to Form 10-K.

What is Form 10-K?

Form 10-K is another annual report that provides a comprehensive summary of a company’s performance over the past year. (It makes the form similar to Form 10-Q as well.)

It is distinct from Form 11-K because the latter is known to often be somewhat “manipulated” or dressed up in a way that makes it more appealing to shareholders. Included within the 10-K is information about a company’s history (fundamental and financial), corporate structure, its equity and subsidiaries, executive compensation, and fully audited financial statements.

Companies with equities in a class held by more than 2,000 owners and that own upwards of $10 million in assets must file the annual 10-K report in addition to other annual reports. It is required whether a company trades securities publicly or privately.

Significance of Form 11-K

Companies must file a Form 11-K, but employee stock purchase plans need to make similar public disclosures.

Why is this important? The primary objective of the form is to give shareholders – and any individuals that are considering an investment in a company – all of the necessary financial and operating information about a company. This enables investors to obtain a well-rounded view of the company and, hopefully, determine the best way to structure their investments in the company.


Related Readings

CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!

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