EDGAR Law and Legal Definition

EDGAR is an acronym that stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval. EDGAR is an electronic system of the Securities and Exchange Commission used by all public companies to transmit required filings, such as quarterly reports and annual reports and other required disclosures.

Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency.

Not all documents filed with the Commission by public companies will be available on EDGAR. Companies were phased in to EDGAR filing over a three-year period, ending May 6, 1996. As of that date, all public domestic companies were required to make their filings on EDGAR, except for filings made in paper because of a hardship exemption. Third-party filings with respect to these companies, such as tender offers and Schedules 13D, are also filed on EDGAR.