How to Use FTP to Access EDGAR

If you want to download corporate filings information in bulk, learn how to use file transfer protocol, or FTP, to access EDGAR, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's online database.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Download FTP software Download free or trial versions of FTP software, if you don't already have it, from a reputable technology website.
  • Step 2: Find the date of a company's filing Find the date of a company's filing by doing a search via EDGAR's online database. You can search by company name or Central Index Key or CIK number.
  • Step 3: Open the FTP software Open the FTP software and connect to ftp.sec.gov, EDGAR's FTP server. Log in as "anonymous." Enter your e-mail address as your password.
  • TIP: The SEC recommends that larger FTP information file transfers occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern time.
  • Step 4: Find the company's filing date Find the company's filing date within a time period in the EDGAR FTP server's "daily index" files or "full-index" files.
  • Step 5: Download the corporate filing information Download the corporate filing information made during the time period when your targeted company or companies filed with EDGAR.
  • TIP: EDGAR has a concurrent limit of 30 connections for FTP retrievals.
  • Step 6: Extract or unzip the compressed files Extract or unzip the compressed files using decompression software. Files are in .zip format for PC and .sit format for Mac.
  • FACT: The first written complaint to the SEC regarding Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff was made as early as 1999.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • FTP software
  • File decompression software

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