Annual Reports

Annual Reports in the United States

Legal Materials

U.S. Companies

Generally, many researchers get current annual reports from AnnualReports.com or one of the EDGAR-related Web sites discussed in the SEC Filings entry. Alternatively, the Public Register’s Online Annual Report Service might be able to link you to postings at the corporation’s own Web page, or just go directly to the company web site. If that fails, LIVEDGAR has a large collection of annual reports. Also, you could try searching Lexis (FEDSEC;AR) or Westlaw (EDGAR). Or call ThomsonReuters Custom Research Services (301-545-4930 to reach D.C. directly or 800-638-8241 for the toll-free main number) or Business Law Research (877-362-800-669-1154, formerly GSI Document Retrieval and Westlaw Business).

Original Annual Reports: If you need an original Annual Report you can, (1) call the company’s investor relations office, and they may send it for free or (2) try to get it from the Public Record’s Annual Report Service or AnnualReports.com or (3) buy the report from GSI Document Retrieval (800-669-1154) or a competitor.

Historical Annual Reports: Some good sources:

  • The IRIN Annual Report Resource Center has free annual reports from the 1990s and 2000s;
  • If you have access (e.g., through a university or public library system), Proquest Historical Annual Reports and Mergent Archives both have historical annual report databases;
  • Check your local public library and/or academic business libraries to see if they have annual reports on microform – there was a popular set going back to 1969;
  • ThomsonReuters Custom Research (formerly Disclosure) has a historical collection of Annual Reports (call 301-545-4930 to reach D.C. directly or 800-638-8241 for the toll-free main number).
  • The Library of Congress has a collection of pre-1974 annual reports, but you will have to arrange for document retrieval unless you can make the copies yourself (see the “Document Delivery” section of the Library of Congress entry).

For even older annual reports, Columbia University’s Watson Library of Business and Economics has a collection of historical annual reports, most from before 1934. The Library posts a list of reports in the collection in Excel format. If you see what you need on the list, you can contact the library (212-854-7804 or business @libraries.cul.columbia.edu) and request that report be retrieved from off-site storage. (Be sure to identify the document by its bar code number on the list.) If you are not in the New York area, you will have to make special arrangements or send a document retrieval service to get a copy.

Foreign Companies

Annual Reports from companies outside the U.S. are available from:

Free Web postings: Many foreign companies post their annual reports on their Web sites. Links to U.K. annual reports are also through Northcote. If that doesn’t work work, search for the company’s Web site on one or two good search engines. Alternatively,AnnualReports.com has annual reports for U.K. companies, and Corporate Reportsclaims to have annual reports for all U.K. companies and the 500 largest European companies.

Online Databases: Foreign annual reports are available through LIVEDGAR, Edgar Online, and the Pioneer database produced by Perfect Information .

One additional subscription-based service: Thomson Research.

Document Delivery Services: You can buy foreign annual reports from the Annual Report Service, GSI Document Retrieval (800-669-1154) and other companies.

See Also

Company Information
SEC Filings
Securities and Exchange Commission

Annual Reports and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Reports required to be submitted to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on agencies’ affirmative employment program accomplishments pursuant to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Management Directive 715.

Annual Filing Requirement in the Uniform Partnership Act (UPA)

The revised Uniform Partnership Act (1994) includes new Section 1001(d) which provides that a partnership’s status as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) remains effective until it is revoked by a vote of the partners or is canceled by the Secretary of State under new Section 1003(c) for the failure to file an annual report or pay the required annual fees. Most states provide that unless an Limited Liability Partnership timely files an annual registration statement, its Limited Liability Partnership status is “automatically” terminated but may be resurrected prospectively only with a subsequent corrective filing. Under this view, an operating partnership may have significant “gaps” in its shield which is further complicated by sourcing rules necessary to determine when a partnership obligation belongs to the shielded Limited Liability Partnership or the unshielded partnership.

As with corporations and limited liability companies, the Act preserves the Limited Liability Partnership status and the partners’ liability shield unless the LLP status is revoked by the
partners or canceled by the Secretary of State. In the latter case, potential gaps in the liability shield are cured with a retroactive resurrection of the Limited Liability Partnership status if a
corrective filing is made within two years (Section 1003(e)).

Annual Reports: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Annual Reports. This part provides references, in relation to Annual Reports, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Annual Reports by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Annual Reports and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Annual Reports or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Annual Reports and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Annual Reports. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Annual Reports should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Annual Reports when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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