FAQs FOR OBTAINING AND MANAGING CIK AND EDGAR ACCESS CODES
What are CIK and EDGAR access codes, and why do I need them?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Central Index Key (CIK) and Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) access codes are utilized to gain access to the EDGAR platform and file federal compliance documents.
How do I obtain a CIK code?
To obtain a CIK code, you need to complete a Form ID and file it using the EDGAR Filer Management Portal. The Form ID is available here; you will need to complete all of the information. Note that, if your attorney’s office will be filing the Form D on your behalf, you should enter your attorney’s (or their paralegal’s) information in Part III (“Contact Information”) so the latter will receive confirmation of your filing. All other inputted data should be for your company. Upon completion, an officer of the company must sign the document in the presence of a notary.
Once you have the notarized document, the steps to obtain your CIK code are as follows:
1. Scan and store the notarized document on your desktop and give it a short name, such as “formid.pdf.” (Note: The EDGAR system limits the number of characters in the file name, so be as brief as possible; by putting it on your desktop, you will be compelled to keep the file path as short as possible. If you file the document in a network folder, the file name is often too long and will ultimately be rejected by EDGAR.)
2. Access the EDGAR Filer Management Portal (click here).
3. Select the “Press Here to Begin” button located at the bottom of the page.
4. On the left side of the page, select “Apply for EDGAR Access (New).”
5. Complete the online application for EDGAR Access (Form ID)—this is the information on the notarized form—and enter the date, name, and title of the person who signed the Form ID’s signature section.
6. Click the “Continue” button.
7. Verify all of your information is correct (be aware that, in certain circumstances, the system may abbreviate the entity’s name). If something is incorrect, select the “Edit Form ID” button to return to the previous page, where you can update your information. If everything is accurate, select the “Upload/Delete Attachments” button near the bottom of the page and attach the notarized Form ID document from your desktop.
8. Select “CORRESP” as the file type in the drop-down menu and describe the document (“Entity Name Form ID” is an acceptable description).
9. You will know the file has been uploaded when it is listed in the “Attached Document” list. Confirm the document type is CORRESP and select the “OK” button.
10. Enter a Passphrase you will remember. This must be eight characters long and contain at least one digit and one of the following characters: @, #, * or $. (MSE recommends the first five digits of the company name, followed by #01.) This number will not be confirmed by the SEC and is difficult to replace, so make note of it. As it is needed to generate any future access codes, the passphrase does not expire. It is important for you to remember this passphrase for later use. Please note the passphrase is not your EDGAR login password.
11. Print the window and save it on your computer as a record of the filing before selecting “Submit Form ID.”
12. Select “Submit Form ID.” An email will be sent to the individual listed as the contact for EDGAR information in Section III. This email will contain the assession number for the Form ID filing and will be needed in the event you are required to contact the SEC regarding your application.
13. Within one to three business days, the individual listed as the contact for EDGAR information will receive an email containing your CIK code.
How do I generate EDGAR access codes?
Once you receive the company’s CIK Code, access the EDGAR Filer Management Portal to generate your EDGAR access codes (click here).
1. On the page’s left side, select “Generate Access Codes (New/Replacement).” You will need to enter the CIK code and the passphrase you selected (see #10 above) before selecting the “Generate Access Codes” button.
2. The codes will be immediately displayed. Using a PDF printer, you should print the codes and store them for future reference since you will need them for various filings, as well as to access any and all information stored on the SEC’s EDGAR system.
3. The EDGAR access codes will expire one year from the date they are issued and, as a result, you will need to generate new ones by using your CIK code and passphrase—never lose your passphrase!
What happens if I do lose or forget my passphrase?
Fortunately, all is not lost, though this can be a painful experience. In the event that you lose the passphrase, you can create a new one by accessing the EDGAR Filer Management Portal (click here).
1. On the left side of the page, select “Update Passphrase.”
2. Enter your CIK code and a new passphrase.
3. Select “Continue.”
4. An “Update Passphrase” page will be generated by the system; it will need to be signed by an officer of the company before being notarized.
5. The notarized document should be scanned and stored on your desktop with a short file name, such as “updatedpassphrase.”
6. Once you have the notarized document, repeat steps 1 through 3 above and then select the “Upload/Delete Attachments” button near the bottom of the page. Attach the notarized Form ID document from your desktop.
7. Select “CORRESP” as the file type in the drop-down menu and describe the document (e.g., “Entity Name Form ID” is an acceptable description).
8. You will know the file has been uploaded when it is listed in the Attached Document list. Confirm the document type is CORRESP and select the “OK” button.
9. Select “Submit Form ID” and an email will be sent to the individual listed as the contact for all EDGAR information. * This email will confirm the passphrase has been updated, meaning you can use it to generate new EDGAR access codes.
* – If the individual listed as the contact for EDGAR information has changed, or the email address on file is no longer active, you will need to contact the SEC at (202) 551-8900. Inform the SEC representative that you have filed an “Update Passphrase” request and he or she can verbally confirm it has been changed. Alternatively, once you have filed the Update Passphrase document, you can periodically attempt to generate new codes using your new passphrase. It typically takes one to 24 hours for the SEC to update your passphrase, though it may take longer if the system is busy.
Do I need to update company information on file with the SEC?
Any time the company’s information changes, you will need to update whatever is on file with the SEC, especially since this data is automatically populated in subsequent filings. This includes changes related to your executive officer, address, phone number, etc.
1. To do this, you need to have active EDGAR access codes (or you will need to generate a new one by using the CIK code and passphrase).
2. To access the Online Forms Management Portal, click here.
3. On the left side of the page, select “Retrieve/Edit Data.” You will be required to enter the CIK and CCC codes.
4. Select “Retrieve Company Information” and the data currently on file will be displayed.
5. To change the information, click on the “Edit Company Information” button at the bottom of the page. A window will open and it will allow you to make changes to the information as needed. Select the “Submit Changes” button; an “Edit Confirmation” page will appear so you can review your changes.
6. If everything is correct, select “Confirm Company Changes.” A confirmation email will be sent to the individual listed as your EDGAR contact.