Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system was implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to do two things: 1) quickly process time-sensitive information of publicly-held companies and 2) provide investors with easier access to company information.
EDGAR became available to filers on July 15, 1992, and as of May 6, 1996, all domestic publicly-held companies are required to submit financial information via EDGAR.
On July 1, 1998, EDGAR began a three-year modernization process that currently allows filers to submit official copies of information using more attractive and readable formats such as non-table HTML files (3.2 standard) and unofficial copies using PDFfiles.
EDGAR is also going through a restructuring process that will improve the ability to update information and access information on the EDGAR Web site.
Currently, every publicly-held company is listed in the EDGAR database.