A document filed by companies with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the registration of securities; used to educate the public about investment offerings. Typically filed before offering the sale of bonds, stocks and mutual fund investments to the broader public.

Prior to a public sale of securities, a company must register those securities with the SEC. As part of that registration process, companies are required to submit both a preliminary prospectus and a final prospectus concerning the specifics of the securities being offered for sale. The details of how a prospectus is structured differ depending on the type of security being offered.

A preliminary prospectus contains details about the business offering the security and the upcoming offering. But only a final prospectus contains information about the price per share and the number of shares the company will be offering at this time. Whereas a final prospectus helps to finalize the details of the offering, a preliminary prospectus helps to both spark and gauge market interest before the final details are set.



Kid: “Dad, what are you reading?”

Dad: “A preliminary prospectus related to the upcoming sale of stock in a company I’m interested in.”

Kid: “Are you being punished?”