ABSTRACT After physiological maturity, the seed is physiologically independent of the plant, and responds to climatic variations that can decrease its vigor, which is dependent on the cultivar. The objective of this work was to evaluate the vigor of soybean cultivars and identify the biochemical components that have the greatest contribution to the maintenance of the physiological quality of the seeds after physiological maturity. The experiment was conducted in Fraiburgo, SC, Brazil, during the 2015/2016 crop season, using four soybean cultivars NA 5909 RG, BMX Ativa RR, BMX VanguardaIPRO, and NS 5959 IPRO. The seed physiological quality and the biochemical composition were evaluated at the phenological stages R7, R7+5 days, R7+10 days (R8), and R7+20 days. The data were subjected to analysis of variance (F test) and the means were compared by the Tukey's test (p<0.01). The seed biochemical composition and physiological quality were correlated using multivariate statistics. The germination of the seeds decreased 6% after physiological maturity up to R7+20 days. This decrease in vigor was dependent on the cultivar; NA 5909 RG decreased 3%, and BMX Ativa RR and NS 5959 IPRO decreased 7%. The biochemical components soluble protein, phytate, soluble sugar, and lipids decreased as a function of the harvest times, indicating the beginning of the process of seed quality loss. The maintenance of seed vigor after physiological maturity was dependent on the cultivar. The soluble protein content can be used as an indicator of the maintenance of physiological quality of soybean seeds after R7.