Also found in: Dictionary, Legal.
Related to publicly held: Publicly held company
A company issuing stocks, which are traded on the open market, either on a stock exchange or on the over-the-counter market. Individual and institutional shareholders constitute the owners of a publicly-traded company, in proportion to the amount of stock they own as a percentage of all outstanding stock. Thus, shareholders have final say in all decisions taken by a publicly-traded company and its managers, especially through its annual shareholders' meeting. Publicly-traded companies have greater access to financing than other companies, as they have the ability to issue more stock. However, they are subject to greater regulation: for example, they must file 10-K reports with the SEC on their earnings and they are more likely to be subject to corporate taxes. A publicly-traded company is also called a public company.
1. Of, relating to, or being securities that are freely transferable among investors. For example, stock owned by institutional investors is publicly held, but unregistered stock held by a firm's founder is not publicly held.
2. Of, relating to, or being a publicly traded company.