Public company


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Public Company

A company that has held an initial public offering and whose shares are traded on a stock exchange or in the over-the-counter market. Public companies are subject to periodic filing and other obligations under the federal securities laws.

Public Limited Company

A primarily British term for a publicly-traded company. The term derives from the facts that the company issues shares that may be bought and sold by the general public and all shareholders have limited liability.

Publicly-Traded 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.

Public company.

The stock of a public company is owned and traded by individual and institutional investors.

In contrast, in a privately held company, the stock is held by company founders, management, employees, and sometimes venture capitalists.

Many privately held companies eventually go public to help raise capital to finance growth. Conversely, public companies can be taken private for a variety of reasons.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Public Company Task Force also is studying ways to simplify existing reporting requirements within the context of enhanced business reporting.
Interested in becoming a member of the Center for Public Company Audit Firms?
1 the SECPS was restructured and replaced with the Center for Public Company Audit Firms.
On public company engagements, Sarbanes-Oxley requires firms to rotate the lead audit partner and audit review partner every five years.
The SEC proposal followed on the heels of the Senate Banking Committee's approval of legislation creating a new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board with authority to establish auditing and ethics rules.
The committee's definition of a smaller public company is determined by six elements:
Enhance the quality of member firms' public company audit practices through the timely communication to members of SEC- and PCAOB-related news, the development of technical and educational information for members and the promotion of best practices.
A going-private transaction commonly takes the form of: 1) a merger, whereby the parties execute a merger agreement and the company sends its stockholders a proxy statement soliciting votes on the merger; 2) a tender offer, whereby the acquirer purchases shares directly from the public company's stockholders; or 3) a reverse stock split, in which the public company solicits shareholder approval to amend its charter to provide for the combinations of a larger number of outstanding shares into one share, and then cashes out the small holders that are left with only fractional shares.
THE AUDITOR MUST ATTEST TO MANAGEMENT'S assessment of the effectiveness of an entity's internal controls using standards the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board issues or adopts.
The GAO then recommended that both the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing requirements for enhancing auditor independence and audit quality.
This article highlights the provisions most important to accounting professionals engaged in public company audits.

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