Public company

A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a company whose ownership is organised via shares of stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock exchange or in over-the-counter markets. A public company can be listed on a stock exchange (listed company), which facilitates the trade of shares, or not (unlisted public company). In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange.