public market

Public market is the exchange where a public company’s securities are traded. A company must first conduct an initial public offering (IPO) to offer securities in the public market. They must also comply with the Exchange Act’s periodic reporting requirements on an on-going basis. Public companies also list on exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) when offering securities on the public market. Companies do not need to issue securities in the public markets and may sell securities through private placements, however. 

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]