A publicly unlisted company is a company that can have an unlimited number of shareholders to raise capital for any commercial venture. Companies which are not listed publicly are more likely to engage in profit maximising behavior as their share capital structure makes it very easy to give its members financial returns. Unlisted companies are usually too small to qualify for a stock exchange listing, and do not usually advertise for investors. However they tend to be larger than companies limited by guarantee.
In Australia, companies not listed publicly are required to prepare an annual report that includes a directors' report, financial report, and an auditor's report. The report is to be distributed to its shareholders 21 days before its annual general meeting or four months after the end of the financial year. This regulation is in place because members of the public who have invested in such companies are not always in a position to get information about the companies performance and so would not be able to monitor their investment and determine the return on their investment.
- Risks of investing in an unlisted company, Financial Express, 06 Nov 2005, access date 6 October 2010.