U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Initial Public Offerings (IPO)

An initial public offering, or IPO, refers to when a company first sells its shares to the public. For more information about IPOs generally, see our Investor Bulletin on IPOs. You can also find fast answers on why investors have difficulty getting shares in an IPO, the pricing differences between the IPO and secondary market trading, a brokerage firm's IPO eligibility requirements, and lockup agreements.


We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.

Modified: 5/31/2013