The definition of 'Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)'

An IPO, short for an ‘initial public offering’, occurs when shares in a privately held company are first listed on a stock exchange.

The first modern IPO took place on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in March 1602, when the Dutch East India Company sold shares of the company to the public, making it the first ‘public’ company (sometimes referred to as a ‘listed’ company). Once an IPO is complete investors can freely buy and sell shares on the market (a stock exchange) provided there is a person/group/fund willing to complete the opposite action at the set price.

You can find out more about IPOs