Privatisation : This occurs when private investors, which are normally major shareholders of a company, buy the outstanding shares held by the public and de-list the company. This requires a vote by shareholders, allowing them to decide whether or not they want to sell, often at a price slightly higher than where the shares are trading. This is the opposite of an IPO. Accounting standards : Rules on how a company calculates such things as costs, profits and revenue. There are various accounting standards around the globe, and each country generally has its own standards. But as the market becomes more globalised, accounting rules are becoming more complicated, but also more standardised internationally. Accounting standards for public companies are much stricter than for private companies in order to protect the investing public. Raising capital : Companies raise capital in order to pay for general operations, to buy equipment or another company, or simply to expand. Selling shares of a company to the public is a common way to raise capital. Private companies have less capital-raising options than publicly listed companies.