Some Differences Between "Publicly Held" and "Publicly Traded" Corporations

In this post, I questioned the accuracy of the California Secretary of State's definition of "publicly held corporation", a term that is used in both the female and underrepresented communities quota statutes.  Cal. Corp. Code §§ 301.3(f)(2),  2115.5(b), 301.4(e)(2), & 2115.6(b).  Separately, California requires corporations and foreign corporations registered to transact business in the state to file an annual disclosure statement.  Cal. Corp. Code §§ 1502.1 & 2117.1.  This requirement applies to "publicly traded corporations" that are "issuers" as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 78c.

Although the two terms are similar, they have unique definitions.  The Secretary of State summarizes the differences as follows:

Screen Shot 2021-03-09 at 2.33.16 PM

I question the accuracy of this chart with respect to "publicly traded corporations".  The statute does not refer to the NYSE, NASDAQ or the NYSE American.  Rather, it refers to securities listed or admitted for trading on a "national securities exchange".  The SEC's website lists some two dozen exchanges as having been registered as national securities exchanges pursuant to Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act (although at least one name on the SEC's list are not the current name of the exchange).

Below is my own summary of some of the differences between the definitions of "publicly held corporation" and "publicly traded corporation"

  Publicly Held Corporation Publicly Traded Corporation
Issuer as defined in § 6  
Type of security Shares Securities
Relationship to exchange Listed Listed or admitted for trading
Exchange Major United States Stock Exchange National Securities Exchange

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