After completing its IPO (www.practicallaw.com/2-382-3541), a company may later decide to offer additional securities, whether debt or equity, to the public. These offerings are referred to as "follow-on" offerings because they follow the IPO. There are two types of follow-on offerings:
A primary offering (www.practicallaw.com/3-382-3705), which is a public offering of securities directly by the company, usually in order to raise additional capital.
A secondary offering (www.practicallaw.com/3-382-3791), which is a public resale offering by stockholders or other securityholders of the company. In a secondary offering, the company does not receive any proceeds.
Sometimes a follow-on offering consists of both a primary and a secondary offering, such as when a company is registering additional shares of common stock and allows certain stockholders to sell some of their shares in the same offering. See Practice Note, Follow-On and Secondary Registered Offerings: Overview (www.practicallaw.com/5-381-0957).