A prospectus is 'any document described or issued as a prospectus including any notice, circular, advertisement or other document inviting deposits from the public or inviting offers from the public for the subscription or purchase of any shares or debentures of, a body corporate'. In other words, it is an invitation to the public to apply for shares or debentures of the company or to make deposits in the company.
It is issued by a public company which is seeking to raise the required funds from the public by means of issue of shares and debentures. It is not necessary for every company to file a prospectus. A statement in lieu of prospectus is filed with the Registrar of Companies if the company has adopted Table A of the Companies Act instead of Articles of Association.
Private companies are not required to file a prospectus.
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