Investors in private corporations face unique problems relating to corporate control, illiquidity and valuation of securities. In this research, we survey a large sample of US corporations. Our sample includes both private and public firms. Major findings of our research are as follows: Private firms use written shareholder agreements for safeguarding ownership interests and dividend payments. Family owned firms dominate the ownership structure of private firms. Insiders of private firms own a much larger proportion of common stock than insiders in public firms, and the CEOs of private firms often happen to be the largest stockholders.