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Trying to decide if your company should go public? This guide will help your stakeholders determine if an IPO is the right path for your company by addressing some basic questions and provides an overall timeline of events and business considerations.

The purpose of this guide is to assist you in determining whether an initial public offering (IPO) of your company's common stock is a viable method of raising capital. The guide answers some of the basic questions asked by all the stakeholders involved in this decision. It also provides a guideline for the sequence of events involved in an IPO and some of the general business considerations involved in this decision. It is not intended to provide a detailed discussion of an IPO's technical requirements as these are exceedingly complex and continually changing. We encourage you to discuss the specific requirements of an IPO with your legal counsel, registered public accounting firm, and underwriter once you have decided to proceed further in your investigation. An IPO should not be viewed as an end in and of itself but instead should be considered the beginning of a new era for your company.

This publication:

  • Provides guidance on determining if, and when, your company is ready to go public
  • Reviews considerations for and against going public
  • Provides an overview of the procedures and processes required
  • Helps you prepare for the historic event
Considerations to determine if going public is right for you:

Advantages of being a public company

  • Capital for growth
  • Less dilution
  • Liquidity and personal wealth
  • Employee recruiting and retention
  • Acquisition strategies
  • Improved ability to borrow
  • Possible competitive advantages of going public
  • Stockholder interest
  • Control

Disadvantages of being a public company

  • Privacy
  • Loss of control
  • Compensation
  • Reduced management flexibility 
  • Costs
  • Performance pressure
  • Stock price volatility
  • Opportunity cost
  • Responsibility to shareholders
  • Sharing growth
  • Restricted shares
  • Housekeeping 
  • The decision is final

The contents of this publication should not be construed as accounting, auditing, consulting, or legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances.

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Are you prepared for an IPO?

Successful public companies started acting like they were public long before the transaction. Are you truly prepared? Take our 8-question quiz to find out.