Why List a Business
Growing businesses often need additional finance to grow and an exit route for the founders, as well as an environment which allows them to expand and attract investment for continued growth. A listing on a reputable stock exchange can achieve all these aims for the right business, but preparation ahead of listing is key to to ensure that the business meets the corporate governance standards expected by investors and recognised stock exchanges.
Preparation for a Listing
Listing on a stock exchange is a complex process which needs resource and time. The decision to take a private company and make it public must be well reasoned as the process and costs involved can be significant. The process typically takes between three to six months. It is good practice for a company to have a health check to ensure that it is suitable for listing and that any issues are resolved before the company is ready to make an application to list.
Considerations for listing
Key considerations are:
- Which Exchange – selecting the right exchange is fundamental and a company should carefully consider which exchange would be most suitable.
- Type of listing – an IPO gives a company the opportunity to raise the widest range of capital by issuing shares or selling shares to new investors whereas a direct listing allows a company to join a market without raising any capital.
- Listing Rules and Ongoing requirements – a company must be aware of and adhere to the listing rules of an exchange and on-going obligations. For example, a listing on AIM will require a NOMAD to be appointed, whereas The International Stock Exchange will require a Listing Member to be appointed as Sponsor or Listing Agent.
- Professional Advisors – several advisors will be required to prepare for a listing. These advisors will help an entity to understand and prepare documentation required for listing. Advisers usually include legal advisers, brokers, trading members, accountants, tax advisers, listing members.
- Change of Environment – a listing will likely require changes to the way a company is operated with possible enhancements to the composition of the board and change of control being the most fundamental. Listed companies need to ensure all investors have access to the same information and are treated fairly; they may have to adjust to dealing with tight deadlines to make information public or release announcements.
- Corporate Governance – the cornerstone of any good business encompassing the processes, practices, and policies that a company relies on to make formal decisions and to effectively manage a company.
- Costs – know the full cost of listing and annual fees.
The Isle of Man a good place for establishing your business
The Isle of Man has a strong and vibrant economy, a stable legal infrastructure, the longest serving unbroken parliament in the world and a transparent tax regime with no stamp duty on share transfers. The Isle of Man is a common law jurisdiction, and its company law is long established and similar in most respects to company law in England and Wales with protection of pre-emption rights and strong corporate governance but also modern and flexible, which can reduce administration and costs.
The Isle of Man benefits:
- A favourable and transparent tax regime
- No stamp duty on shares
- A wide professional advisory network which supports listing work
- Strong corporate governance
- Investors can have confidence in our regulatory standards and legislation
- Being OECD compliant jurisdiction
- Being compliant with IMF, FATF and EU regulations in relation to transparency
With a diverse economy and a modern business-friendly environment supporting a wide range of sectors like e-gaming, fintech, emerging technologies, aviation, manufacturing, and digital media, the Island offers businesses a gateway to grow, accessing global markets making it an attractive place to set-up or relocate your business with a view to taking the step to listing.
Our Listing Experience
We have significant experience having been involved in 14 admissions to AIM, the admission of an AIM company to Main Market and act as Listing Member to companies with debt and equity listed on The International Stock Exchange. We have also acted as Sponsor for UK REITS listed on The International Stock Exchange. Our team comprises chartered secretaries, qualified accountants, and administrators with extensive experience in dealing with international quoted and listed companies.