Take Your Company Public: Beware of Scams! Many entrepreneurs dream of taking their company public and expanding their venture into an international enterprise that begins to hemorrhage investment capital and profits from the get-go but then reality sets in as one begins to navigate the dingy, shark infested waters of the ‘go public’ market place.
There are consultants and boiler room penny stock misfits just waiting for you to stumble onto their site and in only a few minutes on the phone you’re reeled in and signing contracts and making wire transfers and equity disbursements and at the end of the grueling 3 to 6 month process, you’re broke, your company is in shambles and you just stand their staring off into space feeling like the boogie-man just slapped you around. Welcome to an industry where the weak are preyed upon like wolves on an injured lamb tangled in a fence.
If you are serious about going public there are some structures to stay away from because 99.9% of the time they fail. Pink Sheets and Reverse Mergers into a public shell are two formations to be very weary of. Pink Sheets are almost a completely unregulated trading platform and known by any savvy investor as the ‘red light district’ of the public trading industry. Pump ’em and dump ’em is the name of the game with Pink Sheets. Stock Price manipulation is as common with pink sheets as gross stench is to 5 day old road kill on a desert highway. If you are going to get involved with Pink Sheets find an attorney or consultant that can guide you around the scam artists, it’s difficult to make in on the Pinks but I have heard of a few companies making it.
The next cesspool in the trading industry is ultra popular (for newbie’s) and the number one ‘big mistake’ made by countless ‘go public’ rookies, the reverse merger into a public shell ouch! It even hurts to say it. I get calls on a daily basis from business owners who thought they were getting droppings of manna from heaven when a consultant suggested that they save $100,000’s and months of work by simply buying a public shell and merging their entity with it and abracadabra you’re big time and public and making millions. Sadly the reality is that this poor sap just spent $200k on an entity with liens and 15% equity distributed to a group of investors who pumped up the stock and dumped it before the ink on the contracts was dry. Now his dreams are shattered, he’s broke; his company will get stripped down and sold off in pieces like an unlocked car in the ghetto.
It’s sad when I see the same scams perpetrated on the uninformed over and over again. If you are trying to raise capital, find a consultant, objective broker dealer or attorney who will listen to your needs and before doing anything will give you the good and bad news about the various options. Taking your company public can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career. You can purchase other companies with stock. You can use stock as collateral for quick loans to support growth. You can reward employees with shares in the company for meeting certain objectives. Go public, fulfill your dreams just use caution as you proceed.