The costs of going public largely depend on the size and complexity of the transaction. The costs are generally broken down like this:
Accounting Fees. Financial audits can cost as little as $7,000 for a start-up to $30,000 for a simple business generating a few million in sales. For larger and more complex businesses, the costs can be significantly more. Ongoing accounting costs to comply with various rules and regulations will be incurred related to filing quarterly and annual reports. A typical company completing a DPO spends $30,000 to $40,000 per year on accounting fees.
Legal Fees. The typical costs range from $40,000 to $150,000 for the legal fees when a company engages a law firm to handle a DPO. However, when we handle a transaction, the legal fees are typically significantly lower since we assist in drafting all the required documents. Larger and more complex businesses will be looking at higher legal fees. In addition, ongoing legal costs to comply with various rules and regulations will be incurred related to filing financial reports and other disclosures. A typical company completing a DPO spends $10,000 to $30,000 per year on legal fees. Larger companies should plan to spend more.
Stock Exchange Fees. Most companies completing a DPO in the United States decide to list on the OTCQB where there is a $2,500 application fee and a $10,000 annual fee. However, larger companies may qualify and desire to be listed on the Nasdaq or NYSE which require significantly higher initial and ongoing fees.
Miscellaneous Fees. Miscellaneous fees range between $30,000 on the low end and $50,000 on the high end. They include various items required to be paid as part of the process of going public. In addition, ongoing miscellaneous fees related to remaining public will be incurred. A typical company completing a DPO spends $15,000 to $30,000 per year on miscellaneous fees.
Press Releases. It is good practice for a publicly traded company to announce financial results and material events. Each press release typically costs between $200 and $600 per release, depending on the distribution. Active communication with public shareholders increases the cost of press releases, but often helps to develop a larger shareholder base.
Professional Advisor Fees. Professional advisor fees are based on the size, scope, complexity and risk of the business going public. Our fees generally start at $60,000 plus shares and a warrant, but can also be quoted on an all cash basis with no stock or warrants as part of the compensation.
An early-stage company should expect to pay between $160,000 and $200,000 to become publicly traded in the United States or Canada, plus stock and a warrant. Larger companies will incur higher expenses for accounting, audit and legal work as well as possible stock exchange fees and certain filing fees.