We understand that the business world, and the speed at which it grows, can be daunting for many who find themselves in it. So, to help you get to grips with what it all means, we’ve put together a glossary of common business growth terminology to help get you up to speed on what it all means.


Add-on Offering

When a PLC offers additional shares to the public.



Individuals or firms who trade securities. Usually trading between buyers and sellers for a fee or commission as they do not own securities. See ‘Selection of an IPO Team‘.



The total sum of a corporation’s stock. This includes short-term debt, long-term debt, retained earnings and equity securities.


Comment Letter

The Letter written by UKLA or SEC staff that outlines required changes that need to be made to the preliminary prospectus, as well as the inclusion of additional information.


Cooling Off Period

The time period between the filing of the registration statement with the appropriate authorities (i.e. SEC or UKLA) , and the offer of securities. In this time the syndicate and other selling group members distribute tombstone ads announcing the IPO and can send preliminary prospectuses to investors to gain interest.


Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is the framework of rules, practices and procedures a company follows in order to achieve its objectives.


Depositary Receipts

Securities offered by companies who desire to float; each depositary receipt represents a number of a company’s regular shares.


Due Diligence 

An Internal investigation carried out by company directors, officers, underwriters, and lawyers to ensure all information in the prospectus is both correct and not misleading.


Effective Date

The date the listing authority authorises the registration statement to be effective and selling of securities can begin.


Exit Strategy

An exit strategy plan is executed by a business in order to liquidate financial assets because objectives not being achieved or financial difficulties that were not expected have burdened the business.


Final Price

The closing price or final price is the price at which the security is traded on trading day.


Final Prospectus

The required documentation to list the company on its chosen stock exchange. Outlining information regarding the company’s operations, financial status, and details of the offering.



Fundraising is the process of gathering voluntary contributions of money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies


Going Public 

A company transitioning from privately owned to a publically traded company, through the selling of shares to the public.


Indicative Price

The preliminary price estimated that shares will be sold at.


Initial Public Offering (IPO)

A company offering securities for the first time to the public, transitioning from privately owned to a publicly traded company.


Investment Banker 

A person or firm that underwrites securities, can act as a broker, and provide corporate finance, merger and acquisition services. See ‘Selection of an IPO Team‘.


Investment Portfolio

An Investment Portfolio is a collection of assets owned by an individual or by an institution. … But most investment portfolios, particularly portfolios that are assembled to pay for a retirement, are made up mainly of securities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money market funds and exchange traded funds.


Investor Roadshow

A financial roadshow is a series of meetings across different cities in which top executives from a company have the opportunity to talk with current or potential investors. They can range from two or three days in one country or continent to marathon, three week trips to financial centers around the world.


Letter of Intent 

Letter from the underwriter to the company that outlines the terms and conditions of securities being offered.


Listing Application

A company will use a listing application to formally request that its securities be listed on the companies chosen stock exchange.


Lock-Up Period 

A period of time where ‘insiders’ cannot sell the shares they own.



When two businesses combine into one entity.


Nominated Advisor/NOMAD

A nominated adviser or NOMAD is a firm or company that has approval from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to list on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). A NOMAD is a requirement to list on AIM.



Securities offered via means of a contract, which the seller gives the buyer an option to buy a specific number of shares within a set time period.



The situation in which a high number of investors who have an interest in buying shares of a company that the amount being offered.



Post-IPO usually relates to a series of ongoing activities once the Initial Public Offering has been concluded which usually includes things like investor reporting, stakeholder management, ongoing relations, investor communications and more



Pre-IPO refers to the preparation of a business to pursue an Initial Public Offering and usually includes a reorganisation of fundamental business practices, business reviews, the selection of a core IPO team to manage the process, TAX revision and due diligence and more.


Preliminary Prospectus 

The document outlining information about the company issuing stock. Known as a ‘Red Herring’.


Price Amendment 

The final amendment to the registration statement will include the offering price which may have been amended and also any changes to financial information of the company.


Price Range 

On the preliminary prospectus given to potential investors, it will include a price range. This is a price-per-share range outlining the estimated price range.


Primary Offering 

The first issue of stock of a company for public sale from a private company, therefore becoming a publically traded company in the process.


Private Equity

Private equity is capital that is not noted on a public exchange. Private equity is composed of funds and investors that directly invest in private companies, or that engage in buyouts of public companies, resulting in the delisting of public equity.



The document required for listing, distributed to potential investors, outlining information on company finances and the offering itself.


Public Limited Company

In the UK, a Public Limited Company is a company registered under the Companies Act (1980), with statutory minimum capital requirements and shares offered to the public subject to conditions of limited liability.


Private Limited Company

A private limited company, or LTD, is a type of privately held small business entity, in which owner liability is limited to their shares, the firm is limited to having 50 or fewer shareholders, and shares are prohibited from being publicly traded. A company becomes an independent legal structure when it incorporates.


Quiet Period 

This is the period that the starts on the date of the offering. Usually ends 90 days after the effective date of the registration statement.


Red Herring 

Name for the preliminary prospectus which is circulated to potential investors prior to the offering.



Usually, a bank that handles issues, transfers and cancels stock certificates. See ‘Selection of an IPO Team‘.


Road Show

As part of the marketing for the securities, brokers and company management will perform presentations outlining the shares offering to potential investors.



Securities and Exchange Commission, a US federal government agency that’s responsible for regulating and supervising securities. Find out more here.


Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is a critical component to the successful delivery of any project, programme or activity. … Effective Stakeholder Management creates positive relationships with stakeholders through the appropriate management of their expectations and agreed objectives.


Stock Exchange

A market where securities are traded.



A collection of investment bankers who collectively as a group underwrite the IPO.



United Kingdom Listing Authority. Find out more here.



Underwriting is the process by which investment bankers raise investment capital from investors on behalf of corporations and governments that are issuing either equity or debt securities.


Waiting Period 

The time between when the registration statement is filed and the date it becomes effective.



The Withdrawl period occurs when a company decides to suspend or abandon its IPO.


For more detail about the IPO process and the activities involved before, during and after, why not visit our resource page at www.pre-ipo.co.uk or get in touch with us to help you through your own business challenge.