The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Reverse business merger is alternative way to obtain funding

Startup companies have many challenges to overcome when starting a new business. One of the most common and significant challenges facing a startup is obtaining venture capital in California or in any other state. Many times there are more startups looking for funding than there are venture capital and Angel investors available. However, one unorthodox method of obtaining capital, which has gained some popularity recently, is using a business merger to garner funding.

However, startups looking to go this route are engaging in a specific type of merger known as a reverse merger. This type of merger is usually utilized in order to avoid the process and expenses related to an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Usually a dormant shell company is chosen for this type of transaction. However, there are many shell companies that have less than pristine histories; therefore, it is important to properly research a shell company's past in order to avoid any unforeseen liabilities.

Also, many public shell companies that are ready to be sold are not listed by NASDAQ, but instead are traded on less prestigious avenues. For example, the OTC Bulletin Board is a common place where shell companies are listed instead of the NASDAQ. Although these companies can be renamed and moved to the NASDAQ, this may end up negating any savings on expenses and time, which would be the original intent of a reverse merger.

Additionally, one must be sure to follow all proper rules and regulations when completing a business merger of any kind in California or any other state. This means having full knowledge of applicable laws. Incorporating a compliance strategy into one's business plan will help to avoid future lawsuits and criminal charges, which would be highly detrimental to any business.

Source: Forbes, "Is A Reverse Merger The Way To Fund Your Startup?", Martin Zwilling, May 2, 2014

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