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Securities Law Whitley LLP Attorneys at Law

How to Go Public

Representation from a Securities & Business Lawyer in Houston

Once the decision to go public is made, businesses need to be aware of how to do so in the way which works best for them. If you have weighed the pros and cons of going public, you need to understand the process so you do not waste precious time and money. Speaking with a highly-trained Houston business & securities attorney can go a long way towards completing the process of going public in the best way for your company.

Whitley LLP Attorneys at Law has a long track record of coming alongside businesses at any stage of their evolution to advise them of the best legal moves to them forward. With more than 15 years of experience behind us and Attorney Samuel E. Whitley was included in the list of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars for the dedicated legal counsel he has consistently offered to his clients over the years.

Taking Your Business Public

Two principal ways to go public exist: IPO or reverse merger/takeover:

  • With an IPO, the company registers with the SEC to sell its shares to the public. The company usually hires an investment bank to handle the process of underwriting the offering (selling the shares).
  • If an investment bank is hired, they will be paid a commission on the sale of the shares. If an investment bank is hired, they can be engaged on either a “firm commitment” underwriting basis or a “best efforts” basis.
  • In a firm commitment offering, the investment bank agrees to buy all of the shares from the company at one price and then resell them to the public at a higher price.
  • In a best efforts offering, the investment bank does not commit to purchase all of the shares; rather, it agrees to use its best efforts to sell as many shares as it can and receive a commission on each sale.

In an IPO, the company files a Form S-1 registration statement with the SEC. This registration statement must include audited financial statements, information regarding management, the company’s business and assets, and the intended use of proceeds of the offering.

What is a reverse merger?

In a reverse merger, a private company locates a company that is already public:

  • The private company’s shareholders enter into an agreement to sell their stock to the public company in exchange for stock of the public company.
  • The private company (or its shareholders) may also pay cash to the public company or its majority shareholders.
  • After the transaction is consummated, the private company’s shareholders will control the company and own a large majority of the public company’s stock, and the private company will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the public company.

The private company’s management will take over management of the public company, and many times the public company will change its name to that of the private company, which is why a reverse merger is sometimes referred to as a reverse takeover.

Our Houston business attorney is ready to walk you through each stage of the process of going public, however you choose to do so. Speak with our firm and we can advise you on the best means of taking your company public.

To schedule your consultation, contact the firm today—(888) 252-8277!

Providing Superior Representation

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    “R.Sam is very knowledgeable in Securities Law. Reliable adviser in deal structuring. Accessible and accommodating to clients.”


  • Extremely Knowledgeable and Competent

    “Samuel Whitley was extremely knowledgeable and competent about securities law and business in general. In preparing the fund documents, Sam offered helpful perspective and recommendations on related details based on his previous experience. Also, he was quite timely and responsive in his work, answering questions typically within a day or a few days of being asked. In addition, I had some unique circumstances to address and I found Sam to be creative in helping solve problems and in creating solutions. I had originally decided to work with him due to his experience in securities law. After working with him, I saw the direct benefit his experience provided for the work he accomplished for me. I'm glad I decided to work with Sam for these activities, and given another opportunity I would definitely choose again to work with Mr. Whitley.”


  • A Man of High Integrity & Character

    “Sam is a well educated attorney that specializes in corporate law, merger/acquisitions and SEC compliance. I have worked under his legal supervision since 2007 and continue to do so today. Sam is not only a fine attorney but considered by many, as a man of high integrity and character. I strongly recommend Sam Whitley if you are looking for legal counsel.”


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    “I really appreciate the legal services Mr Whitley rendered for my company Divergent Capital Partners LLC to buy and hold commercial real estate. The Whitley law firm has giving me advice on how to raise Capital for my company. I always get a quick response regarding my questions and legal concerns. I've been a client with the Whitley law firm for almost two years and my expectations are always full filled and exceeded. I highly recommend the Whitley law firm for business needs.”

    David Lewis

  • One Of The Very Best Attorneys I Know

    “Sam is one of the very best attorneys I know. Why? He is knowledgeable, reliable, dependable, and a pleasure to work with. He really takes care of his clients and works extremely hard at doing the best job he can for his clients. Please consider him if your looking for an attorney who not only can deliver results but who will be with you every step of the way. I am very confident in this recommendation as I have come to know Sam over several years and would recommend him to my family and business associates without any hesitation.”