As previously mentioned, you can generally expect it to take anywhere from three to ﬁve months from the time your company decides to go public until the time it receives the proceeds from an offering. The actual length of this period depends on, among other things, the readiness of your company to go public, the availability of the information that must be disclosed in the registration statement, and market conditions.
The principal steps in an IPO process are listed below.
Holding the “all hands” meeting
The ﬁrst step in the IPO process is arranging an “all hands” meeting. This meeting should be attended by all members of the registration team — company management, independent auditors, underwriters, and your company’s — attorneys — as well as the underwriters’ attorneys. The purpose of this initial organizational meeting is to discuss the nature of the offering and the appropriate SEC registration form, coordinate responsibilities for sections of the registration statement, establish a timetable for the anticipated ﬁling date, and share information regarding the working group’s availability.
Throughout the IPO process, additional “all hands” meetings will take place to discuss any problems, to review drafts of the registration statement, and to determine whether the registration process is on schedule.
Registration statement form
The determination of the SEC form to be used for registration purposes is a legal determination and is to be made by your company in consultation with counsel and the underwriter.
Form S-1 is the basic registration form for venture backed company IPOs. FormSB-2 is the basic form used for smaller business ﬁlers — less than $25 million in revenue and IPO proceeds. The ﬁnancial statement requirements of Form SB-2 are less stringent than those of Form S-1.