Floating your business on AIM

AIM (Alternative Investment Market), is the London Stock Exchange's global market for smaller, growing companies.

A listing on AIM can help your company raise additional finance and enhance its profile. But the costs and time involved in an AIM listing can be considerable. You should look at setting at least six months aside – early preparation is key.

AIM is operated, regulated and promoted by the London Stock Exchange. As it outlines, there are no specific suitability criteria for companies to qualify for AIM.

The most important document will be your business plan, which should include the background of your business, your current trading details, a background of the management team and its experience and future trading prospects/forecast of your sector. This document will be used by prospective advisers to gauge your company’s suitability for listing.

There are several advisers you will need to bring on board to help you manage the process. You will need to appoint a nominated adviser (known as a nomad), which must be chosen from the register of advisers published by the Exchange. A nomad manages the flotation process by drawing up a timetable and ensures that you adhere to regulations.

You will also need to appoint a broker (who is responsible for raising funds), and solicitors. Some advisers specialise in raising smaller sums of money (£1-£5 million) while larger broking houses can handle £10-£100 million fundraisings.

Both before and after flotation, you will need to hire a financial public relations expert to help you tell existing and potential investors about your business.

A pure listing can cost in the region of £250,000 and if cash is raised, advisers absorb anything from 5-10%.

Under the AIM rules, all companies must produce an admission document making certain disclosures about such matters as their directors’ backgrounds, their promoters, business activities and financial positions.

To find out more, visit the London Stock Exchange site at www.londonstockexchange.com

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