Friday, March 8, 2013

COLUMN: Stephen Slater - Caution is needed in moving 'crowdfunding'

AT A time when money can be difficult to find from traditional sources, "crowdfunding" has gained a lot of interest, as well as increased credibility.

Graph recent success musician Ginger Wildheart South Tyneside back with fan-funded album, and the concept of bound books - where authors pitch their ideas and readers to subscribe to the desired view published - has led to a number of books that reach the shelves that otherwise might not be successful .

 From the business point of view, the idea of ​​crowdfunding has many charms, and there are many platforms out there where companies can make a pitch to investors for loans, equity or both.

For example, one of the most famous organizations in the market, financing Circle, established small businesses to borrow from the efforts of individuals to lend their money, said more than £ 36m in loans to UK companies. May the same without stopping companies from making their own independent field, especially where they have a solid track record in a particular sector or existing networks to disseminate their proposals.

However, there is more to this process than just saying "we need X thousand pounds to fund the idea," and if this is the route you are considering taking a business, you have to go with your eyes wide open.

To start with, how many investors are looking for? The law of averages suggests that, if you are successful in your field, you are more likely to find a number of people who want to put a fraction of what you need more than one or two will be a piece of the action.

However, there is a direct correlation between the number of people who support you need and the amount of administrative work required to keep them all up to date on how things develop, so that time and resources are required to be included in your calculations.

Also, if you are looking to continue with out potential investors may be in some cases more challenging.

Depending on the topic of your proposed investment, there will also be a variety of requirements need to be followed by the Financial Services Authority.

If you choose to work with a facilitator to help your proposal into shape, make sure you are fully aware of the fees and / or commissions are responsible for paying them, and ensure fully investigate the tax implications of any intent to submit, either from the point of view of your company and your investors.

As with any commercial decision, before you go down, take the time to know exactly what you are getting into before you do it.

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