How to list equity
Choose a market and a transaction type
Choose advisers
Prepare application
Market to investors
Launch and beyond

1. Choose a market

Our markets are home to thousands of companies from all over the world, from start-ups to some of the world's largest corporations. Your company's size, growth objectives and funding needs will help you to decide which market is right for you. Choose from:

  • AIM: the world’s most successful growth market.
  • Main Market High Growth Segment: specifically designed for mid-sized, high-growth UK and European companies.
  • Main Market Standard Segment: part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Official List; companies are subject to core European standards.
  • Main Market Premium Segment: part of the FCA’s Official List and subject to the highest standards of corporate governance, providing eligible companies with inclusion in the FTSE UK Index Series.

Take a look at Compare market for listing equity page to help you decide which market is best for you.

You can also decide which type of transaction will suit your needs best.  Choose from:

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)

This gives your company an opportunity to raise the widest range of capital by issuing new shares or to selling existing shares to new investors. An IPO lets the company diversify its ownership, allowing individual or institutional investors to hold shares. In attracting a broad range of investors, the company can help promote healthy liquidity in its shares while on the market. IPOs are usually followed closely by the media, which can help enhance a company’s profile and attract further liquidity after admission.

  • Direct Listing

In a direct listing (also known as an introduction), a company joins our markets without raising any capital. Typically this may suit companies which have already raised capital through other means and have a diverse set of investors on their shareholder register.

2. Choose advisers

  • Selecting the right external team is one of the most important steps in taking your company public. You will need to appoint a team of advisers to support your IPO, usually including: legal counsel, accountant, investment bank and any specialist sector advisers. Consulting your existing advisers, usually accountants and lawyers, is a good starting point.
  • Many companies hold a ‘beauty parade’ of specialists to determine which ones have the appropriate experience and understanding of their business model. You should determine a realistic timetable with your advisers, and agree roles and responsibilities.
  • When appointing advisers you should also clarify areas of responsibility in advance and negotiate costs. Take a look at our AIM Advisers and Main Market Advisers tabs to help you choose the right external team for you and your company.

3. Prepare application

  • All our markets have different levels of regulation with their own respective application processes to formally admit your company. You will need to apply to the regulator to raise capital (for example, for a listing on the Main Market, this will be the FCA and for other markets such as AIM the regulatory function is carried out by London Stock Exchange) and to London Stock Exchange to be admitted to trading. Your advisers will guide you through this process.
  • Appointing an appropriate adviser is essential in ensuring you meet all the market entry requirements. They can also help you to prepare an application, ensuring you produce the relevant admission documents. 

4. Market to investors

  • Your corporate broker will work with you to actively market your company to potential investors. They will assist the management team in preparing for a series of investor presentations as part of a formal roadshow. You may want to appoint a broker with experience of your industry, capable of stimulating investor interest both at the point of IPO and in the after-market, to enhance liquidity in your shares and maintain your company’s profile.

5. Launch and beyond

  • It is common to see a lot of trading activity on a stock’s first day on a public market and your corporate broker is permitted to conduct an over-allotment of shares at IPO, and then purchase shares in the open market if the price needs to be stabilised. Trading volume will settle towards a steady state in the weeks after the IPO, but your corporate broker will remain an important adviser beyond that process.
  • Your corporate broker will continue to work with you on your engagement with the market; for example, corporate transactions, capital structure and dividend policy and supporting you at key investor events as part of a wider investor relations (IR) strategy.
  • For most companies, life on the public market can be a significant development. Publishing an annual report and disclosing material, price-sensitive information to the market are two key continuing obligations for all London Stock Exchange-listed companies.

Take a look at the Resources section to find out more about rules relating to ongoing obligations.

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Still have questions about your listing journey?