When looking at an IPO prospectus, here are the top 5 things to look out for

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, November 14, 2023

When companies list, they will commonly put out an IPO prospectus – a formal document that provides detailed information about a company to potential investors. It is issued by a company when it plans to go public and offer its shares for sale to the general public. When companies are already listed but are seeking to raise capital, they may be required to put out a similar prospectus.

We thought we would outline what investors should expect to find in these documents and what they should look out for.


All about an IPO prospectus

The purpose of an IPO prospectus is to educate potential investors about the company’s business, financials, and growth prospects. It typically includes a company overview, history, management team information, financial statements, and risk factors.

Financial market regulators in most jurisdictions, whether the SEC or ASIC, will require all companies planning to go public to file an IPO prospectus with them, and for companies seeking new capital to do the same. This document is then made available to the public for their review.

An IPO prospectus is an essential tool for investors as it helps them make informed decisions about whether to invest in a company’s stock. It also serves as a legal document that protects investors’ rights by disclosing all relevant information about the offering.

In addition to providing important information for investors, an IPO prospectus also helps companies present themselves in the best possible light and attract potential buyers for their shares. It is often seen as a marketing tool for companies looking to go public.


Key Components of an IPO Prospectus

An IPO prospectus typically consists of several sections that provide key insights into the company and its offering. These sections include:

  • The Key Offer Information
  • Investment Overview
  • Details of the Offer
  • Company Overview (and of projects if a Resources company
  • Financial Information
  • Risk Factors
  • Board, Management and Corporate Development


The 5 Important Considerations When Reviewing an IPO Prospectus

As a potential investor, there are certain key components to look for when reviewing an IPO prospectus. These include:


1. Financial Health

It is essential to review the company’s financial statements to understand its financial health and performance. Look for consistent revenue growth, profitability, and strong cash flow.


2. Management Team

A company’s success often depends on its management team. It is crucial to review the backgrounds and experience of key executives to assess their ability to lead the company. Do they have a proven track record in guiding companies to success? Do they have the skills needed to guide the company?


3. Industry Trends

Understanding the industry in which the company operates can help evaluate its potential for growth and profitability. Look for current trends, competitive landscape, and any regulatory or market risks that could affect the company’s performance. Is the company in a dying industry or one that is about to take off? And where does the company fit in? Is it the industry’s dominant player, or like a mouse under an elephant just hoping to survive.


4. Risks

Every business carries some risks, and it is important to consider them before investing. You should review the risk factors section of the prospectus carefully to understand potential threats to the company’s operations and financials.


5. Use of Proceeds

The company should clearly outline how it plans to use the funds raised through the offering. Look for a sound plan that aligns with the company’s growth strategies.



Reviewing an IPO prospectus is crucial for making informed investment decisions. Because while IPOs are a great opportunity for investors to make money, they can be an opportunity for investors to lose money too. It is essential to carefully review an IPO prospectus and conduct thorough research before investing in any company’s offering. This will not only help minimize potential risks but also increase the chances of a successful investment.

As with any investment decision, it is important to remember that there are no guarantees of success and investors should carefully weigh all factors before making a decision. But by understanding the key components of an IPO prospectus and conducting due diligence, potential investors can make informed decisions that align with their financial goals. So, the next time you come across an IPO prospectus, be sure to look for these important components and consider all factors before making your investment choice. This will help you make smarter and more successful investment decisions in the long run.


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