Uplisting plays a very important role in both national and global capital markets. Uplisting—the
process of becoming listed on a national exchange (NYSE, NASDAQ, CSE, etc.)—enables growing
firms to access deeper capital markets, increase visibility, and possibly restructure, as needed.
The road to uplisting can take a considerable amount of time. Firms are often kept waiting for
ten weeks or more—delays have been especially common over the course of the past year,
which has witnessed a record number of companies trying to uplist. In order to ensure the
process goes smoothly, it is crucial for companies to prepare for uplisting well in advance.
Preparing for an uplisting begins with building a great team. The team, at a minimum, should
include a qualified investment banking partner, an experienced securities attorney, a public
relations (investor relations) specialist, and a capable accountant.
During the period leading up to an uplisting, companies will need to be careful about the things
they do or publicly say (as well the things they withhold). The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), prospective investors, and other relevant parties will intensely scrutinize
every applicant to ensure they are compliant with all relevant regulations and that they are
accurately representing themselves.
When in doubt, companies in the process of uplisting should disclose all information to the SEC.
Even information that seems irrelevant to the company might be considered relevant to
outside parties. Failing to disclose financial, personal, and other information can cause delays in
the uplisting process or might even result in a company being rejected from the exchange.
The uplisting process will also require a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of
the underlying company. The purpose of the quantitative analysis is to ensure all
requirements—number of shareholders, liquidity, value, etc.—are currently being met. The
qualitative analysis will usually involve direct communications with the SEC, FINRA, or the
exchanges themselves to ensure all foreseeable problems are adequately addressed.
Many CFOs—who are responsible for both the accounting and banking elements of their
companies—find the uplisting process overwhelming. To ensure all deadlines are met, the CFOs
will often outsource or partner with specialists.
Uplisting is an increasingly popular strategy for accessing deeper capital markets, gaining
exposure, or otherwise restructuring. Though the road to uplisting may belong (and
challenging), it can be effectively navigated with the right support.