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Public company start-up & your responsibilities

Set-Up a PLC Company

Public company start-up & your responsibilities: by becoming publicly quoted, you and your company have now taken on a whole range of new responsibilities that will have a profound affect on how you run your business:

It's more than likely that you now have a much larger number of external shareholders, to whom you and your fellow directors are accountable. You don't just need to keep them informed of developments within your company; you also need to maintain their support, by cultivating their views and seeking their involvement in the crucial planning and decision-making within your business.

The financial markets now govern the value of your public company. Your share price can be easily discovered from the financial papers, or more directly from the markets themselves. This value will be determined by the market's view of your company's performance over time, as well as by general market conditions.

You now have responsibilities to the market as a whole, in terms of informing them of all news likely to have an impact on your company's share price, and explaining the key decisions and actions taken by the company and its senior office-holders. At one level, you need to conform to the specific rules used by your market about informing market participants, for instance by posting results and price-sensitive news on the markets' electronic news systems.

At another level, you need to judge what extra information you wish to circulate, in terms of how this might affect your share price. This could have a significant impact on your ability to raise more finance from the market at a future date. Perhaps of greater significance than any of the above is the fact that all of these issues can be managed effectively.

To really prosper on the public markets, you need to attend to all of the above issues, making sure that all the key players influencing your company - your shareholders, your advisers, market intermediaries and the financial media - have the most positive view of your company and its future prospects. You do this effectively by ensuring a regular flow of timely and accurate information.