Get your IPO in order with our practical IPO checklist

Going public, done right. Follow this simple framework to start getting IPO-ready faster. 

Understand IPO checklists, what’s in them and how to use them

Learn how to structure your information to avoid unnecessary time, cost and risk 

Download the free IPO checklist template in Excel format

Find out how you can digitize the checklist to automate your IPO preparation and due diligence (DD) workflows 

Ready to go public?

Download the free IPO checklist to get started. No risk, all reward.

IPO Checklist Excel

What is an IPO checklist?

An IPO checklist is a type of due diligence checklist used by those who are preparing to take their business public via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and list on the stock exchange. It is a checklist of all the documents that need to be collated by private companies, verified, and reviewed by potential investors as part of the due diligence process for an IPO transaction. It outlines the critical business information that will need to be prepared and provided to investors and prospects during the IPO process.

While IPO checklists are often created as Excel spreadsheets or Word documents, modern dealmakers are increasingly partnering with deal technology providers who can digitize these checklists to facilitate secure, efficient due diligence without the risks associated with legacy tools - which include such as version control issues and human error. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of business documentation, it is critical that this process is completed in a highly secure environment.

Going public requires great organization

Going public requires great organization

IPOs are an essential tool for economic growth, for funding innovation, and for accelerating recovery of a post-COVID market. But with all the uncertainty in the market, there’s never been a greater need for companies to get their critical business information in order and differentiate themselves ahead of going public.

Many management teams underestimate the time and effort required to prepare for an intense event like an IPO, and its impact on business-as-usual.

What we’ve learned from running tens of thousands of deals, including IPOs, on the Ansarada platform is that most clients wish they had started pulling all their information together much, much earlier. 


Common IPO challenges

Taking a company public takes time, energy, cost, and many regulatory hurdles to cross. 

A typical IPO process usually involves the company bringing on an expert team of advisors who work around the clock to make it all happen within a few months. The leadership team suddenly finds themselves too busy with due diligence requests, putting together the prospectus, and attending board meetings to run the business, and things quickly start to slip through the cracks.

When companies leave these processes too late, they quickly discover that preparing for a deal and running a business at the same time will result in plenty of unnecessary risk, stress, and a serious drain on cost and resources.

Your company’s books will be open to scrutiny, both from the public and from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the level of scrutiny is going to increase exponentially once those shares of yours hit the market. SEC requirements are exhaustive, and go far beyond financial results and reporting.

Limiting risk and ensuring compliance is essential for operating in capital markets, but it’s a task that’s impossible without proper order or information governance. Weak corporate governance standards will be ultimately uncovered in the pre-IPO phase, as any red flags or opacity in material information will not satisfy the public market. The establishment of strong governance should be undertaken long before going public is even a consideration. In order to address the gaps early, companies must have real-time and historical access to data enabling them to satisfy shareholder concerns and prove that their business model is sustainable.

Legacy systems won’t cut it for your IPO. If all this data and documentation lives across a combination of emails, Excel spreadsheets and disparate filing systems, you’ll never get the quick access or visibility you need to meet the demanding requirements. You need software with a much simpler user education process; technology that is easy and intuitive to use. Automating and integrating these processes is a major advantage. 


Best-practice IPO processes


Whatever your route to going public, readiness is crucial - and that means having a handle over all your company’s critical information as early as possible in the process in order to address the risks and highlight the opportunities.

Best-practice IPO preparation will identify exactly what the business needs to look like in order to achieve the IPO, then work backwards in order to close all the gaps between where you are now and where you need to be. The more time you can give yourself to solve these issues, the better. 

Having a clear template to follow - one that outlines all of these requirements - is the strongest starting place. It will ensure your company is presented professionally, due diligence is much less of a burden, and risk is considerably reduced.

This IPO checklist outlines best-practice requirements from more than 35,000+ previous transactions, so you can empower your team and advisors to do their best work, improve the quality of information, close the gaps, and communicate confidence to your investors for a successful IPO outcome.


"You’ll get access to much better information about your business, in a structured, ordered way, so when you’re ready to press the button and engage in that process and bring in external advisors, the company is in much better shape. You’ve done 80-90% of the diligence that’s required. You’ve reduced the risk – less cost for the ultimate IPO or investment process, and a better outcome."


- Andrew Neilson, Founder, Elevate Legal


Digitize your IPO checklist

Digitize your IPO checklist

Since 2005, Ansarada has accumulated more than a decade’s experience on over 35,000+ critical business transactions and learned exactly what ‘good’ looks like. 

By opening a Data Room today, you can start preparing for your IPO for free using Deal Workflow - a project management tool that allows you to digitize all your work streams for complete oversight and control. Import your IPO checklist from Excel straight into Workflow for a digitized template to follow – right alongside your Data Room. 

In Workflow, your IPO checklist provides a clear template for your team to self-guide through the documentation they need to upload. Once your documentation is structured and ready, move it seamlessly into the Virtual Data Room for your advisors and investors to review.

Say no to risky, insecure processes and get your IPO in order. Start preparing today for free using your purpose-built IPO checklist.

Open my free Data Room

Get your IPO checklist here

If you don’t want to open up your free Data Room just yet, that’s ok too. Simply fill in the form below to download the free IPO checklist template in Excel.