Creating an Offer Document for an equity crowdfunding project can be a daunting task. As the playbook for your campaign, it’s a lot more extensive than a pitch deck.
There are legal requirements to be met, and a lot of information to pack in. Its function is to give a broad picture of your company, its capital structure, and the directors and leadership team. It’s also where you’ll present your offer in full detail, and to advise of terms, risks, and investor rights.
Luckily, it’s a highly standardised procedure, and we recommend you refer to this template in order to establish a starting point.
What key elements should I include in my Offer Document?
There are a few legal elements your Offer Document must include:
Risk warning - this is a standardised piece of text that resides right at the beginning of the document. It advises (or reminds) the investor that their investment can be lost, the value could be reduced if more shares are issued, and they are unlikely to be able to sell shares quickly.
Terms of the Offer - this is where you’ll state in crystal clear terms the offering, the price, the minimum and maximum subscription, and the opening and closing dates.
Cooling-off rights - a clause which specifies an investor’s right to withdraw their application and receive a full refund within 5 days. Remember, this is 5 business days.
Use of Funds - a crucial part of instilling confidence within an investor is transparency about how their money will be used to generate revenue. This might be things like marketing, R&D, or working capital.
How do I write my ‘Information About The Company’ section?
You can be a bit more flexible with the ‘Information about the Company’ section that will appear straight after the standard risk warning. It’s an opportunity to use your brand voice to convey your drive, purpose, and confidence.
This section should be formally written, but some flair is permissible - just remember to keep to the point. You might like to add some colour to the market conditions that led you to create your offer, the opportunity you’ve identified, and the direction you see it going in the future in light of the evolving market.
How to brand your equity crowdfunding Offer Document
Whilst the most important thing about your Offer Document is the facts and figures it contains, a basic Word document won’t be much of a stand-out among other campaigns an investor might be considering.
The key is to find the balance. Any colour or graphics should be subtle, on-brand, and kept to a minimum. Stick to 1 or 2 brand colours, and use graphics only where absolutely relevant (for example, you might like to include headshots in your company profile). Naturally, they should never overwhelm the text or content.
For digitally shareable files, make sure you’re exporting as a PDF for the highest possible quality, with any photographic images ideally over 300 dpi.
Resources and assistance in creating an Offer Document
Pulling together a file as comprehensive and instrumental as an Offer Document requires you to wear a lot of hats. On top of your company duties, you’ll need to be a copywriter, digital designer, spokesperson, proofreader. Some people (especially those with design or tech backgrounds) won’t find this to be a problem. Some will delve in with confidence only to find it becomes a time and energy vacuum.
Increasingly, digital agencies are providing specialist offerings for crowdfunding and campaigning material. Talk to us to find out how we can help you here. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.