Jump to Section
Need help with an Offering Memorandum?
What is an Offering Memorandum?
An offering memorandum, sometimes called a private placement memorandum, is a legal document issued to potential investors in a private placement deal. It states the deal terms and conditions of the investment opportunity including potential risks and liabilities.
An offering memorandum provides a potential investor with relevant information about a company like in depth financial statements, financial performance, management biographies, description of business operations, and any other information that will help an investor perform due diligence.
Generally, a business owner will hire an investment banker to draft the offering memorandum. The memorandum is a legally binding document and must adhere to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws.
Purpose of an Offering Memorandum
The main purpose of an offering memorandum is for business owners of privately held companies to attract investors. The memorandum generates interest by allowing a potential investor to understand the risks, returns, operations, and capital structure of a business.
Offering Memorandum are often used for investment opportunities from:
- Exempt market dealers
- Private placement issuers
- Hedge funds
- Private equity firms
- Private capital firms
- Venture capital firms
- Private mortgage funds
The offering memorandum provides disclosures to the investor which is an important concept in investing. If an investor does not know all the facts about an investment opportunity, they cannot make a good decision about the investment.
Some information that should be disclosed in an offering memorandum includes:
- Management fees
- Investors’ voting rights
- Indebtedness of the business
- How the investment will be repaid
Real Estate Offering Memorandums
Offering memorandums are used in real estate much like in any other investment opportunity. They are commonly used in apartment syndications and other types of commercial investments. The purpose of real estate offering memorandums is to secure investors to raise money to purchase property. Much like any other business plan, the offering memorandum will outline plans to increase property value and potential returns on investments.
Real estate offering memorandums will vary on format but should include the follow sections:
Section 1: Introduction
The introduction will include an overview of the investment opportunity, a description of the property, the minimum amount of capital required to invest, a date the offer expires, and all risks involved in the investment.
Section 2: Disclosures
Generally, there are three types of disclosures in a real estate offering memorandum.
- Sponsor Disclosure
The sponsor disclosure is proof that the sponsor is capable of entering the deal. This disclosure will include items such as the name and contact information of the sponsor and a list of fees and profits payable to the sponsor. It will also contain the sponsor’s background information including their deal history.
- Property Disclosure
The property disclosure contains information about the property. It will usually include estimated costs of projects, and revenue information. The property disclosure should also include the business owner’s plans for using the money raised in private placement.
- Risk Disclosure
The risk disclosure outlines any risks that an investor should be aware of. Some risks include environmental problems or market issues.
Section 3: Operating Agreement
The operating agreement outlines the structure of the proposed deal. It will state the roles and responsibilities of the sponsor and other investors who will be involved in the business plan. It should also contain the rights and roles of every party involved like level of ownership, termination plan, and requirements to transfer ownership.
Here is an article about Operating Agreements .
Section 4: Investment Summary
The investment summary is a large section of the offering memorandum that covers various subtopics which all have their own section and description. These subtopics include:
- Property description
- Investment opportunity
- Purchase price
- Total capitalization
- Preferred returns
- Property/Asset manager
- Proposed structure
View some of our Real Estate Lawyers here .
Section 5: Subscription Agreement
The subscription agreement is a copy of the contract that would be signed should an investor agree to proceed with the deal. It should include all terms and how much ownership an investor would be entitled to.
For information on real estate appreciation, read this article.
Image via Pexels by RODNAE Productions
What’s Included in an Offering Memorandum
Every offering memorandum will be custom tailored depending on the investment, however each one must include certain detailed information to ensure the investors have all the information they need for due diligence.
Section 1: Introduction
The Introduction lays out the basic deal terms and offering. It will also provide the investor with some basic information about the company.
Section 2: Summary of Offering Terms
The summary of offering terms, or terms sheet, includes the capitalization of the company, liquidation preferences, conversion rights, voting rights and protective provisions for the investor.
Section 3: Risk Factors
This section will outline possible risks that an investor should be aware of before entering into the contract. Any risk that could impact the investor’s investment should be included in this section.
Section 4: Company Description
The company description should describe what the company does and provide a detailed history of the company including past performance and future goals. Also included in this section should be a description of the company’s competition, advertising strategy, intellectual property, and any other relevant information that an investor may be interested in.
Section 5: Use of Proceeds
Investors are generally interested in how their investment will be used. This section should describe how the company plans to use their funds.
Section 6: Description of Securities
A description of securities will outline the rights, restrictions and class of securities being offered to investors.
Section 7: Subscription Procedures
Subscription procedures are instructions for the investor about how to invest in the offering.
Section 8: Exhibits
In this section, the company can include any supplemental information that an investor may need to make an informed decision. Some examples of what may be included in exhibits are financial statements, shareholder agreements, and any licenses held by the company.
Here is an article that goes over a terms sheet .
Offering Memorandum vs Prospectus
An offering memorandum and a prospectus are very similar documents, however, while an offering memorandum is used for private placements, a prospectus is for publicly traded issues. A prospectus is used when a company is looking for public funds.
These documents share many similarities, and both serve as a detailed business plan to inform investors about their potential investment. Just like an offering memorandum, a prospectus will include terms of the offer, business structure, value, risks, and financial projections.
How to Make an Offering Memorandum
Generally, offering memorandum are drafted by an investment banker hired by the company. An effective offering memorandum should highlight your company’s strengths and provide all the relevant information an investor needs for due diligence.
Here are some things to consider when creating an offering memorandum:
- Readability - Design is important for an offering memorandum. Your document should be easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. Consider the font used, headings and subheadings, bolding key points, and utilizing bullet points for quick scanning.
- Imagery - Photos are especially important for a real estate offering memorandum. Be sure to include high quality professional photos to showcase your property to the investor.
- Writing Style - An offering memorandum is a business document and should be clear, concise, and direct. It needs to be able to be read and understood with ease. Eliminate “fluff” language, keep paragraphs short, and be sure that there are no grammatical errors.
- Call to Action - A clear call to action will encourage your potential investors to take the next step forward in the deal.
Get Help with Offering Memorandums
Do you have questions about offering memorandums and want to speak to an expert? Post a project today on ContractsCounsel and receive bids from lawyers who specialize in offering memorandums and private placement memorandums.
Meet some of our Offering Memorandum Lawyers
Pura Rodriguez, JD, MBA is the President and Managing Partner of A Physician’s Firm, based in Miami. She represents healthcare providers from different specialties in a broad range of issues, including contract review, business planning and transactions, mergers and acquisitions, vendor and contract disputes, risk management, fraud and abuse compliance (Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark), HIPAA compliance, medical staff credentialing, employment law, and federal and state regulations. She also assists providers in planning their estates, protecting their assets, and work visa requirements.
Jaclyn is an experienced intellectual property and transactional attorney residing and working in NYC, and serving clients throughout the United States and internationally. She brings a targeted breadth of knowledge in intellectual property law, having years of experience working within the media, theater, PR and communications industries, and having represented clients in the music, entertainment, fashion, event production, digital media, tech, food/beverage, consumer goods, and beauty industries. She is an expert in trademark, copyright, and complex media and entertainment law matters. Jaclyn also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Cardozo School of Law, having developed and instructed the school’s first Trademark Practicum course for international students. In her spare time, Jaclyn’s passion for theater and love for NYC keeps her exploring the boundless creativity in the world’s greatest city!
A bilingual attorney graduated from J.D. with a C.P.A. license, an M.B.A. degree, and nearly ten years of experience in the cross-border tax field.
Experienced and business-oriented attorney with a great depth of contract experience including vendor contracts, service contracts, employment, licenses, operating agreements and other corporate compliance documents.
With over 21 years of practice, Chet uses his vast experiences to assist his clients in the most efficient manner possible. Chet is a magna cum laude graduate of University of Miami School of Law with an extensive background in Business Law, Commercial Real Estate, Corporate Law, Leasing Law and Telecommunications Law. Chet's prior experience includes 5 years at two of the top law firms in Georgia and 16 years of operating his own private practice.
Steve Clark has been practicing law in DFW since 1980. He is licensed in both Texas and Louisiana state and federal courts. He concentrates his practice on business clients and their needs. He has been a SuperLawyer in Texas since 2011, and is Lead Counsel rated in Business Law. He is also a Bet the Company litigator in Texas.
I am a top-performing bi-lingual legal services professional with a proven record of success. Reputation of assessing and evaluating client’s needs and providing individualized solutions in line with those needs while efficiently handling multiple tasks simultaneously. Able to create a collaborative work environment ensuring business objectives are consistently met. Seeking an attorney role within a legal setting to apply skills in critical thinking, executive communications, and client advocacy.