Wyoming Invests Now (WIN) is a new funding opportunity for businesses that also allows residents to become part-owners of companies in the state. Prior to WIN, there was no system in place to allow non-accredited investors to buy shares in Wyoming companies or for companies to generate private equity investments from citizens. Now, companies can start an online funding campaign that allows Wyoming residents to invest in their business.
Before WIN, individuals wanting to participate in private equity investments had to be a nationally accredited investor with a net worth of at least $1 million or an individual income of at least $200,000 per year. For a company to sell shares without using the WIN program, they would need to get an Initial Public Offering (IPO) thus becoming a publicly-traded and owned entity. The process for any company to “go public” is lengthy and few businesses have the capital or ability to do so. WIN breaks through these barriers for Wyoming businesses and investors.
To participate in WIN, businesses must receive approval through the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office. Participating companies will offer shares in their company to generate up to $4 million in capital to be used for expansion or acquisition which adds jobs and increased economic impact to the state.
Individuals would then be able to invest a minimum of $10,000 toward the approved companies after proving Wyoming residency at createwyoming.com. Investors take a vested interest in businesses and effectively take part in its development and can share in its success. Depending on the structure of the offer, investors could receive updates on their company’s performance, shares of profits or buyouts of the shares at higher prices. Also, like any investment, there is a chance you could lose your money.
If you are interested in pursuing this funding opportunity for your business, the Wyoming SBDC Network can help you develop a business plan proposal and obtain market research for your WIN application. You can contact your local advisor for confidential, no-cost assistance by visiting WyomingSBDC.org. You can also find more on the topic right now in the blog section of our website.
About the Author: Justin Farley is the Regional Director for Natrona, Converse, Niobrara and Platte counties. Justin has a bachelor’s degree in Financial Management from the University of Montana. He has experience as a licensed financial advisor and Wyoming realtor. Additionally, Justin has owned, operated and sold a Papa Murphy’s and Quiznos franchise. Justin enjoys sharing his business experience with others in hopes of smoothing out the sometimes difficult path of self-employment.
When he’s not in the office: Justin will be running kids around to different sporting events and looking for an opportunity to fish.