Leading the crowd
Crowdfunding is now a mainstream form of funding for businesses of all sizes across the UK, playing an increasingly important role in helping them access the finance they need.
Our team has been at the forefront of developments in crowdfunding in Scotland, helping clients carry out some of the country’s most successful and groundbreaking crowdfunding campaigns.
We also work closely with the crowdfunding platforms to make this possible, including Crowdcube, the UK’s leading equity crowdfunding platform.
Our lawyers work closely with businesses at every stage of their life-cycle, from inception right through to a successful exit. We have extensive experience of helping young, innovative companies secure the necessary investment to fuel their growth into strong, successful businesses, and crowdfunding plays an important part in that funding mix.
Lead Partner Paula Skinner is regularly considered as Scotland’s leading crowdfunding lawyer. She was named in The Lawyer Hot 100 2015 as one of the leading corporate solicitors in the UK for her work with start-up and high-growth businesses.
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Why choose us?
A business considering a crowdfunding campaign needs specialist advice. We understand the crowdfunding market, and can guide you through the process from the initial idea through to a successful campaign.
We deliver legal advice in a clear way, focused on business rather than the law and as a full service commercial law firm, we can also provide a number of additional services which may be crucial to you and your business.
Certainty on legal costs is important and we are happy to arrange an initial meeting at no cost, with the potential to move forward on a fixed-fee basis.
We can also assist with introductions to some of the key players in the crowdfunding market and can give you an independent view of the pros and cons of the various platforms.
We can advise on all stages of a crowdfunding campaign, from the preparation to the execution of all relevant documentation post investment. These services include:
- Advising on what type of crowdfunding would be appropriate
- Choice of platform
- Ensuring the corporate structure is appropriate
- Advising on the current and future shareholder relationships and agreements
- Protecting the company’s intellectual property
- Ensuring commercial contracts are in place and suitable
- Advising on any potential employment issues
Types of Crowdfunding
There are ever growing ways to crowdfund, however, the four main types of crowdfunding are donation, reward, equity and Peer-to-Peer (P2P).
There are many crowdfunding platforms operating different models and it is vital that a company chooses the form of crowdfunding and crowdfunding platform which suits it's business needs. In addition choosing a structure which will fit with your business plan and will not prohibit the business going forward is equally important.
Crowdfunding is not without risk however, provided the company puts in the work and the crowdfunding is structured correctly, it can be a fantastic way not only to raise funds but also to generate PR and create knowledge and increased awareness of your product or service.
Harper Macleod & Crowdcube - Strategic Partnership
We have a Strategic Partnership with Crowdcube, the UK's leading equity crowdfunding platform, to bring the benefits of equity crowdfunding to more Scottish businesses.
Since it was established in 2011, Crowdcube has funded 17 Scottish businesses, raising £19.8m in the process. In 2017 the numbers were £1.7m for 3 businesses. However, this represents only 6% of its UK market as a whole, leaving Scotland way behind other parts of the UK when it comes to businesses taking advantage of crowdfunding.
Through the partnership, we co-operate to ensure equity crowdfunding is considered as part of the funding mix for an increasing number of Scottish growth businesses, for whom it has the potential to be a gamechanger.
Companies working with both Harper Macleod and Crowdcube can save on the overall cost of conducting their crowdfunding campaign. The partnership will also see the duo raise awareness through a series of events across the country.
Crowdcube CCO Matt Cooper spoke at our launch event in March 2018, saying: “Whilst Crowdcube has helped fund a number of businesses in Scotland, including Ellon-based BrewDog, we think there is a huge opportunity to further support businesses in the country. We’re looking forward to working with the Harper Macleod team to broaden the funding opportunities for entrepreneurs across Scotland."
Matt Cooper of Crowdcube with Harper Macleod Partner Paula Skinner
The world-leading equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube has over 500,000 crowd investors and the market capitalisation of its 630 successfully funded businesses is more than £390 million. in 2017 alone it helped raise more than £87million for 133 businesses across the UK.
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