Before a company issues shares or other securities to the public, it must file a document known as a prospectus and make it available to any potential investor. The prospectus contains important facts relating to the securities a company is planning to offer to the public, including:
- a history of the company and a description of its operations
- a description of the securities being offered
- a list of directors and officers and financial statements
- a summary of the major risk factors affecting the company
- how the company will spend the money it raises
You can find prospectuses and other disclosure documents on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR). Some securities, called “exempt securities”, can be sold without a prospectus to certain investors. Some scammers claim to be selling this type of investment, so contact the OSC first if you are offered an exempt security.