One of the best ways to raise capital for a business it by going public and selling shares of stock in your business. Not only does this create a mechanism for raising large amounts of capital, but it helps mitigate risk by spreading it out across several owners.

When a company goes public, a lot of money can be raised very quickly. it also has the advantage of increasing public exposure and diversifying your equity base.

Issuing public shares of stock is not for everyone, however. It comes with added administrative and management costs, higher scrutiny through regulatory oversight, and decrease in centralized control due to ownership dilution. Additionally, some once-private information is now subject to public dissemination.

One of the most daunting tasks of businesses considering going public is navigating the complex maze of securities and acting in conformity with the Securities Act of 1933 under the oversight of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

And although we usually think of the juggernauts of industry when we think of publicly traded company (Facebook raised over $16 billion and General Motors over $18 billion in the last decade), you don't have to be a multi-billion dollar company to issue shares of stock.