What is one big pro (or con) that I should be aware of before seriously considering equity-based crowdfunding for my business?

1. Con: Inexperience and Time

Andrew ThomasThere are two potential cons to consider. First, understand that your backers may not be as experienced and patient as traditional angel and early-round investors. Second, it might be that you have many small investors to cater to instead of a few bigger investors. Combined, these two realities will likely require more time to manage versus one angel or funding group with more experience.
Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.


2. Con: Long-Term Commitment

Heather LopesWhereas traditional rewards-based crowdfunding facilitates short-term interaction between business owners and backers, equity crowdfunding is a long-term relationship. Be prepared to keep equity crowdfunding investors informed and engaged as you scale your business.
Heather Lopes, EarlyShares


3. Con: Huge Cap Tables

alec bowersBeware of building up too large of a cap table. You have a responsibility to each and every investor you bring on. The more investors you get, the more time you will spend managing them. In good times, it’s time consuming. In bad times, you will feel like an investor relations professional rather than a CEO.
Alec Bowers, Abraxas Dynamics


4. Con: Losing Future Equity

Brittany HodakFrom the day ZinePak started, I have always treated it like a $100 million company. That’s because I’ve always known I wanted to sell it for at least that amount. So, I think about every point of equity as $1 million, even though that’s a future valuation. Once equity (and the control that goes with it) is gone, it’s very hard to get back. Consider offering other assets instead of equity.
Brittany Hodak, ZinePak


5. Con: Legal Expenses

peter mintonA large portion of whatever you raise will immediately go out the door to your professional advisors. Federal and state securities laws are complex and require an expert attorney to navigate competently. Moreover, the JOBS Act as written will require CPA-prepared financial statements and audits for raises of over certain thresholds. Securities attorneys and audited financials are not cheap.
Peter Minton, Minton Law Group, P.C.


6. Con: Bad Partners

john ramptonYou could potentially have to work with someone that you would never normally work with. This could bring a negative environment to your team and overall could kill your business due to their and your attitudes.
John Rampton, Adogy


7. Con: Low Value for Money

Christopher PruijsenWhen you get experienced angel investors and top-tier VC’s, they will offer you invaluable support and connections in addition to a certain dollar amount for an agreed percentage of equity. When you take unaccredited investors, chances are that these investors won’t have much experience to offer and not enough of a stake to truly commit to help you by investing further time.
Christopher Pruijsen, Sterio.me


8. Con: Inability to Keep Control

Gideon KimbrellKeep control of your business. As with any equity position, you can quickly lose control and voting power within your company. The biggest and most common mistake founders make is giving away too much equity early on in the company. Don’t make this mistake with crowdfunding either.
Gideon Kimbrell, InList