An initial public offering, or IPO, allows a company to raise money by selling shares of stock to the general public, often on one of the major stock exchanges such as the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Initial public offerings attorneys may represent one of several parties in an IPO, including the company that is going public, an investment bank that is underwriting the IPO, existing investors who are selling their shares during the IPO or investors who are buying shares during the IPO. An IPO is a legally complex transaction, with significant regulatory oversight. If there are allegations of impropriety, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may launch an investigation and shareholders may sue those who are responsible. Companies that are the targets of IPO-related legal investigations should promptly seek the counsel of an experienced IPO lawyer or law firm.