HELENA – Leaders from the state auditor’s office are traveling around Montana this month to help entrepreneurs learn how to get the investments they need to start or expand a business.
Auditor Matt Rosendale, the state’s securities, and insurance commissioner are leading the Invest in Montana Tour. On Tuesday, the tour included a stop at Green Meadow Country Club in Helena.
Rosendale’s office oversees securities transactions in the state. That includes any time someone invests in a business with the expectation of making a profit.
“What we’re trying to do is basically educate the investors on what are some legitimate things that they can invest in, and make sure that the folks that are looking for the capital go about it in the right fashion, so that they don’t come before us in a violation,” Rosendale said.
During Tuesday’s event, representatives from the auditor’s office shared information on the rules businesses need to follow when seeking new investors. In many cases, owners will have to file paperwork with the state, laying out their plans.
Lynne Egan, the deputy securities commissioner, encouraged business owners to get advice before making attempts to recruit investors. “Don’t do things alone,” she said.
Loren Brown and Tom McGree, leaders from First Security Bank of Helena, talked about their successful attempts to raise more than $7 million to support their purchase of the bank.
Speakers also talked about the new opportunities for businesses to raise money through crowdfunding. New state laws have allowed additional exemptions for companies that use those options.
Egan highlighted a variety of companies that have successfully used crowdfunding, from internet providers to Cowboy Cricket Farms. “Here in Montana, people are thinking outside the box,” she said.
Rosendale said his office has many resources available to help businesses and people who are looking to invest. He said he’s committed to encouraging capital investment wherever possible.
“It’s good for the investors that are looking for ways to make wise investments here in the state and be able to watch them grow, and it’s also great for all the entrepreneurs and all the new businesses and folks that want to expand their existing businesses, so that they can have additional sources of capital to do just that,” he said.
Rosendale also traveled to Missoula for an Invest in Montana event Tuesday. The tour will include stops in 19 cities across the state by the end of April.