From the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

Selling stock in your company to raise money can mean running a gauntlet of state and federal regulatory requirements. Drawing up the documents to comply with investment laws is usually expensive and requires a securities lawyer, six weeks and $10,000 to $20,000.

Now, however, much of the process can be done online or with increasingly sophisticated software. And though no system is a complete substitute for the personal, professional advice of an attorney, these programs can help save time and money.

PPMPro.com is a consultancy that integrates business information into a Private Placement Memo consistent with your state and federal regulations. The company can also submit necessary documents to the SEC. The cost: $5,000 to $7,500.

RegDResources.com offers downloadable packages of fill-in-the-blank documents, including PPMs, subscription agreements and promissory notes (for debt offerings). It also has consultants available to guide your work. The entire package is $1,250.

Software from Commonwealth Capital Advisors can provide help for one step or the entire process. Prices range from $299 to $3,999. Templates and software are only meant to help you navigate securities laws, not avoid them. The best advice comes from an attorney familiar with your business and your state's particular laws. Before you set out to raise any funding, complete a thorough business plan and detailed financial projections.

David Worrell is author of the e-book Finding Funding.