Term Main definition
Balloon Payment

A relatively large principal payment due at a specific time as required by a lender.

Basis Points

One one-hundredth (1/100) of one percent. For example, if one percent (1%) were expressed in "basis points," it would be called "100 basis points."  50 basis points equals one-half of one percent.


In various contracts, including the typical contracts used in mergers and acquisitions, the provision for one party to indemnify the other from losses contains a limitation called the "basket." The basket is a specific limitation on indemnity claims permitted to be made by one party against the other party as provided expressly under an agreement (typically an investment or purchase agreement).

Beneficial Ownership

Refers to equitable rather than record ownership of securities.

Best Efforts Offering

A commitment by a syndicate of investment banks to use best efforts to ensure the sale to investors of a company's offering of securities.

Beta Product

A product that is being tested by potential customers (also called Beta trial customers) prior to being formally marketed, sold and launched into the marketplace on a full-scale basis.

Blank Check Preferred Stock

Preferred stock that has been authorized in the charter of a corporation and is unissued, if the Board of Directors can designate its terms, rights, privileges, preferences, and limitations.

Blocking Rights

These often take to form of special voting rights, where the holder of a security with blocking rights can, in relevant circumstances, refuse to approve a particular action proposed by the company that issued the securities and, by withholding approval, thereby prevent the company from taking that particular action.

Blue Sky Laws

Laws of individual states in the United States that address (and, to some extent, regulate) the offer, issuance and sale of securities, and persons (brokers, dealers, advisors and finders) who act to facilitate the offer, issuance and sale of securities.

Board Observer Rights

A contractually provided right for an investor (or its designee) to attend all regular and special meetings of the board of directors (and often meetings of board committees).

Board of Directors

The individuals are called directors and collectively they are known as the board of directors.  The board of directors comprises the governing body of a corporation (just as trustees are the governing bodies for a trust, or general partners are governing bodies of a limited partnership, or managers are governing bodies of a limited liability company), and all of those members of the board of directors are charged with oversight of the management and direction of the corporation.

Boat Anchor

A colloquial term for the person, project or activity that hinders the growth of a company.

bona fide
In good faith, genuine, sincere
Book Runner

The lead investment bank that manages the transaction process for an equity or debt financing, including managing the preparation of documentation, the broker-dealer syndicate, the pricing, the allocations among dealers and the closing.

Book Value

The net value of an asset as shown on a company's balance sheet.