Scholarly Research Paper from the year 2003 in the subject Business economics - Investment and Finance, printed single-sided, grade: 1, Pforzheim University, language: English, abstract: With the European economic and monetary union and the introduction of the Euro, a further step in the globalisation of the markets was made. This means more and more growing stress of competition for nearly every company, because trade and entrance barriers have been elimi-nated. On the other side, this also offers more chances for growth and extending the business. Both aspects of course have one in common: capital requirements and especially staying liquid. In critical economic situations it is more than ever important to stay liquid (having enough pos-sibilities to cover the short-term possibilities). That?s the task of financing and planning the finances.There are two main sources of assessing capital: equity financing and outside or credit capital. It should be a strategic and well calculated decision, what the capital structure of a company should look like. The ?leverage effect? plays an important role in this context. But it is often not easy to create this structure like it is wished. There are many factors which influence the ?price? and the efforts for getting liquidity out of certain capital sources. One big example therefore is the ?Basle 2? decision, which makes it more exertive for companies to gain loans of banks. This can also mean worse conditions of the loans. These circumstances make it inescapable to seek better alternatives ? like for example getting equity.Not only because of tougher times for gaining credit capital, but also because of the continuous intensification of competition, has equity financing become more and more important. One cause for that is the long-term oriented affiliation of equity capital to the firm. There are nor-mally no ?stressing? dates when it has to be paid back like is the case with loans from a bank. This elaboration will give a brief overview about the topic of equity financing. The most impor-tant and common possibilities will be presented and evaluated. But we will also have a look at some special forms and more or less unknown facts about this topic.