Still months from opening for business, South Shore Community Bank and Trust is going public.

To meet Massachusetts' steep $8 million start-up threshold, the Braintree bank is taking the unusual step of selling stock before taking in its first deposit. Though the bank, headed by former top executives at Bank of Braintree, has already raised $7 million in a private offering, South Shore has hired the New York investment banker Josepthal & Co. to help raise an additional $2 million to $5 million.

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