When you are trying to decide if you want to merge or become associated with another company, you should perform due diligence.
Company due diligence by definition is the examination of a company, its financial records, and all other details.
This is done before you complete the merger or deal with them.
This usually takes around 30 to 60 days and will help you determine if you should continue and what risks are involved.
This article will discuss how it works, why we need it, and what to do if you encounter an issue when doing your research.
The first step is to have or send a letter of intent.
After that, you start to collect information such as licenses, financial information, assets, a list of shareholders and corporate board members, plus any information on suppliers or vendors.
You will also want to look into the legal and financial background of the company and the people involved, as well as the status of any equipment.
Another important thing to look at is their insurance related and marketing documents.
To fully know about the company, also check for any inspections or legal issues they have had and look at their bylaws.
It is a long process that involves a lot of research, but it can prevent you from receiving nasty and costly surprises later on.
Why it helps
The research you perform will tell you if the company is the right fit with your own.
It allows you to understand the structure and value of the business.
This process will reveal if there are any red flags with the company that may put the deal or your company at risk.
If done properly and thoroughly, it will help to prevent losses and hits to your reputation.
Proper research will also allow you to make informed decisions and feel more comfortable purchasing or making a deal.
So, you found an issue, now what?
If you encounter any issues such as illegal activities, risks of illegal activities, or inconsistencies, you should alert the authorities to ensure that the company cannot cause harm to others.
Determine if the issue is something you can work with to fix, or if it is a deal breaker.
Try to resolve any issues and get a warranty from the other company to ensure that any issues are resolved before closing the deal.
If the issues are too much to handle, do not complete the deal and politely walk away.
When you are satisfied with the research, you can conclude the process and set up the agreement between your company and the other one.
Company due diligence is done for the protection of your company.
By performing due diligence, you are determining if the company you wish to do business with is legitimate, and therefore keeping your company safe from a bad deal.
Remember that this process can take time and should not be rushed — costly issues can occur if you do not know all the information.