Every company wants to be the leader of its industry or of its niche, but many focus their efforts only in productivity and a greater profit margin. Proactive businesses are often in the top because these companies are one step ahead in every possible aspect, from research and innovation, to sustainability, to security. In this whole picture, international due diligence plays a fundamental role.
Companies can no longer afford to waste time, money and talent in pursuing unverified business deals or investors. Company intelligence and due diligence is based on having the right information at the right time, in order to invest wisely. Acting on impulse can put a company in serious risk, and unfortunately some businesspeople are still not aware of the dangers.
In a broad sense due diligence means a thorough investigation of a company, representative or investor in order to minimize your risk. In international business, the risk for fraud and scams is much higher, and the verification process much more important. The motivations for a company to hire a professional investigator to conduct real international due diligence can be many: a merger or acquisition of a company in a foreign country, a business opportunity with a new distributor or provider, a partnership to sell products or services along with another company, a franchise or franchisee investment, etc. The goal in all of them is the same, to keep a company’s resources and investment safe from fraud, scams, and away from costly legal or reputation damage.
Having clear evidence on who you’re about to do business with is critical.
Our insight on how to approach international due diligence
Each situation, company, case and country is completely different. This is why due diligence needs to be customized and conducted by a reputable international investigation firm with local investigators in the country or countries where you need them. If you are considering doing business with a company in Russia, the investigation firm must have highly trained private investigators in Russia with access to the evidence you need. It makes no sense to spend thousands of dollars in having someone search the internet or a generic database. Real evidence means real investigation, whether it be in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Romania, Morocco, Colombia, South Africa or the United Arab Emirates. Searching databases is not real due diligence or a background check, especially in developing nations.
Due diligence is by default a thorough and comprehensive investigation, so it is important to make sure who you hire is comprehensive enough. Do they have actual investigators in the countries where you need them? There aren’t any exact rules for how much investigating needs to be done, but it is clear that the investigation needs to cover your main concerns. Is the company registered and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and national laws that apply? Does the company have a good reputation? For the company doing the investigating, you will need to know if the company or individual you’re verifying is registered, if there have been any cases of corruption or negative media coverage. Has the subject any history of fraud, court or criminal cases? Are the operations and offices as the subject claims? Are the documents and IDs provided genuine? You will need independent references and real evidence before making an informed decision to hire or invest.
There are a number of questions that a company will need to answer, which is why having the opportunity to customize the investigation is crucial to obtaining evidence you need.
How to find the right provider for due diligence?
When researching companies that offer international due diligence services, be sure to look for a few key factors. Make sure they have trained investigators in the countries where you need them. If not, you are wasting your money. Be sure they are compliant with any laws or general rules of conduct when doing their work, and make sure their services are strictly confidential and discreet.
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