Foreign Company Due Diligence Reports

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We Help Companies Before They Get Into Trouble

Before you send money around the world, shouldn’t you do some checking?

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How Much Do You Really Know About Your Supplier/Distributor/Partner?

It’s common sense to get expert advice when you’re embarking on an international business venture, and our clients understand that.

At the same time, we hear stories every day that would freeze your blood. And unfortunately, we hear many of those stories from individuals and companies that come to us much later than they should have. They come asking us to fix problems they could have prevented, and though some of their problems are legal, many result from their not having done even the most basic due diligence on their foreign counterparties before entering into a transaction or sending money.

Linguistic and logistical barriers make it harder to conduct due diligence halfway around the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Especially if your future supplier, distributor, or partner is a bad actor relying on those barriers to take advantage of you.

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Know What You Are Getting Into

Everyone embarking on an international business venture needs to know:

  • Are these people part of a real company?
  • Do they have the facilities (e.g. factories, showrooms, retail outlets, online sales platforms) they claim to have?
  • Do they actually make what they claim to make?
  • Are they as large and/or established as they say (e.g. do they actually have ten offices across Mexico or twelve factories in China)?
  • Do they actually do business with the companies they claim (e.g. if they claim to do business with Disney, can they show proof)?
  • Do they have a record of suing other companies, of having been sued, or have they regularly defaulted on previous agreements?
  • Are they legally permitted to conduct the business they are agreeing to do with you (e.g. in many countries, businesses can legally engage in only the business for which they are actually licensed)?
  • Do they have valuable assets they do not want to put at risk?

And so on.

There are no guarantees in life, but as the old Russian saying goes, “Trust, but verify.”

And verify before you invest months in discussions about a joint venture that resulted from a conversation you had with a neighbor who “works with a company in Shenzhen” that would be the perfect partner to help manufacture widgets at much lower cost than you pay now.

We have worked with hundreds of companies that wish they had done more due diligence before getting into bed with their overseas partner. This experience has led us to develop ways to help companies before they get into trouble.

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As demand for thorough background investigations has increased (especially in emerging market countries in Asia and in Latin Amerca0, we created a separate fixed-price service to reduce client costs and provide budgeting certainty.

This service stands outside the framework of the normal attorney-client relationship and provides in-depth foreign company due diligence in almost all cases within 48 hours based on research undertaken within that 48 hour period. And if you should ever need a report within 24 hours, we can do that too, for a small additional fee.

With each of our due diligence reports, we start from scratch in investigating the relevant company and we do that by utilizing our access to databases around the world — most of which are not in English.

Our background investigations typically give critical information about foreign company assets, ownership, intellectual property (trademarks, patents and copyrights), registered litigation history, authorized scope of business, and tax standing. Our reports also flag derogatory information, such as lawsuits, penalties, and fines, which can often reveal more than balance sheets – they can show a company at odds with its own government or with its prior business partners.

To quote one of our clients who chose not to go forward with a $35 million dollar transaction based on information we found while compiling one of our $1,500 due diligence reports: “I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t always do this and I don’t understand why you are not charging way more for these.”

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Harris Sliwoski - Seattle Office

An Explanatory Consultation is Included

Our foreign company due diligence reports include a 30-minute consultation with one of our international attorneys, during which time we answer any questions you might have about the report and give you the pros and cons of going forward with the company analyzed in the report.

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Our reports provide the background information needed to make confident decisions as to whether to move forward with an international transaction.

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