top of page

Due Diligence: What Is It and How You Do It

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Due diligence is often expressed in circumstances that involve a process of gathering or disclosing relevant and reliable information about a prospective sale, purchase, or contract. However, most people hear the phrase "do your due diligence," they don't get it. Fortunately, you will learn everything in this post, including what it is and how you do it.

What Is Due Diligence?

The word due diligence in a layman's language means doing your homework. To validate all relevant facts and financial details during an investment transaction, professionals describe it as a process of verification, review, or audit of a potential offer. The due diligence process aims to confirm the seller's data's quality to provide the buyer with an assurance of what they will get before the deal is closed.

Sellers and consumers (companies and investors) often carry out these inquiries. Their goal is to determine if the other party has considerable assets to conclude a business agreement. The contract may be a voluntary or legal obligation in this situation. The due diligence process will differ depending on the situation.


Types of Due Diligence

You now have an understanding of the definition of due diligence. You have to carefully analyze the business's financial results, assets, and skills if you want to buy a firm. For the study of the contract, there are several angles you can take depending on the nature of engagement. However, we have concentrated on the three basics forms of due diligence as outlined below.

1. Financial due diligence

It would be best to have clarity about the company and its financial position as a company buyer. Its historical and expected revenues and cash flows should be a strong priority. Determining the value factors of financial success and ensuring that the company's potential profits are sustainable is critical.

2. Commercial due diligence

To raise financial forecasts, performing commercial due diligence has become a standard practice for most leading investors. The approach includes undertaking an overview of the future target market environment and competitive position and their effect on the target's business strategy. Commercial due diligence helps the investor deal with both possible market threats and consider the unrealized potential for development.

3. Legal due diligence

Legal, due diligence applies to the degree of discretion, consideration, prudence, commitment, and operation that an entity may reasonably be required to do in a particular case. It focuses mainly on intellectual property, including reviewing the target company's contracts, licenses, and pending litigation. The analysis offers useful knowledge when performed correctly to further the process of an acquisition. As a consequence, once the contract is closed, you get to save major costs later on.


How To Perform Due Diligence

You are guaranteed to get decent value for a company by carrying out due diligence. Before business transactions, it is always recommended that you engage an expert. And it will make all the difference between purchasing a company that will cost you cash and buying a company that will make you money with an attorney, accountant, or business consultant.

Strong due diligence will help you defend your business from damages, problems, and obligations. Specialized teams work together to organize and evaluate the due diligence checklist to execute the inquiry, including:

  • Evaluating the goals of the business

The first phase, as in any other project, involves the assessment of business objectives. This helps in determining the tools needed for future planning. An incorrect performance evaluation hinders both developments of a company and workers' careers. Great set goals translate to you being able to take steps towards improving any aspect of work that's relevant and specific to you, building on professional knowledge, skills, and effective working practices. 

  • Analyzing the business financials

Have the company experience and previous investments from the owner or anyone in touch with it. This will offer an idea of business authenticity and how useful it could be for you beyond financial assistance. Get to know how the business acquires finances. Any fund coming from offshore accounts should be avoided unless the company owner gives a reasonable explanation.

  • Thoroughly inspecting documents

Ask for copies of the company's technical and consulting agreements and all other intellectual property-related papers, such as patents or trademarks. You and your lawyer can carefully analyze them to see if the contracts are enforceable, the corporation has the intellectual property rights, the licenses are valid, and if it is embroiled in any lawsuits, if so, what the possible risks, costs, and penalties are.

  • Analyzation of business plan and model

When defining prospects for growth and problem areas that need attention, you need to consider the market requirements—using structures to help you imagine the organization's chain of command and the employees' reporting relationships. In planning, designing plans, or optimizing a business process, business analysis models provide quick solutions.

  • Formation of the final offering

Get to know some key issues concerning the management of the company. Its age and whether its founders still run it are more critical. A young firm appears to have more of its founding members. To see the skills they possess, look at the consolidated bios of the top managers. As a bonus, consider high personal ownership by top managers. They strive to deliver the best service when stakeholder shareholders own the management.

  • Risk management

Finally, the uncertainties involved in investing are often stressed. Make sure you understand both the risks of the sector and the particular risks of the business. What sort of long-term risks may arise from the company and whether a healthy advocate mentality can be preserved at all times, picturing worse scenarios. 

The due diligence process should take at least one to two months, considering the thorough nature. You can only do this if the process is delegated from various business functions to an effective and diverse team. The process is important when buying a vital asset. Note that, caution requires a lot of moving facts, and it is important for a deal's success. To allow your teams to collect the necessary diligence data effectively, have a due diligence checklist. If you are looking for Professional Due Diligence Service in West Africa, Contact us today.


bottom of page