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Information to review when buying a company


Previous posts here have referenced how detailed any type of merger or acquisition can be in the business world. These are complex business transactions that typically involve dozens of people pouring over information on both sides of the transaction. When it comes to buying a company in Louisiana, there is quite a bit of information that should be reviewed in what is known as the “due diligence” process.

First, companies will want to review some of the foundational documents regarding the company, including articles of incorporation, bylaws and certification with the state Secretary of State. Beyond that, documents as simple as a chart of how the company is organized can be helpful when beginning to understand how the operations at the company are structured.

Next, financial documents will be a crucial part of the due diligence process. A company will need to review inventory lists, accounts payable and receivable and, of course, a list of all debts owed by the company. Annual reports can be a helpful starting point, and any internal projection reports regarding future growth or expansion can be useful.

Beyond these core issues, companies will need to review any intellectual property that is owned by the company to be purchased, as well as how this intellectual property is being protected. There may be potential trade secrets involved that will need to be protected by agreements with those employees that come into contact with that information. Lastly, all of the information regarding the company’s employees must be reviewed, including current compensation, employee handbooks and any information regarding retirement plans that the company is party to.

Source: FindLaw, “Buying a Business: Due Diligence Checklist,” Accessed Dec. 26, 2016

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