Globalization has benefited many businesses around the world, in most cases, as there are plenty of markets that can be reached by nearly any sized business, or even an individual, from one country to another. With the new global market, how can you tell if the company or person you’re dealing with is trustworthy or the company or business person they claim to be? Is your money and reputation secure in dealing with an known business contact or company in a foreign country? What do you really know about the foreign business environment, the language, the customs, the rules and regulations or the financial practices, and the company and person you’re going to do business with?
That’s what international due diligence investigation is all about. The objective is to minimize the risk in international investment and foreign business transactions, to know your clients well before engaging, to verify potential vendors and business partners. Prudent investigation and diligence is strongly advised when dealing with a new business or business contact in a foreign country. The risk for fraud and scams in international business deals is estimated at 5 to 10 times higher than domestic transactions. Don’t ignore the risk. Private investigators and fraud experts say companies should think of due diligence as a form of insurance policy, and can help you avoid serious financial losses.
An international due diligence investigation is more than just gathering, checking or verifying information; it is an essential process to identify unforeseen risk. International private investigators, local investigation agencies, or professional background check services should have a local team who speaks the local language, knows the local laws, speaks the language, and can verify and uncover the evidence you need to move forward. Identifying red flags early is key to avoiding fraud.
Professional investigators can help you verify contacts, associates, business partners, relationships, source of funds, criminal records, misrepresentation, corruption, criminal activity or fraud. Due diligence can provide you with valuable information to make an informed decision. International private investigators can physically verify the facilities, interview representatives and customers to verify relationships, check the identities of the directors and top executives, and even provide you with references of other companies and contact persons.
Because every company and situation is different, international due diligence should be customized to the needs of every client. And depending on the information to be verified and investigated, a due diligence investigation can include some or all of the following fact checks: Past and current financial performance, ownership and shareholders, board of directors background checks , property and assets verification, legal history including outstanding legal action against the company, tax compliance, major customer contacts, criminal records on executives and contacts, photographs of facilities, business registration documents, identification of associates and other business partners, and more.
If you are considering an international merger or acquisition, international joint venture, a new foreign supplier, or engaging in business with overseas business partners, or if your company is facing a new risk by association with unknown counterparties, be safe and verify. Do your due diligence!
Best of luck,
© 2011 A. Hathaway