Global due diligence: Key documents to examine
ComplianceAugust 13, 2020

Global due diligence: Key documents to examine

Once an offer has been accepted on a global corporate transaction such as in a merger or during an acquisition, an exhaustive due diligence process begins.

Due diligence aims to confirm or correct the acquirer’s assessment of the value of the target company, verify the legal and administrative standing of the organization, and understand how and with whom they do business through a detailed examination and analysis of every aspect of the company’s operations. Global deals in the works for years can be scuttled by a single missing document, underscoring the critical importance of thorough and meticulous due diligence investigations. Attorneys assisting clients on global transactions have the added challenge of conducting this work in foreign jurisdictions and obtaining - in a country they may not be familiar with - as much information as they can in order to provide their clients with sounds recommendations on the deal at hand.

In this article, we explore what legal counsel must keep in mind when conducting due diligence outside of the U.S., and more importantly, what types of documents are commonly examined during this process.

Performing due diligence abroad: what’s involved

In order to conduct thorough due diligence, attorneys must research and gather a variety of documents across functions such as legal, financial, sales, marketing, and human resources.

This can be an extensive process that gets more complicated when dealing with international deals involving one or more countries. Each due diligence investigation is unique, and each jurisdiction will have certain requirements in order to obtain documents. Additionally, documents are always issued in the local language and may not be available in English. Therefore, an official translation will need to be generated. Naming conventions can also differ and understanding the differences is key to ensuring you get the documents you need. In some cases, U.S. equivalents may not be a perfect match, and additional documents will be required to supplement missing information.

You may also run into differences in document turnaround times than are commonly seen in the U.S. This can be especially challenging for attorneys when they are working under tight deadlines.

Global due diligence: Essential documents

The types and quantities of documents required during due diligence depend on the specific circumstances of the deal. Our infographic breaks down the category of information and common documents searched in each.

Global Due Diligence: Documents to Examine
Global Due Diligence
Documents to Examine


Navigating the nuances of document search and retrieval during a due diligence investigation in different countries can be tricky, as it can be hard to determine what information is available and what isn’t. Global due diligence is a time-consuming and resource-heavy process that varies depending on the type of deal being worked on, the type of business, and the countries involved. Legal counsel must also factor in their knowledge and familiarity with the jurisdiction in which due diligence is being conducted.

Keeping these complexities in mind, working with a trusted partner who understands the urgency of global deals, provides the necessary support to ensure due diligence is carried out efficiently and in a timely manner. CT has the local expertise and boots on the ground in over 150 countries – but with the convenience of a dedicated U.S.-based single point of contact who coordinates and manages your due diligence project from beginning to end, no matter where your client’s do business.

Learn more about CT’s Global Transactional Services or get in touch with a CT representative at (844) 322-6993 (toll-free U.S.).

The CT Corporation staff is comprised of experts, offering global, regional, and local expertise on registered agent, incorporation, and legal entity compliance.

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