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If you are contemplating the possibility of making a major investment, or signing an agreement with another company, due diligence is essential. It will help you avoid costly errors or make you more confident in your negotiating position when the time comes to determine the terms of the agreement. However, identifying potential risks and flaws does not mean you must abandon a deal altogether in the first place, especially if the issues are solvable by using the right method.

In the realm of business and law, the term “due diligence” was originally a reference to the amount of care a reasonable person would use in investigating important future matters. This investigation would be focused on issues that could affect the future of decisions, such a merger and acquisitions or investing in an offering of shares. The brokerage industry quickly institutionalized due diligence as a standard procedure. Broker-dealers conducting due diligence on an equity offering were required to research the company thoroughly and report their findings to investors.

Due diligence can be classified into various types

There are five primary types of due diligence: commercial and financial, intellectual property, environmental and cyber. The best due diligence programs keep a close relationship between these different areas even though each one may require its own team of experts. The work that is done in one area can inform the checks carried out in a different area.

For instance, financial due diligence typically focuses on verifying that the projections showcased in the Confidentiality Information Memorandum have been made accurate. This requires a thorough inspection of all financial data and reporting systems, which includes but not limited to audited and unaudited financial statements as well as past and current budgets, cash flows as well as capital expenditure plans and inventory.