What Happens During Due Diligence

The business buyer’s due diligence phase gives you the opportunity to uncover everything you need to know about the business before you purchase it. The process helps ensure that your money is being well spent.

You will have your professional advisors, such as an attorney who specializes in business purchases or mergers and acquisitions as well as your accountant or CPA, examine the Seller’s P&L statements, tax records, any insurance claims, lease agreements, and other financial statements and documents.

You might find some surprises, but sometimes a discrepancy between what you were told and what you discover can often simply be something that needs to be clarified and worked through.

Due Diligence Checklist

Here is a list of of some of the items and information you and your advisors will be reviewing. A printable copy is available at SGA Buyer’s Due Diligence Checklist.

  • A history of the company
  • Tax Returns for the last three to five years
  • P&L Statements for the last three years
  • A list of key employees and a brief description of their functions
  • Current monthly payroll data
  • Information on employee benefit programs
  • List of current vendors and suppliers
  • List of Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E)
  • Estimate of Current Inventory
  • Copies of Lease Agreements
  • Copies of any other leases, such as copy machines or other equipment

Other documents as requested.