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Legal due diligence is critical to understanding the legal commitments, risks, and compliance status of the target company. Here are 25 detailed questions to be asked during this phase:

1. Can you provide all the founding documents of the company, including articles of incorporation and any amendments since inception?

2. Who are the current shareholders and what are their respective ownership percentages?

3. Can we have copies of the company's bylaws and any amendments thereto?

4. Are there any shareholder agreements in place that affect share transfers or impose obligations on the company?

5. Can we see the annual reports for the past five years, including those submitted to regulatory bodies?

6. How does the company ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws, especially those pertaining to its industry?

7. Are there any ongoing legal claims or disputes against the company? If so, can you provide details regarding their nature and potential impact?

8. Has the company faced any legal claims in the past five years, and what were the outcomes?

9. Are there any outstanding liabilities, contingent or otherwise, that the company is aware of?

10. What exclusive supply agreements or purchase agreements are in place, and what are their terms?

11. Please provide a detailed list of contracts with existing vendors, suppliers, and customers.

12. Are there any indemnities or warranties that the company has granted to third parties that we should be aware of?

13. What is the legal framework regarding any intellectual property owned by the company? Are there patents, trademarks, or copyrights, and are they properly registered and defended?

14. Has the company been compliant with employment laws and regulations? Are there any pending employee claims?

15. What are the potential legal ramifications of a change in control of the company?

16. Are there any anti-trust or competition law concerns with the potential acquisition?

17. What are the terms and conditions of any existing debt instruments, and are there any change of control provisions?

18. Are there any material contracts that could be affected by a merger or acquisition?

19. Does the company have any international operations, and if so, how does it navigate various international legal systems?

20. Can you provide details of the company's privacy policies and how it complies with data protection laws?

21. Are there any environmental liabilities or ongoing compliance requirements for the company?

22. What corporate governance practices are in place, and how do they align with industry best practices?

23. Has the company conducted any internal legal audits, and if so, may we review the results?

24. Are there any outstanding or potential conflicts of interest within the company’s management or directors?

25. Can we review the minutes of the board of directors’ meetings for the past few years to understand any significant legal decisions or issues discussed?

These questions aim to uncover any legal issues that might pose a risk to the PE firm's investment and ensure that all compliance, regulatory, and legal aspects are thoroughly vetted before proceeding with the deal.

Mohamed Abdikadir
Post by Mohamed Abdikadir
November 08, 2023