When most people think about the services of a private investigator, they think about unfaithful spouses or corporate espionage. But investigation before entering business relationships can be one of the most important investments your company makes. Here are a few new relationships you may want to investigate and why.
1. New Employees
Key employee hires may call for more than just a standard employee background check. People who will represent and run your business should be people you understand and can rely on with confidence.
A thorough check can help you identify what kind of work philosophy they have, how they spend their free time, what other groups they're involved in, and how they've managed projects or companies. This investigation may focus more on trying to ensure that the person fits with your company culture than practical aspects. If they expect to take long and excessive vacations, a busy startup may not want them in charge.
2. Business Partners
Anyone you're planning to partner with as a company should be fully vetted for similar reasons as key employees — reputation damage and culture conflict.
This usually includes checking out their business history, noting any lawsuits, bankruptcies, business failures, and noting the satisfaction of other partners. You may also need to check social media use affiliations to see if anything might conflict with how you want to do business.
3. Potential Clients
Vetting potential clients is generally about determining if they will pay their bills. Business credit checks and public records searches can turn up bankruptcies and lawsuits over billings or failed contracts. A good investigation will also help you avoid litigious clients, those who don't pay on time, or who constantly renegotiate their business arrangements to win concessions.
4. Companies For Sale
Are you looking to buy or merge with a company? Depending on how the purchase is structured, you will buy not only the good aspects but also a variety of potentially expensive problems. This calls for digging around to find liabilities you haven't been told about. These could be from pending lawsuits, disgruntled employees, unpaid tax or debt liabilities, damaged reputations, or even possible bankruptcy.
Where to Start
If you plan to enter into business with any of these entities, now is the time to ensure you know what's going on under the surface. A professional private investigator can do the job thoroughly, confidentially, and legally. Contact a private investigator for more information.