E-commerce due diligence – what to do before you acquire a new business

E-commerce due diligence - 4 people sitting at a large wooden table holding a business meeting

Are you looking to buy your first e-commerce business? Or looking to expand your existing e-commerce business by acquiring and then merging with another? Before you sign anything, make sure you follow these steps for e-commerce due diligence.

There are plentiful e-commerce businesses available for sale and they can be great acquisitions for entrepreneurs trying to build their portfolio. People don’t always put their businesses up for sale because they are failing – they could have other time commitments, misunderstood the resources they needed or simply want to move onto other ventures. But it’s not always good news and that’s why any potential buyer should carry out some thorough e-commerce due diligence.

When you need to start

Due diligence should be one of the first steps you take when you become serious about buying an e-commerce business. Ask for details but don’t take anything at face value. A mistake could be costly so take the time you need.

E-commerce due diligence doesn’t stop when the business changes hands, however. Post-deal due diligence is just as important. You want to feel safe and secure in your investment.

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What you need to look for pre-acquisition

Pre-acquisition financial data is paramount for the e-commerce entrepreneur. Ask a qualified e-commerce accountant to comb through the financial statements (recent and historic), the company’s organisational structure, product lines (past and present), physical and intellectual property, existing business relationships and obligations, and any other data that may be relevant to your purchase.

Why a qualified e-commerce accountant?

You may feel that you are more than capable of carrying out some e-commerce due diligence but misreading the data simply carries too much of a risk. You wouldn’t buy a car or a home without asking a professional to check it out, and you shouldn’t do so with an e-commerce business.

There could be additional benefits or complications to consider if you are acquiring a second e-commerce business or looking at a merger, and again, only an e-commerce accountant will be able to guide you on the most beneficial structure for your businesses.

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E-commerce due diligdence - two men shaking hands sitting alongside a large white desk with a laptop and papers

Post-deal e-commerce due diligence

Once you have completed your acquisition, it’s time to get stuck in once more. This time it will likely include:

  • In-depth analysis of the received information
  • Analysis of the business’ predicted trajectory
  • Determination of any unforeseen risks
  • To create a viable plan to grow/merge the business

E-commerce due diligence you can trust

Our team of e-commerce specialist accountants can remove the stress from your acquisition and provide you with in-depth, dependable due diligence. We understand e-commerce and its complexities across the globe, and we use that knowledge to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision in language you can understand.

Next Steps

If you’re looking for e-commerce due diligence services before or after your acquisition or need help accounting for a business you have acquired, our team are happy to help. Get in touch today; let’s unlock the true potential of your e-commerce business.

The best time to act is now.


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Breakout E-commerce accountants and Xero specialists to supercharge your UK online business growth.