4 Great Tools to Prepare for Your Startup Acquisition

October 8, 2016

2:30 pm

Good news! You have successfully launched your startup, managed to make a profit, and have now impressed a larger company so much that they have made an offer to purchase your company. You’ve decided to accept their offer, and have researched the steps you need to take to survive the acquisition process. You’re probably excited about the money you are going to receive, and looking forward to launching your next project idea.

On the other hand, you also know that you have a lot of work cut out for you. You certainly don’t want to put yourself at a disadvantage during this process, and you don’t want to miss out on any key steps. Fortunately, there are some very useful tools to help you through this process.


During the acquisition process, you will begin sharing your company documents with employees and representatives of the company that is buying you out. As this happens, data security is extremely important. You certainly don’t want just anybody gaining access to your intellectual property, personnel files, etc.

SecureDocs is a virtual data room where you can provide controlled access to your information, monitor activity, and grant and revoke permissions as you navigate the acquisitions process. The product has an intuitive user interface, offers 24/7 support, and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Legal Zoom

Even if the principals at the company acquiring yours have nothing but the best intentions, you have to remember that they have the advantage. If they are able to write that check to acquire your company, you can be sure that they have a team of lawyers working very hard to ensure that they are in the best position possible.

You may not be able to hire a team of attorneys, but you can use Legal Zoom to help level the playing field. For a flat rate, you can access an attorney for legal advice on navigating this process. In addition to this, you can use this online service to create and vet many types of legal documents. Knowing that you have legal protection will certainly take some stress away from you.

Accounting Tools Due Diligence Checklist

While you are navigating the acquisition process, it is extremely important that you exercise your due diligence. It’s also important that the company acquiring you do the same. You don’t want to damage your reputation, or worse, blow the whole deal by missing a key step.

While the due diligence checklist is not a digital tool, it is an amazingly complete resource that you can use to ensure that you have taken every possible action to facilitate this process. The list includes considerations relating to employee’s, salary history, disclosing any existing legal actions, providing copies of employee manuals, the importance of passing of annual public filings, and much more. Use this list to ensure that all parties are handling things as they should.


If you haven’t automated your HR and payroll processes, you need to do so as early in the acquisition proceedings as you can. If you are a small to mid-sized startup, you can do this quickly with Gusto. Having personnel and payroll records in one place can make the transition process that much easier. You’ll also have much more free time to focus on getting ready to be acquired when you aren’t saddled with the task of manually handling payroll and other HR tasks. Gusto also integrates with almost all major HR and accounting packages. This means the data conversion steps are likely to be that much easier.

Use these four tools, and you are sure to make it through the acquisition process smoothly. You will protect yourself and your intellectual property, get the legal advice that you need, and you will know each step that you need to take to complete this process successfully.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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