Articles

A corner where we address to your corporate legal queries, in simple words.

Due Diligence – No Checklist is Ever Enough

Our Partners were on a panel discussion where they were discussing about compliance requirements of companies in India and we received follow up questions about the due diligence checklist.

Corporate Information;
Intellectual Property;
Licenses, registrations and other regulatory compliances;
Human resources;
Contracts;
Real estate;
Loans;
Insurance; and
Litigation.

Every corporate lawyer has a checklist and more often than not, you get a checklist online. However, as an entrepreneur, you should know that no checklist is ever enough. And as lawyers, we draft our checklist after taking into consideration, among other things, the sector in which the target is operating, the corporate structure, the jurisdictions in which it operates, and the list generally covers the following:

So, as an entrepreneur, from the day of starting your business, you need to be aware of compliance in all these matters. Hope this helps.

Artificial Intelligence – Be Intelligent. Build for the Future.

If you are the kind of founder who plans for the next 5 years, then it is time that you revisit your product. I am not talking about the technical advisory. Either you are from a tech background or you have enough advisory in this field. This is about the product itself. What does your AI/ML product feed on? Data. So, the questions that you should ask yourself are: “What does my product do? Which kind of data does it feed on? And which one is my target market?”

If your target market is in India:

Check the kind of data your product requires and stores;

Be aware of data relating to minors;

Keep in mind the data protection laws, including the ones that are in the process of becoming binding on you. Familiarise yourself with the provisions or seek professional advice; and

Don’t compromise on quality while working with the data.

If your target market is Europe or USA:

A lot of founders come to us with a globals product for us to draft their privacy policies, without having any clue about the data protection laws applicable to the EU or US subjects. So, think and plan ahead.

Ensure minimum transfer of data to India (or if you do, ensure that it is secure) and identify the transfer points and the entities involved;

Be aware of the privacy notice and other legal requirements and make provisions for the same (You could access my two cents on GDPR here);

Be compliant from the very start;

Be very very careful about data collected of minors and ensure that no such data could be used to identify them, in any manner whatsoever;

Understand how and who is getting access to the data and ensure proper documentation for the same to limit your liability, to the extent possible; and

Try to use the services (including cloud services) which already adhere to global standards. Ensure your agreements with such services have clauses that ensure quality and safety measures.

Remember, you are not building a product for 5 days. It should at least run smoothly for 5 years, with continuous improvements and feedbacks. However, if you get proper product advisory while building the minimum viable product, it makes the journey less bumpy for you, down the line. And we all know that entrepreneurship has plenty of hurdles in itself. Let’s not your data be one.

Hope this helps.

Writes our Partner Ananya Banerjee