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The Berkman Letter Practical analysis and commentary for business, law, and more.
We are in the process of standardizing our Requests for Proposal (RFPs) for vendors and partners. One of the areas where we have been inconsistent is the request for information about the vendor's corporate structure and identity. Sometimes we ask for simple facts like place of incorporation and principle place of business. In other cases, we ask about the board of directors, shareholders, and the like. What is usually included in an RFP about the vendor's corporate structure?
In a perfect world, you would ask for everything about a counterparty's corporate structure. But you need to be practical. Tailor the request to the size of the deal, the importance of the deal, and your history with the counterparty. Consider that as a buyer you probably have more leverage in the early stage negotiation, because of the sales person wants to win your business. In many cases it will be enough to verify their corporate identity (the kinds of questions you're already asking) along with credit information. The credit information you want is likely available from third parties like Dun & Bradstreet.