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Due Diligence

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International projects can involve complex and unfamiliar laws and regulations. Due diligence and strategic project planning at early project stage can help mitigate the immediate and long-term challenges and risks associated with navigating international requirements. Depending on the nature, scope and scale of the project, Global Business Services (GBS) can walk you through due diligence checklists, explore different business models, and advise operational solutions to help you effectively plan and manage your project.

Each project has its unique needs which may lead to different business solutions. The project scope, the country or countries in which the activity would occur and Stanford’s status in that country are the key factors to consider at initial planning stage.

Project Scope

Project scope includes scale and duration of the project because these factors have potential legal, employment, regulatory, and other general business implications. Below is a general list for your consideration – all of which may have budgetary / cost implications for the international project:


  • If your project is intending to conduct activities in a foreign country:
    • What is your business plan?
    • What is your planned structure for day-to-day project management?
    • What is your timeframe?
    • What is your budget and funding source?
    • Who are the key stakeholders – within Stanford and external?
  • Would your project activities involve the import and/or export of data, goods and/or services?
  • Has a contract, partnership or other legally binding agreement been established in a foreign location?
  • Is real estate needed for conducting your project abroad or are you going to rent / lease space (including housing, laboratory, office, or classroom) in the foreign country?
  • Will insurance or permits be required to be compliant with foreign country regulations and Stanford policy?


  • What is your expected size of staff and an outline of roles, responsibilities, and location of staff?
  • What is your organizational chart or description of governance structure, especially as it relates to Stanford-related entities?
  • Would Stanford persons frequently travel to and from foreign locations?
  • Would Stanford persons spend 183 days or more in a particular country in any given year during the project?
  • Would your project need to hire person(s) abroad?
  • Are there local (foreign) individuals providing services in the foreign location, or are you providing any form of compensation to the local (foreign) individuals providing the services?

Cash Management

  • What types of payments are you planning to make in the foreign country, and how do you plan to make those payments locally? Are there, or is it planned that local (foreign) bank accounts are established either in your own name, Stanford’s name, or in any other name to conduct Stanford-related activity?
  • Would your project generate revenue from the foreign location? For example, is the project providing services for compensation or receiving income in a foreign location, either at that physical location or via the web (e.g., executive education, courses, patient care, etc.)?

Health and Safety

  • Is there a health and safety protocol established for the people and assets in the foreign location?

Stanford Status Abroad

Regulations vary greatly from country to country. Stanford has a legal permanent Presence in a number of foreign countries. Your project may be able to leverage these existing Presence structures for administrative support, such as hiring, payment, and space use. Please contact GBS for more information.