I’m buying a business, what do I consider for GDPR?
Buying a business is an exciting new opportunity – whether it’s a new business you’re taking on or an expansion to your portfolio. You will be carrying out a lot of due diligence on the business performance and client list, but what about its data management systems?
A good approach to data protection indicates there’s some good management in the business – taking its responsibilities seriously. On the other hand, if the business doesn’t have much in place to protect client information, it should encourage you to ask more questions about how the business is being run.
What to look out for when buying a business
Some indicators of good data protection are easy to access but others are less obvious. If the business you’re planning to buy has all the following then it already has some good systems in place for GDPR:
A clear data protection policy that states how the company protects people’s personal information - this isn’t the same as a privacy notice (see below), it’s the principles by which the company operates. You can easily ask follow-up questions to test how the business actually implements this policy.
Good privacy notices that explain how the company uses personal information - both for clients and employees. Is it clear, simple and well-written or is it ‘legalspeak’? If it’s legalspeak it could be more for the company’s protection than for the benefit of customers.
Evidence that the business has completed a risk assessment of its data processing activities – so it knows where its major risks are and what impact they might have. This should also include a data protection impact assessment.
Evidence that staff have been trained in data protection regularly.
A log of any data breaches that have happened, how they were resolved and how they will be prevented in future. Every business has breaches – so if none are recorded then you should raise questions.
What legal terms are in place with suppliers to make sure they will also comply with GDPR requirements?
There are other things to consider but these things will give you a clear idea of how ready this business is for safely handling personal information in the 21st century!
If this all sounds like a bit of a headache, get the business to register for free on Astrid’s App and take our quick GDPR test. It will run through some simple questions and can help give you peace of mind before you buy the business.
Protect your business - become and remain GDPR compliant with Astrid