You may simply be entering into a contractual arrangement as a customer or as a supplier or you may be considering something more collaborative. In every case, you will want to check out the businesses with which you will be working unless your arrangement with them is such that they pay for everything from you before you deliver.
If you are willing to offer credit to customers – and often that is essential when the customer is in another country – then you will want to reassure yourself that they can pay. You may think that if they are simply a supplier, then there is less need to check them out, but if you are going to be reliant on what they supply, you will want to reassure yourself that they will not suddenly go out of business. And if you plan to collaborate more deeply, perhaps by investing in them or by setting up a joint venture or by licensing their technology, then you will want to undertake your ‘due diligence’ checks even more carefully.
This fact sheet lists several items that you ought to check according to whether the business partner will be a collaborative partner, a supplier or a customer, though you should treat it as a starting point. Depending on the circumstances, there may be other questions that you need to ask in addition to those suggested here.