Key Considerations for Acquiring an ITAR-Registered Company: A Guide by Defense Trade Solutions

Acquiring an ITAR-registered company can be a strategic move for businesses looking to expand their footprint in the defense and aerospace industries. However, the process comes with a unique set of challenges and considerations due to the stringent regulations imposed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). At Defense Trade Solutions, we understand the complexities involved and have outlined key considerations to help you navigate this intricate process.

Understanding ITAR

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a set of U.S. government regulations that control the export and import of defense-related articles, services, and technical data. ITAR aims to safeguard U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by ensuring that sensitive technologies do not fall into the wrong hands. Compliance with ITAR is mandatory for any entity involved in the manufacturing, exporting, or brokering of defense articles and services.

Key Considerations for Acquiring an ITAR-Registered Company

  1. Due Diligence

Regulatory Compliance: Conduct a thorough review of the target company’s ITAR compliance history. Look for any past violations, penalties, or ongoing investigations. This will help you assess potential risks and liabilities.

Export Licenses: Review all current and past export licenses held by the target company. Ensure that all licenses are up-to-date and that the company has adhered to the terms and conditions stipulated by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

Technology Control Plans (TCP): Evaluate the company’s Technology Control Plans to ensure they effectively protect ITAR-controlled technical data and prevent unauthorized access.

  • Compliance Infrastructure

ITAR Compliance Program: Assess the robustness of the target company’s ITAR compliance program. Look for key elements such as employee training programs, internal audits, and procedures for handling controlled technical data.

Security Measures: Ensure that the company has implemented adequate physical, technical, and administrative controls to safeguard ITAR-controlled items and information.

Record-Keeping: Verify that the company maintains meticulous records of all ITAR-related transactions, including exports, imports, and disclosures of technical data.

  • Integration Plan

Compliance Integration: Develop a comprehensive plan for integrating the target company’s ITAR compliance program with your own. This should include harmonizing compliance policies, procedures, and training programs.

Cultural Integration: Consider the cultural aspects of integration. Ensure that employees from both companies understand the importance of ITAR compliance and are committed to maintaining high standards.

Ongoing Monitoring: Implement a system for continuous monitoring and auditing of ITAR compliance post-acquisition. This will help identify and address any compliance issues that may arise during the integration process.

  • Legal and Financial Implications

Legal Liabilities: Understand the legal liabilities associated with acquiring an ITAR-registered company. This includes potential penalties for past violations and ongoing obligations under ITAR.

Financial Impact: Assess the financial implications of maintaining ITAR compliance. This may involve costs related to compliance program enhancements, employee training, and legal consultations.

  • Stakeholder Communication

Internal Stakeholders: Communicate the importance of ITAR compliance to internal stakeholders, including employees, management, and shareholders. Ensure that everyone understands their role in maintaining compliance.

External Stakeholders: Inform external stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, and regulatory authorities, about the acquisition and your commitment to ITAR compliance.

Best Practices for a Smooth Acquisition Process

  1. Engage Experts: Consult with compliance experts who specialize in ITAR. Their expertise can help you navigate complex regulatory requirements and avoid potential pitfalls.
  2. Comprehensive Training: Provide comprehensive ITAR training for employees at all levels of the organization. This ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and understands the importance of compliance.
  3. Regular Audits: Conduct regular internal audits to assess ITAR compliance. Identify areas for improvement and implement corrective actions promptly.
  4. Clear Communication: Maintain clear and open communication with all stakeholders throughout the acquisition process. This helps build trust and ensures that everyone is aligned with compliance objectives.


Acquiring an ITAR-registered company presents a unique set of challenges, but with careful planning and due diligence, it can be a rewarding endeavor. By prioritizing ITAR compliance and following best practices, you can mitigate risks and unlock new opportunities in the defense and aerospace industries.

At Defense Trade Solutions, we are committed to helping our clients navigate the complexities of ITAR compliance. Our team of experts is here to support you at every step of the acquisition process, ensuring a smooth transition and continued success in the defense sector. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in acquiring an ITAR-registered company.