Just like individuals, businesses also gather a credit record and a legal background. In any interaction with another company or a service provider, we must ask essential questions like, “how trustworthy is this company”, or, “what do we know about this concern?”. In today’s world, business carries considerable potential risk. We hear and read about people who get gullible partners or clients to deposit some money and then disappear or narratives of companies that cheated investors out of huge amount of money.
So when we aim to set up a connection with some business concern, we need to check company information to ascertain their reputation and to clarify that they do not have liens, adverse court judgements, bankruptcies or civil suits against that corporate body or its leading elements.
Here are some simple steps on how to check company information that can protect an organisation from potential challenges or risks when doing business with a new entity.
1. Investigating the Background and Principals of the Company
It may be necessary to carry out an extensive investigation to check company information, or information about its principals, depending on how much background is wanted. How many suits lie against the company or have been filed in the past? This is important when planning the scope of business practices. Do we have information about judgments, or about pending cases? Company information research on this point is crucial because if the answer is affirmative, especially if there exist multiple or repetitive cases, one probably would avoid such a concern in business dealings.
How to check company information is a question that comes up thereupon. At all levels, from county courts, through state and federal courts, there are records of cases, liens, suits, tax cases, judgements and bankruptcy filings. These are public records and can be examined on request.
If company information research in the early phases creates doubts about the company or its principals, then criminal records must be checked. Most of the times, researchers investigate prior criminal history as a routine regardless of specific findings of preliminary information.
Criminal activity records are archived on different levels depending on the severity and the nature of the crime. A county courthouse archive is typically the source of the most complete criminal history of a company.
When undertaking a company information research focusing on criminal cases, start by gathering the names and birthdates of the individuals whose records are being sought. It’s important that you keep in mind and consider searching through all possible aliases and variations of the name of the concerned person when checking the criminal database.
National criminal databases are not open to access for the general public. Hence to check company information in-depth for criminal records, the best way is to hire an investigator, if it is vital to carry out a national level national search.
2. Obtaining Basic Information
How to check company information for small firms especially? Starting to gather data from the local level is a good idea as that may be the only source you can find. All companies are situated in some community and hence must follow local rules or laws. Therefore, city or county court records can give you a good start. You are likely to get information concerning the company’s incorporation details, tax liens, and criminal complaints against the firm if any. Typically, this information is open to the public and can be accessed upon inquiry.
3. Company Credibility Verification
The reputation of a firm and its capacity to deliver as per its commitments can be checked through references. It is essential to get in touch with the references via an email or a phone call before hiring a concern or doing business with it. Clients and former clients provide an all-embracing assessment of the firm being checked out as well as its individual personnel.
The firm’s vendor list is another significant reference list. The actual creditworthiness of any firm will be obtained from people who deliver supplies or services to the concern.
Licenses for incorporation of a business is yet another valuable source of information on a company or professional entity. This information becomes more convenient especially if you are planning to get the service of a potential company on a contractual level. Companies that usually provide contractual services often put their license information on their business cards to showcase the credibility of their business. In cases where a tradename is used, there is a need to get hold of the names of the owners or principal shareholders, and the top management.
4. Business Credit Report
Before finalising any business relationship, knowing the credit rating is crucial. The fiscal standing and legitimate identity of the prospective company are critical information. It’s important to know the company’s liabilities and commitments beforehand.