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Keeping Good Company


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Presentation given at the Online Information exhibition, National Hall, Olympia, London. 30th November 2011

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Keeping Good Company

  1. 1. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Keeping Good Company Online Information 2011, #online11 Karen Blakeman, 30 th November2011 [email_address] Presentation available at: Also available on authorSTREAM and Slideshare
  2. 2. Needs for company information <ul><li>Unstable economic climate </li></ul><ul><li>Checks on new suppliers, customers, partners </li></ul><ul><li>Home users - is the company installing my double glazing sound? Could they go bankrupt before they finish the job? </li></ul><ul><li>Checks on a company director, current and past directorships, unusual patterns of company formation </li></ul><ul><li>Why not just Google for companies? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>information held in databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>password protected even if free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>priced and subscription services </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  3. 3. Company information <ul><li>Ownership, structure, accounts, activities, news </li></ul><ul><li>Availability depends on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>type of company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>sole trader </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>partnership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>privately owned </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>limited liability e.g. Ltd, LLP </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>companies with publicly traded shares e.g. PLC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>business size (large, medium, small) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>state or region within the country </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes to UK Companies Act (2008) </li></ul>30/11/11
  4. 4. Exemptions for UK SMEs <ul><li>Exemptions not available to public companies, banking, insurance or shipping companies </li></ul><ul><li>Abbreviated balance sheet, P&L not required, turnover not required, </li></ul><ul><li>Must fulfil at least two of the following conditions to qualify </li></ul>30/11/11 Small Medium Turnover not exceeding £6.5m £25.9m Assets/balance sheet not exceeding £3.26m £12.9m Average number of employees 50 250
  5. 5. <ul><li>UK Companies House - Webcheck </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>free, subscription, and document pay per view options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>documents £1 each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just viewing the list of documents for sale can be very illuminating! </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  6. 6. Company Check <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>UK companies </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Companies House data </li></ul><ul><li>Provides 6 years of figures and graphs for Cash at Bank, Net Worth, Total Liabilities and Total Current Liabilities free of charge </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor company for financial changes and when new accounts are filed – email alerts (free) </li></ul><ul><li>Lists directors of a company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>links through to Company Director Check </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can see past and present directorships for a person </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part of who can also supply credit reports and detailed directors reports for a fee </li></ul>30/11/11
  7. 7. 30/11/11
  8. 8. (signed in) 30/11/11
  9. 9. 30/11/11
  10. 10. 30/11/11
  11. 11. UK County Court Judgments (CCJ) <ul><li>Claims made against an organisation or individual by another organisation or individual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>for example failure to pay an invoice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>failure to complete work despite having been made </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Registry Trust - CCJs, court orders & fines </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>London Gazette – insolvency data, public notices </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  12. 12. Official company information – other countries <ul><li>Lists of official company registers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Official Company Registers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Company registration around the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies House Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>US – listed companies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SEC Edgar IDEA – Interactive Date Electronic Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Canada - listed companies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SEDAR </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  13. 13. OpenCorporates <ul><li> </li></ul>30/11/11
  14. 14. OpenCorporates 30/11/11
  15. 15. European Business Register <ul><li>Gateway to official company information in 23 European countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UK distributer is GBRDirect </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Priced service </li></ul>30/11/11
  16. 16. Skyminder <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Pulls together company information from a variety of sources from across the world </li></ul><ul><li>Registration required, free to search but many documents are priced </li></ul>30/11/11
  17. 17. Bureau van Dijk <ul><li> </li></ul>30/11/11
  18. 18. Examples of problem areas for the researcher <ul><li>Switzerland </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only banks, insurance companies and companies traded on the Swiss stock exchange are required to provide financial statements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cayman Islands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Registrar of Companies can only release the name and type of company, its date of registration, the address of the registered office and the company’s status. Disclosing any other information is prohibited unless requested by a law enforcement agency .” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>British Virgin Islands </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ A company is not required to file its register of directors, register of members, register of charges or an annual return with the BVI Registrar of Corporate Affairs.” </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  19. 19. Share prices <ul><li>Yahoo Finance (major stock markets only) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google finance </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li> – Markets, Equities section </li></ul><ul><li>Go direct to the stock market site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RBA Stock Markets and Share Price Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Priced services – FT, Reuters, DataStream, Bloomberg </li></ul>30/11/11
  20. 20. Yahoo Finance 30/11/11
  21. 21. Google Finance 30/11/11
  22. 22. Historical annual reports – SCoRe <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>SCoRe ( S earch Co mpany Re ports) </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogue of printed company reports, both current and historic, held in UK libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries that hold copies of the reports are listed together with the earliest and latest years of a collection’s holdings </li></ul><ul><li>A good place to pick up clues on past corporate relationships </li></ul>30/11/11
  23. 23. Types of companies & company formations <ul><li> - Company Extensions and Security Identifiers </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Types of business entity – Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Company Formation Survey 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doing Business - Measuring Business Regulations - World Bank Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>30/11/11
  24. 24. <ul><li>Companies as well as people (need an account to search within LinkedIn) </li></ul>30/11/11
  25. 25. Who owns a website? <ul><li> good starting point for identifying who owns a domain name but.... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>may be hiding behind an agent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may be using a service that &quot;protects individual privacy&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if in the UK and an individual with a personal page then contact details other than name are not publicly available (Data Protection) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Run a Google or Bing search on the ‘registrant’ or agent and see if you can find out anything more about them </li></ul>30/11/11
  26. 26. Silobreaker <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>covers free resources: news, blogs, video, images </li></ul><ul><li>geographical location of stories, people, networks </li></ul><ul><li>use as a starting point for in depth research </li></ul>30/11/11
  27. 27. Contact details This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License [email_address] Presentation available at: Also available on authorSTREAM and Slideshare