Keeping Good Company


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


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PowerPoint Presentation:

This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Keeping Good Company Online Information 2011, #online11 Karen Blakeman, 30 th November2011 Presentation available at: Also available on authorSTREAM and Slideshare

Needs for company information:

Needs for company information Unstable economic climate Checks on new suppliers, customers, partners Home users - is the company installing my double glazing sound? Could they go bankrupt before they finish the job? Checks on a company director, current and past directorships, unusual patterns of company formation Why not just Google for companies? information held in databases password protected even if free priced and subscription services 30/11/2011 2

Company information :

Company information Ownership, structure, accounts, activities, news Availability depends on type of company sole trader partnership privately owned limited liability e.g. Ltd, LLP companies with publicly traded shares e.g. PLC business size (large, medium, small) country state or region within the country Changes to UK Companies Act (2008) 30/11/2011 3

Exemptions for UK SMEs:

Exemptions for UK SMEs Exemptions not available to public companies, banking, insurance or shipping companies Abbreviated balance sheet, P&L not required, turnover not required, Must fulfil at least two of the following conditions to qualify 30/11/2011 4 Small Medium Turnover not exceeding £6.5m £25.9m Assets/balance sheet not exceeding £3.26m £12.9m Average number of employees 50 250

PowerPoint Presentation:

UK Companies House - Webcheck free, subscription, and document pay per view options documents £1 each Just viewing the list of documents for sale can be very illuminating! 30/11/2011 5

Company Check:

Company Check UK companies Uses Companies House data Provides 6 years of figures and graphs for Cash at Bank, Net Worth, Total Liabilities and Total Current Liabilities free of charge Monitor company for financial changes and when new accounts are filed – email alerts (free) Lists directors of a company links through to Company Director Check can see past and present directorships for a person Part of who can also supply credit reports and detailed directors reports for a fee 30/11/2011 6 : 30/11/2011 7 (signed in) : (signed in) 30/11/2011 8 30/11/2011 9 : 30/11/2011 10

UK County Court Judgments (CCJ):

UK County Court Judgments (CCJ) Claims made against an organisation or individual by another organisation or individual for example failure to pay an invoice failure to complete work despite having been made Registry Trust - CCJs, court orders & fines London Gazette – insolvency data, public notices 30/11/2011 11

Official company information – other countries:

Official company information – other countries Lists of official company registers Official Company Registers Company registration around the world Companies House Links US – listed companies SEC Edgar IDEA – Interactive Date Electronic Applications Canada - listed companies SEDAR 30/11/2011 12


OpenCorporates 30/11/2011 13


OpenCorporates 30/11/2011 14

European Business Register:

European Business Register Gateway to official company information in 23 European countries UK distributer is GBRDirect Priced service 30/11/2011 15


Skyminder Pulls together company information from a variety of sources from across the world Registration required, free to search but many documents are priced 30/11/2011 16

Bureau van Dijk:

Bureau van Dijk 30/11/2011 17

Examples of problem areas for the researcher:

Examples of problem areas for the researcher Switzerland only banks, insurance companies and companies traded on the Swiss stock exchange are required to provide financial statements Cayman Islands “ 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 .” British Virgin Islands “ 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.” 30/11/2011 18

Share prices:

Share prices Yahoo Finance (major stock markets only) Google finance – Markets, Equities section Go direct to the stock market site RBA Stock Markets and Share Price Information Priced services – FT, Reuters, DataStream, Bloomberg 30/11/2011 19

Yahoo Finance:

Yahoo Finance 30/11/2011 20

Google Finance:

Google Finance 30/11/2011 21

Historical annual reports – SCoRe:

Historical annual reports – SCoRe SCoRe ( S earch Co mpany Re ports) Catalogue of printed company reports, both current and historic, held in UK libraries Libraries that hold copies of the reports are listed together with the earliest and latest years of a collection’s holdings A good place to pick up clues on past corporate relationships 30/11/2011 22

Types of companies & company formations:

Types of companies & company formations - Company Extensions and Security Identifiers Types of business entity – Wikipedia Company Formation Survey 2011 Doing Business - Measuring Business Regulations - World Bank Group 30/11/2011 23 Companies as well as people (need an account to search within LinkedIn) 30/11/2011 24

Who owns a website?:

Who owns a website? good starting point for identifying who owns a domain name but.... may be hiding behind an agent may be using a service that "protects individual privacy" if in the UK and an individual with a personal page then contact details other than name are not publicly available (Data Protection) Run a Google or Bing search on the ‘registrant’ or agent and see if you can find out anything more about them 30/11/2011 25


Silobreaker covers free resources: news, blogs, video, images geographical location of stories, people, networks use as a starting point for in depth research 30/11/2011 26

Contact details:

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