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How to find out if you’re dealing with a legitimate company in the UK?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Usually, when you begin dealings with a new company, you do all your research before approaching them. Dealing with a new company can be risky for any business, especially if the company has contacted you first. The first step for any business or individual would be to verify the legitimacy of the company. Its very easy to be confused about what to look out for from credit reports for business to certifications and financial documents but here is a basic guide that can be of help:

Basic Verification

The legitimacy of a company can be verified in different ways. To begin with, you should ascertain through the necessary details of whether the company is legitimate or not. If you find no evidence of an office building and valid contact numbers, then you should become vigilant.

If the business is located nearby, then it can be easy to verify the company by driving to their office.

Contact numbers can come in handy during verification of a company. Check all numbers listed with the company’s name. You can also contact to further enquire about their sales and business. Like telephone numbers, you can contact them through email, to verify their professional status and response rate.

The online content and presence can tell you a lot about the business. Any good company will be active online, even if it is not much. Engagement with online customers is also a good indicator. Moreover, you can learn about the company’s values and dealings through any reviews and feedback you can find. If the reviews are old or were posted in a span of a short time, this is a red flag. A Google search will pull up reviews from different websites, and you can quickly sift through these to learn all the good and the bad.

Official Verification

If you visit a company’s office or their online website, it should not be difficult to find out whether they are certified or not. Most companies display the logo of the certification body who issued ISO certification to their company. You can find the logo on their website, or, as most companies display such certificates in their offices, find it in their office. You can visit the UKAS website to find the list of certification bodies appointed by the UK government, and if you find the certification body among them, you’re in luck. Then it should be easier to contact that certification body to discover whether the company is genuinely certified or not.

For further verification, there are still more venues for you to assure yourself of a company’s legitimacy.

Companies House: Smaller or limited companies are required by law to share information of directors and accounts on Companies House. You can easily find information about the company, the owners and directors.

Financial Services Register: Any company that deals with financial services can be found on the Financial Services Register website. If you do not find their name, then they have not been certified by financial conduct Authority.

Business Credit Reports: To check the funds and credibility of a company, you only need to find out their credit reports for the business. A credit check is easier than you would think and can be done with the help of business check websites.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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