Continuing in this series of the top 10 FAQs that UKTI receives, we’ll explore the next topic of UK/US trade:

Due Diligence on US Companies

If you’re looking to do business and want to find out additional information about a U.S. company, the United States unfortunately does not have a federal agency like Companies House, which all businesses are required to register and file documents with.  While publically traded companies do have to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and make their annual reports available to investors, privately held companies do not have to make this information available to the public.

However, all corporations have to register with a government body (usually the Secretary of State, or Department of Business or Corporations) in whichever state they incorporated in.  These businesses have certain documents available for free or purchase through the relevant state government authority.  

An additional resource is the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which accredits US businesses, organisations, and charities that meet its standards.  It grades them on a scale of A (highest) to F (fail).  Not all businesses are registered with the BBB, but many choose to, due to the accreditation they provide.   


Additional Resources:

Dun & Bradstreet is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, enabling companies to Decide with Confidence® for 169 years. D&B’s global commercial database contains more than 177 million business records. The database is enhanced by D&B’s proprietary DUNSRight® Quality Process, which provides our customers with quality business information. This quality information is the foundation of our global solutions that customers rely on to make critical business decisions. D&B provides solution sets that meet a diverse set of customer needs globally. Customers use D&B Risk Management Solutions™ to mitigate credit and supplier risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability; D&B Sales & Marketing Solutions™ to increase revenue from new and existing customers; and D&B Internet Solutions to convert prospects into clients faster by enabling business professionals to research companies, executives and industries

Hoovers offers proprietary business information through the Internet, data feeds, wireless devices, and co-branding agreements with other online services. The Hoover’s website features a database of information on more than 65 million corporations and organizations, and more than 85 million people. Offering both free and for-pay content, the firm focuses on selling subscriptions (the majority of its revenues) to marketing, sales, and business development professionals. Hoover’s also publishes its information in reference books.


Please note that as a UK government agency UKTI is unable to provide legal advice and any information provided here is strictly the result of secondary research and should be treated as such.  For legal and general enquiries on this matter, please contact a certified accountant or attorney; they would be the most appropriate for a company audit and to determine financial legitimacy.

Countries: United States
Topics: Business Development, Finance, and Getting Started
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