How can I check if there are any County Court Judgments on any company, firm or individual that I want to do business with?
Anyone can carry out a search of the Register by paying £4.50 per search. The Register, which is maintained by Registry Trust Ltd on behalf of the Court Service, is a public service open to all. It contains details of almost all money judgments from the County Courts of England & Wales and these remain on the register for six years. In the case of an individual, the fee is payable for each named person at a specified address. In the case of a firm, the fee is payable for each firm at a specified address and in the case of a limited company, for each full corporate name, regardless of address. The search will give details of the defendant, the date and the amount of judgment as well as the court and case number concerned.
Send either cheque or postal order with each request. The results are normally sent out by second-class post within 24 hours www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk
How can I check if someone is bankrupt?
The Bankruptcy Public Search Room maintains a record of bankruptcies from 1973 to the present. Details of bankruptcies dating from 1924-1973 are available on special request but are not available for public inspection and will not be searched routinely. Bankruptcy information is held on index cards filed in alphabetical order, which contain the name and address (at the date of the bankruptcy order) of individuals who have been made bankrupt in England and Wales. The date of discharge is not always shown.
Searches can be made in person and also by post giving the name, postal address, occupation and date of birth (or approximate age) of the individual to be searched. No charge is made for this service and requests are normally returned on the day of receipt, by post. Telephone searches are not allowed. Contact http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/
How do I search the individual insolvency register?
The Register contains details of bankruptcies that are either current or have ended in the last three months, plus current individual voluntary arrangements and fast track voluntary arrangements as well as current bankruptcy restriction orders and undertakings. Search online with just the surname (or even part of the surname) of the individual. Alternatively visit the local Official Receiver’s office during office hours (details in phone book or ring the Insolvency Service Central Enquiry Line on 0845 602 9848. You will receive a report of any records that match your request, and told if nothing matches. This can take seven days.
How can I check whether a company has made individual voluntary arrangements with the insolvency service?
The Register of Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) is available for members of the public and can be inspected in person or by written request for individual entry details. Telephone requests are not allowed. You would need to provide full details of the individual you want the search information on and will be informed of the result of any search. Where a positive match is found you will be sent a copy of the relevant register entry together with details of the Supervisor of the IVA (who must be a licensed insolvency practitioner) who you can contact for further details. There is no fee for searches or the supply of information.
Where can I find records of company liquidations and disqualified directors?
You can search the disqualified directors register at Companies House. Or you can use a credit report provider like ICC.
How can I find out how long a Public Limited Company (and its large private subsidiaries) takes to pay their suppliers?
This is very useful information to have, and can have a considerable impact on cash flow for a small business. The Companies Act requires public limited companies and their large private subsidiaries to state in days the average time taken to pay their suppliers and to publish this figure in their directors’ report.
In addition, the Federation of Small Businesses started publishing league tables with this information back in December 1998. This allows small suppliers, over time, to monitor and compare their payment times of these companies.
What information does Companies House provide on the credit worthiness of companies?
The role of Companies House is to incorporate companies and also gather and relay information on these companies. It holds details of all the companies registered in Great Britain, including details on accounts, mortgages and directors information, including details of disqualified directors.
You can get information by visiting the offices for a company search or by requesting the information by post, fax or online. There is also a wide range of forms available and a help-line www.companieshouse.co.uk
Can I ask for bank references from customers, and if so how?
Yes you can ask, but you will probably have to pay for it. A bank reference is simply the bank’s opinion as to the ability of one of its customers to meet a specific financial commitment. A bank will only give this with the written permission of its customer. However, do not rely only on a bank reference if much money is involved. After all, the bank’s loyalty is to its customer.