Although the first commercial information bureau opened in 1841 in the USA, this service remains as important today as it was then.
At a time when communication and trading methods make it possible to rapidly establish business contacts, international trade rhymes with growth for many businesses and economic volatility calls for secure trade relations, it is more important than ever to know your business partners well.
Commercial and financial information companies can provide:
legal information: even if the information can be somewhat limited, the legal existence of an entity, its identification number and address can be verified and sometimes its foundation date, capital and names of the directors.
valuable databases: by combining legal information and financial analysis with other various criteria of evaluation (for example, sector of activity, payment terms for customers / suppliers …), information companies can assess a business’s short-term risks and at times recommend a credit rating or a maximum outstanding limit. However caution is advised as it is only “a recommendation” and there will be no entitlement to compensation in the event of an unpaid receivable, unlike a creditinsurer who is financially committed to the credit limits it authorises.
tailormade surveys upon demand, designed to meet specific requirements. They combine the first two sources with sources in the field, sometimes “unofficial”, obtained by investigators specialised in gathering commercial and financial information.
The choice depends on the type of information required at the time (standard information or confidential inquiry) or more frequently the type of clients (number of small or large clients, with significant or variable outstanding amounts).
This type of information is generally available through a subscription or “pay as you go” system.
Alone or more effectively in conjunction with a credit insurance policy, a commercial information contract can improve your knowledge about your clients and prospects but also your suppliers … and competitors.
AU Group, can by prior audit of your client list, help you decide the best strategy to manage and track your risks.