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What is Business Registry Data?

Business registry data is the company name, address, date of incorporation, previous names, and key financial information about a company.

Where Does Business Registry Data Come From?

Most business registry data comes from government registries. There are also government regulations dictating that companies must publish business and financial information for their shareholders or the public.

What Types of Columns/Attributes Should I Expect When Working with This Data?

Typical business registry attributes include business ID numbers, contact information, acquisition history, and company data like number of employees and rate of employee turnover. Additionally, you can expect to find the type of business operating, whether public or private, is it active and dates of registry and any change in status.

What Is This Data Used For?

You can use this data to find and categorize companies based on industry, financial solvency, and any other criteria relevant to your goals.

A common use of business registry data is the creation and distribution of company and economic surveys. Both the company itself, companies dealing in business registry data management, non-profit organizations, and government bodies create and use these surveys.

Business registry data also assists with investment and risk management decisions through collection of above-mentioned data. Additionally, financial crime investigators can more easily track fraud by determining who the real decision-makers of companies may be—as in the case of shareholders with large, controlling shares of companies.

How Should I Test the Quality of Business Registry Data?

Most government bodies and inter-governmental agencies collect good quality and up-to-date information about companies. From the point of view of the companies themselves, they must update these organizations of any changes in their status (particularly their financial status) to avoid steep punishments from the government.

However, not all agencies are equally trustworthy. Therefore, to ensure the quality of business registry data, make sure that the source is reputable. Additionally, be sure that the database has been recently updated. Lastly, if working with an aggregator make sure they know the update rate of the government agencies DB and potential lag times until the data reaches the supplier.

What Are the Most Important Factors I Should Vet When Working with This Data?

In addition to ensuring the data is up-to-date, you must also ensure that the data is relevant to your goals. B2B Marketers need slightly different information than credit lenders or financial crime investigators, for instance.

There are also other data types that you can use to enrich the company registry data you have collected. For instance, B2B marketers may enrich company registry data with market data or product price prediction models. Credit lenders may enrich the registry data with the personal credit rating data of a company’s C-level executives.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Eurostat: Business registers: Recommendations manual
Guidelines on Statistical Business Registers

Tangible Examples of Impact

Reforms to the Companies House business registry promise improvements in fraud detection and without delaying the incorporation of valid companies.

[The reforms will empower] law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, to trace … suspected fraud or money laundering. Identity verification will take place through a fast, efficient, digital process and is expected to take a matter of minutes… Most companies will be able to be incorporated easily within 24 hours as is the case now.

UK Government: Reforms to Companies House to clamp down on fraud and give businesses greater confidence in transactions

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