What is Company Registry Data?
Company registries register company information and make it available to the public. More than 4 million limited companies are registered in the UK. Over 500,000 new companies are incorporated each year. The data generated from registered companies, Company Registry Data, can be very useful to other companies. Company Registry Data includes information on the active population of:
- Enterprises carrying on economic activities contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP)
- Their local units
- The legal units of which those enterprises consist
- Enterprise groups (association of enterprises bound together by legal and/or financial links)
Company registry data might include the core data on the company (incorporation date, company type, registered address, etc.), a summary of other data held on the company (e.g. trademarks, payments from government, other addresses), including the most recently added data, and the most recent statutory filings, and parent company. The submissions in this data category do not need to include detailed financial data such as balance sheet, etc.
The main information will be:
- Name of company
- Company address
- Unique identifier of the company
- Register available for entire country
Who uses Company Registry Data and for what use cases?
Company registry data is used:
- As a tool for the preparation and coordination of surveys
- As a source of information for statistical analysis of the business population and its demography
- To establish links with administrative sources
- For the identification and construction of statistical units
- For supporting surveys and the analysis of statistical units, as well as their relations
- To analyze and compare companies, leading to better decision making and increased efficiency
Company registry data that businesses can acquire about a company for free, include:
- company information, for example registered address and date of incorporation
- current and resigned officers
- document images
- mortgage charge data
- previous company names
- insolvency information
Businesses can also set up free email alerts to advise of when a company updates its details (for example, a change of director or address).
Data can include if a company is being wound up (liquidated) – you will need the company’s name or registration number to carry out a search.
Businesses can also check if a company’s in ‘provisional liquidation’. This means a court has frozen the assets of a company in advance of a hearing to decide if it should be liquidated and they can search for details of companies involved in insolvency proceedings.
Company registry data can help you carry out checks on companies and individuals, such as company checks, identity checks, credit checks, and check directors for watch list data & peps and sanctions. A third party data provider can provide your business with more comprehensive in depth analytics of companies, directors, company reports, financial strength indicators and ownership information to help you research a company and assess risk associated with it. Businesses can get graphs, dynamic company structures, pivot analyses and other types of visualization tools and analyses so they can understand the results in a glimpse. A company registry data analytics system allows your business to customize alerts, do time-series searching, drill down into the financials to see how they’re calculated, create customized variables and classifications and create forecast data. Data providers are used widely by companies, governments, public sector, academics, financial institutions and service companies for many different types of projects.
Company registry data can reveal less visible power centres in a company, such as the influential shareholders in a company who make the decisions. These can be different from the owners of the company. Some shareholders are not legal owners but are potentially powerful. Knowing the people behind a company is becoming increasingly important for regulatory compliance, to counter financial crime and for reputation risk management.
This data type can verify a company exists, source company reports, and lessen the risk when it comes to extending credit. It can inform businesses of hidden financial difficulties and adverse effects potential partners or competitors may be facing. Identifying companies that are sanctioned is a challenge in itself, but how do you identify companies who are linked to other sanctioned companies or individuals? They’re not on any sanctions list, but your business could still be fined for trading with them. Company Registry data can help you identify them, monitor the situation, and avoid breaching regulations.
Company registry data can also help your business find new suppliers and assess existing suppliers for both financial and reputation risk. It can help your business find targets and sellers, analyze peer groups and make the best use of M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) data.
Other useful Company Registry Data might include:
- company type - the type of company (e.g. LLC, Private Limited Company, GBMH)
- inactive - a flag indicating if the company is ‘inactive’, including dissolved, removed, liquidated, etc. Note that not all companies make company statuses available, so that it cannot be inferred that a company is active just because inactive is not true
- Previous names - an array of previous name objects.
- Alternative names - an array of alternative name objects. Each alternative name object will have a company name attribute and an optional date attribute, which is the date the company’s name changed from the previous name (and thus can be considered to be an end date)
- Alternate registration entities - an array of alternate registration objects (the same company represented in another official registration e.g. when more than one headquarters is registered
- Controlling entity - This is the controlling parent of the company in question, and is derived either from explicit subsidiary or parent data, or from a company having a majority equity stake in the company
These allow businesses to be better informed about the companies they are dealing with, e.g. did a company once trade under another name and go into liquidation. Or who has a major stake in the company.
Businesses can increase and decrease the facets of a search to get a more general or a more detailed search, depending on their needs. A good company registry data provider will allow you to quickly download datasets for specific industries, locations, categories, and other criteria. They will connect your application to real-time business data API’s that allows you to make on-demand queries as often as you’d like about a specific business.
What are typical Company Registry attributes?
Typical company registry attributes are:
- Identification characteristics: ID numbers, names, addresses
- Demographic characteristics: date of commencement/cessation of the unit
- Economic/stratification characteristics: economic activity (NACE), employment, turnover, legal form
- Information on control and ownership relations: parent/subsidiary legal unit, minority shareholder information, country of global decision centre
How is Company Registry Data typically collected?
Company registry data providers collect data from governmental company registries by scraping them regularly via automated technologies. This allows the providers to showcase a wide variety of data, all at your disposal. In addition to this, they often treat, append and standardize the data to make it richer, more powerful and easier to interrogate.
How to assess the quality of Company Registry Data?
To be beneficial to your business, the company registry data you acquire must be updated regularly. This ensures the timeliness and makes sure your insights are relevant for your decisions today.
One way to ensure the data you purchase is of good quality is to buy from a reputable company. When purchasing company registry data, you can ask for references and ask for a sample set.
Regular checks should also be employed to check for errors and duplications within the datasets.
How is Company Registry data typically priced?
Some company Registry Data can be acquired from free platforms. However, these will be limited in the amount of information they provide. For the purposes of your business you may need to acquire company registration data from third party data providers. This data will be more detailed and can be customized for your needs.
Some company registration data providers only offer basic information such as name and address for free and charge for additional details either by one-off payment or by monthly subscription. Charges can also differ depending on the form of the company e.g. whether it is a small company or a large organisation.
- For real time insights you’d usually pay a subscription fee that gives you access to an API.
- For historical information that you might use for predictions about the future, you would pay a one time fee that gives you a larger batch of data.
What are the common challenges when buying Company Registry Data?
A common challenge when buying company registry data is ensuring the data is up-to-date. You also need to ensure the data you purchase is relevant to your needs.
What to ask Company Registry Data providers?
There are several questions you should consider asking your data provider, such as:
- How was the data collected?
- How often is the Company Registry Data updated?
- Which other data types can be offered to enrich the basic information?