There are many reasons why you might need to educate yourself about a company. Whether you are looking for a job, about to take over a business or sign a partnership with an investor, knowing the name of the manager, its workforce or the turnover of a company are some of the important information that should be on your fingertips.
Such information will eliminate any uncertainty about the company in question, get to whom you’re going to deal with and increase your confidence.
What the law provides…
Take for a country such as France where the legislation imposes certain transparency requirements on companies. The Commercial Court Registry requires key players in the management of corporate organizations to provide statements on an annual basis and make any corporate announcement public. Availing this data to the public allows professionals and individuals to make better decisions. Here are the items you can have on request:
– The name of the manager(s)
– The address of the head office and premises
– The date when the incorporation
– Legal status
– VAT number
– The number of employees
– Patent filings
– Management reports
– The last three reports and more
Why is this information important?
In the professional sphere, keeping an eye on this information allows people to do competitive or corporate intelligence. By constantly monitoring the actions and products of its competitors, a company ensures that it does not allow itself to be overtaken and that it timely responds to its customers’ demands.
For entrepreneurs, this is a good way to assess the reliability of the suppliers and partners they want to work with. They can thus increase the lifespan of their partnership or relationship.
Finally, for individuals, this information can be invaluable, especially during a job search. They make it possible to determine whether the company in which one wishes to work is stable and prove to the employer that the job seeker inquired before applying.
The information available on the Internet
These days the fastest way to get information about a company is by searching for it online. In an increasingly connected world, it is easy to access an array of information by simply typing the name of a company, or the name of its manager in a search engine. In addition, most companies today have a website or sometimes a blog which is a real gold mine for obtaining remarkable information in record time.
While having access to a certain amount of data can be beneficial for the future collaborators (partners or employees) of a company, it is also a way for it to gain credibility by showing commitment and transparency. Apart from the basic information mentioned above, you will find on the internet a certain number of administrative and financial documents.
We often tend to forget it, but social networks are also a real source of data about companies and are becoming increasingly an important source of information. By visiting, for example, a company’s Facebook page, you will learn about its network, its mode of communication, its interactions with its customers, etc. It’s also the easiest way to keep up-to-date with its business news. Another important social network is LinkedIn, it’s a professional social media network and has more than 600 million members worldwide. It allows you to find information both on companies and their employees, to access certain job offers. A profile maintained on social networks can be an undeniable asset in the professional world.
Transparency: a requirement for all companies
In the majority of countries across the world, the law imposes the same transparency for all companies. The goal is to be able to assess the health status of a company in a few seconds. Giving the public access to all this information helps maintain competition and motivate suppliers, service providers, future employees or customers to approach a particular company.
If the information is an acquired right, it is not a question about serving the company in question. Thus, certain strategic information can remain confidential.
When a company decides not to publish its financial report
At times a company might decide not to make public a lot of its financial reports and may wish to keep them confidential. While this is possible, such a decision may not always be in their best interest.
Indeed, working in the darkness or in a secretive manner can create a negative impression about such a company and put off some suppliers, partners or customers.