Can I pick a US person's brain please

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Can I pick a US person's brain please


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Old 16th May 2020, 07:53 AM
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Default Can I pick a US person's brain please

Could a knowledgeable American kindly point me towards a US equlvalent of INSEE/Societé.com in France, or Companies House in the UK, where you can check brief details of a company?
I've been having long discussions with a potential client who I was convinced was US based, and they've finally sent me a contract to sign, which to my surprise has UK company details on it. They check out fine in the UK but I'm just curious as to what the US connection is.
Thanks for any tips y'all.

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Old 16th May 2020, 08:56 AM
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This is one of those areas where the US tendency to do things by state rather than at a national level makes things very difficult to properly research. Depending on the type of business it is, you could check the Better Business Bureau records - to at least see to what extent there are complaints or actions against them. https://www.bbb.org/

As far as their corporate records in the US, again, you'll have to know what state (or states) they are registered in. Some outrageous proportion of US companies are registered in the state of Delaware because the state regulations are the most lax. (Delaware is actually known as a "tax haven" because of this.)

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Old 16th May 2020, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Could a knowledgeable American kindly point me towards a US equlvalent of INSEE/Societé.com in France, or Companies House in the UK, where you can check brief details of a company?
As Bev says, this is not straightforward in the US.

For US public companies (i.e. companies with publicly traded stock) try the EDGAR database from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The database “provides free public access to corporate information, allowing you to quickly research a company’s financial information and operations.”
https://www.sec.gov/fast-answers/answers-edgarhtm.html

For info on a privately held company—a corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship, try state resources, ideally in the state where the company is headquartered. Specifically, check for info via the state’s Secretary of State (for state level business registration), the Department of Licensing (for specific licenses held) and Department of Revenue (for company size, $$ and other info).

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Old 16th May 2020, 09:13 AM
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I think most companies in the U.S. use a private entity (Dun & Bradstreet) to do due diligence on potential clients.

If the company is publicly traded in the U.S., you can use the federal government's Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database to search for official documents filed to the federal government. You use it by searching for the company name and then downloading the document that interests you. I would recommend you review the most recent 10K report, which is a pretty comprehensive annual report (the quarterly versions are 10Q reports).

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Old 16th May 2020, 09:25 AM
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Thanks for that info.
I don't think it's the kind of contract that warrants using Dun & Bradstreet - I doubt it if will ever pay me enough to cover their fees!

I seem to recall that a very quick check when I started talking with them came up with a head office address in New York. I didn't make a note since 9 times out of 10 this kind of discussion doesn't go anywhere. But the fact that they invariably send emails "overnight" that I find when I wake up, also suggests that I've been talking to someone in the US.

I will have a root around, thanks for the help. It's not a big deal, I just like to know who I'm working for!

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Old 16th May 2020, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
I've been having long discussions with a potential client who I was convinced was US based, and they've finally sent me a contract to sign, which to my surprise has UK company details on it. They check out fine in the UK but I'm just curious as to what the US connection is.
Company registration in the US is done state by state. If you know what state the company is registered in you might be able to get information from that state's Secretary of State.

However just because a company is headquartered in a specific state that doesn't mean that it's incorporated or registered in that state. For example, General Motors is incorporated in Delaware and has its headquarters in Detroit.

You might try doing some research with the Federal government's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as they are the regulators for all public (shares offered for sale to the public) companies.

OTOH, maybe they're using a UK subsidiary to deal with people, contracts, and affairs in Europe.


Last edited by Peasant; 16th May 2020 at 02:45 PM.
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