Top 5 Business Credit Report Providers For 2023

Accountants need to run customer due diligence and anti-money laundering (AML) checks on each new customer. If they don’t, they could face regulatory fines, business restrictions or prison. But getting these procedures right is expensive and time consuming.

Red Flag Alert provides accountants with everything they need to perform know your customer and AML checks on their customers in seconds. This makes your onboarding process more efficient and robust.

Red Flag Alert also boosts accountants’ revenue by helping them to find new customers that they want to work with.

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What is a Business Credit Report?

A business credit report is a record of your history of managing and repaying debt, any adverse events a business has faced, as well as any previous/current directors amongst other information. One of the best ways to mitigate risk within your business, it to perform a credit check (through a reputable business credit report provider) as part of your onboarding process for any partners. This way you can prevent risk before it becomes an issue.

This is particularly useful if you have multiple suppliers, clients, important stakeholders etc. as some credit report providers offer the possibility to monitor a series of companies at the same time. The information not only gives you a credit report/score, but a complete picture of what is impacting businesses the most.

The ability to compile a list of companies you want to observe enables you to not just review their financial situation, but also be notified anytime a change occurs to their financial status. It is then possible for you to react to certain situations before it’s too late, alleviating risk to your own business. It’s also possible to monitor prospective clients and competitors for a better understanding of the wider industry.

What is a Credit Rating?

A company credit rating shows how creditworthy a business is.

A credit rating agency provides this via a company credit check. Credit rating agencies have a database of financial information that they consider when calculating a company’s credit score. This specific weighting framework and algorithm mean that although companies may have access to the same information:

  • All financial data
  • Company size
  • Industry characteristics
  • Regional specifics
  • Corporate structure
  • County court judgements – CCJs
  • Mortgages

As well as other relevant intel, the credit scores given by different credit rating agencies may differ. Other companies can then check their credit score before going into business with them, to assess whether to credit the company or not.

Most business reports include a financial assessment that gives a summary of a business’ potential and profitability; it also highlights critical points of risk, if any, that will assist businesses in making information driven decisions.

Some reports also contain trade payment information. This provides the opportunity for you to learn about existing or potential business partners payment behaviour. From this you can gain a better understanding of how likely they are to make payments within a certain period. Choosing a company that has fewer creditor days (number of days it takes a company past the agreed date to pay back a debt) will allow you to reliably make financial decisions for the future.

Alternatively, if you notice a current client’s creditor days are increasing, you have the chance to renegotiate deliveries specific to that client so your future financial situation would not suffer; it always better to know risks to your business so you can prepare in advance.

Why Due DiIigence Matters

Delayed payment from clients will start to affect your ability to pay your suppliers in time, as well as make it more difficult to plan for short/medium terms no matter how good your company’s financial management is.

Sustainable business relies on offering clients trade credits they can reimburse, but this comes with risk of estimating which clients can be trusted to minimise risk. This is where the importance of due diligence comes into play. A check that assesses and monitors the creditworthiness of business partners proves to be crucial; especially concerning ones susceptible to financial fluctuations and trade breakdowns. This helps your business avoid financial/legal issues and save time and money that could be wasted chasing late payments.

It is also important to complete due diligence of suppliers. If you don’t check suppliers are trustworthy, it’s possible you will have shortages and must source new materials or services to keep activities running if one provider falls out of business. This would be very difficult as you would have to find a source that can deliver the same capacity and quality immediately. Even just one day of a business not functioning normally can have dire effects, this is especially important regarding the current global supply chain problems.

It can be a lot harder to predict how reliable a new company is through due diligence because of lack of information. However, this is where you can investigate the director. Even if the new company looks reliable, if the director has a history of previously being a director for multiple insolvent companies you can stop a risk before it becomes a risk, which is always best.

It’s always best to rely on facts rather than trust; use tools such as due diligence to gain insights into partners and protect your company.

Top Business Credit Reporting Agencies

An important aspect on any business credit relies on the ability to secure financing, avoiding risks is crucial to protecting your business’s financial health. Identifying unreliable suppliers and partners early saves resources on research and chasing late payments. The value of tools to predict and inform business decisions means it’s critical to find the best business credit reporter.

Below is a list of companies, in no order, which are among the top business credit report providers in the UK today.

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Red Flag Alert is the UK’s only independently owned credit referencing agency. They have 25 years’ experience in business intelligence, over 9,000 UK business users and a database of over 15M businesses with 180,000+ daily updates.

RFA’s cloud-based business intelligence software helps clients become data-driven by delivering in depth information with real-time updates to inform sales, credit risk and compliance to make better business decisions and manage risk early.

RFA’s data comes from market-leading data owners and their own proprietary AI powered algorithms enrich data and provide unique insights on UK and international companies.

Red Flag Alert Platform

The business can be split into five key areas:

  • Created with Lunacy
  • Created with Lunacy
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Find

Detailed information on every UK company would help your sales team build a data-driven process based on real-time business data, target ideal customers, and find real-time qualified sales opportunities. The company database can be refined using over 140 filters to build targeted lists.

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Check

Unique financial health ratings accurately predict insolvency, helping evaluation into risk posed by clients and giving time for you to mitigate it.

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Comply

Verify potential clients in seconds with RFA’s business intelligence software. In-depth AML and KYC checks make compliance simple.

Full risk checking, enhanced due diligence, checks against international PEPs and sanctions delivered with a cloud-based workflow and secure audit trail.

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Protect

Advanced monitoring and portfolio risk management capabilities. Data updated in real-time means you can take proactive steps to protect your business.

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Connect

Integrate RFA into your existing systems to improve workflow and productivity within your business. Already have built-in integrations with over 20 leading CRM including RFA API, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho.

  • Search limited and non-limited UK businesses
  • Full company reports
  • Growth score
  • International search
  • Live updates
  • Portfolio monitoring system
  • Digital KYC, AML & PEPS and Sanctions checking
  • CRM integration

Trial Red Flag Alert


Take advantage of Red Flag Alert’s free trial to find out how Red Flag Alert’s company credit checking solution can help your business.

Experian

Experian is among the global leaders of consumer and business credit reporting. Providing credit data to clients in over 100 countries, they pride themselves in being recorded on the UK’s FTSE index. Experian have spoken out about their main goals being to assist individuals in taking financial control and accessing services, as well as supporting businesses by offering information to make data-driven decisions. They hope to achieve this by easing the burden of responsibility for lenders and hindering crime and fraud.

Experian’s database is continuously updated for client’s convenience. Their site contains key info on businesses including their background, financial data, credit score, risk factors etc. Other featured tools/data include:

  • Business credit score
  • Financial stability risk rating
  • Portfolio management
  • Tax ID verification
  • Commercial fraud authentication

Dunn & Bradstreet (D&B)

Dun & Bradstreet’s website claims their database comprises of over 500M business records with global coverage of 30,000+ data sources from over 200 countries, making it a leader in this industry.

D&B feature extensive business credit reports. They provide analytics and in-depth company data to help clients assess the creditworthiness of the analysed entities. This information includes trade payment history, operation intel in addition to neglect payment terms, past trade payment performance, lawsuits and more. Their highlighted data includes:

  • Credit scores and ratings based on past performance and future estimations.
  • Viability rating which evaluates a business’s existing and expected financial health
  • Failure score

Credit Safe

Creditsafe is used by over 100,000 companies worldwide. It has built this up by offers useful tools and information so businesses can make better decisions regarding their customers and suppliers. In addition to credit checks, Creditsafe also includes AML, Sanctions and PEPs screening, business verification and financial performance checks.

What a Creditsafe login will get you:

  • Credit Score and Limit
  • Company ownership
  • Key risk indicators

Equifax

Equifax is a global data, analytics, and technology company. Like Experian, it provides its customers with both individual and corporate credit reports. Its goal is to help business make informed decisions and it has unequalled focus on the critical small business segment.

Information Equifax provides includes company key firmographics, alternate business names, public records, credit summary, financial and trade payment history etc. And some of their essential data/tools are:

  • Equifax business credit risk score
  • Equifax business failure score
  • Corporate relationship trees
  • Guarantors and other stakeholders associated with the company

Identifying and using the correct credit reference agency can help when it comes to a business’s to secure financing. The risk being that if companies you are doing business with struggle or undergo financial difficulties, then those challenges could potentially impact your cash flow and restrict your ability to plan ahead due to taking on their bad debt. Additional impact could also be felt, with other creditors and financiers restricting your access to credit or finance due to impact being felt by those businessees’ bad debt.

Managing business all business risks, yet you can minimise them. Identifying unreliable suppliers, clearly spotting immediate and future risks, saving resources on researching, and chasing late payments are just a few examples where the value of corporate intelligence, financial data, and risk management tools builds. The choice is always yours!

Worried about a Customer Business’s Credit worthiness?

As mentioned above Red Flag Alert software collects, analyses, and reports on the credit risk of every business in the UK.

We use information from ten leading data providers and enrich it with our sophisticated scorecards to give you instant access to every UK company's credit score.

This quality and depth of data is only available through Red Flag Alert. You can even plug the data into your CRM using our API, so if risks materialise for your customers’ you’ll have the detailed information you need immediately.

Request a trial today

Try our free trial to find out how Red Flag Alert’s company credit checking solution can help your business. Or you can look at an example of our company reports with a creditsafe report

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