If you’re about to start a new business venture with an associate, you might want to carry out a background check, especially if you have a hunch that something’s not right. There is a wealth of information in the public domain that can tell you more about your business partner, providing you with all the information you need to make intelligent commercial and financial decisions in the future. Most companies that carry out background check services will charge you a fee, although you will be able to find out a plethora of information about a potential business partner before you invest in a company or sign a contract. Here’s how to check whether your business associate can be trusted.
1. Do it yourself
If you don’t want to spend money on a background check, there is loads of information that you can find yourself using sources that you’ve most likely used before, such as Google and the White Pages. Here are some tips on how to carry out a background check on a business associate without using a third-party company.
- Check out PeekYou.com: PeekYou is a service that collects information from search engines, social media platforms, and websites to find any details that your potential partner has shared n the past. This service is free to use, and you will be able to find in-depth information in just a few clicks. Remember, when you come across a profile on PeekYou, make sure it is the same person you are trying to find information about.
- Check out WhitePages.com: Business listings like White Pages can be a great way to check whether someone has had a business in the past, providing you with information about the background of your associate. You will then be able to carry out online research about any previous companies. You might want to search other business listings too, such as Yahoo! Local and Yelp.
- Check court records: Court information is available to the public. You will be able to search court records from various states, so find out about where your associate has lived and worked in the last few years. Visit the National Center for State Courts’ official website to learn more.
- Check third party review sites: Check out third party review websites to see reviews that have been left by previous customers and clients who have used the services of your associate in the past. Here you will be able to filter various reviews and find the information about the type of services that your associate offered in the past and whether they have positive feedback from people they have worked with in the past.
2. Choose the right service
Background checking companies can provide you with a deeper, more thorough background check of your business associate, and are perfect if you don’t have the time to carry out the research yourself. There are various factors to consider when paying for a paid background checking service. Using a comparison website is a great place to start. These sites will list different background checking services, and you will be able to filter results based on price and other factors. You will want a service like this to produce accurate information about your associate and provide good value-for-money.
Here are some of the most popular background checking services:
- Spokeo.com – Spokeo aggregates data from online and offline sources and was founded in 2006. This service provides a deep background check and comes with various customization options.
- Instantcheckmate.com – Instant Checkmate provides instant access to million of court documents, official reports and criminal data with just a few clicks of a button.
- Checkthem.com – An online background check service that lets you search for public information, marriage and divorce records and much more.
3. Other tips
You might want to check the website of your business associate and look for any testimonials or reviews left by previous clients and customers. If your associate specialized in a particular service, you might find reviews on social media sites or websites like Yelp. If you do come across something online, or a paid background check service provides you with information about your associate, you might want to discuss it in person and ask them to clarify anything you are unsure about. Remember, depending on the situation, entering a business relationship with an associate that you don’t trust can be difficult and could potentially cause you a lot of problems in the future. If there is something you are really not comfortable with, talk to your associate and then decide on the best course of action in your circumstances.