Frequently Asked Questions

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What you get

 

Business Express

Success Story

"After having a number of customers go bust, we decided to start credit checking all new customers.

Business Check gives us peace of mind that new customers are financially stable and are able to pay invoices on time or let us know if we need payment up front."

Sam Lockley, Director - Skylock IT

Frequently asked questions

What reports can I buy from Business Check?

What is included in the full report?

What is included in the overview report?

What is included in a directors report?

What are Add-ons and how much do they cost?

How can you tell if a risk score is so poor that credit should not be provided?

What is Payment Performance information & how does it affect Experian scores?

Why can't I see accounts for Non-limited businesses?

How can I find out about my Non-limited business?

How are credit ratings and risk scores calculated?

How are companies that are yet to file any financial information at Companies House scored?

What does "it is recommended that the directors' other business interests be reviewed" mean?

Can I view a report on screen without saving it and return to view it later on that day?

How can I access my invoice?

How can I access consumer reports?

What methods of payment does Business Check accept?

Can I buy a report on an International Company?

The company I searched is not available. What do I need to do in order to obtain a copy of the latest report?

How do I make a complaint about Business Check?

What should you do if you have a problem or experience difficulty?

How do I change my contact details?

What are the account filing requirements for small and medium companies?

What are the criteria for a company to qualify as 'small' or 'medium'?

Are my credit card details secure?

What browsers can be used to access Experian Business Check?

I am having difficulty using the Experian Business Check website

How am I notified of Alerts?

Can I change the email or mobile phone number for my alerts?

What is the alert service?

What alerts will I receive?

Does a previously ordered report automatically update? 


What reports can I buy from Business Check?

The Full report is available for Limited and Non-limited businesses. You can enhance your report with a variety of alert packages to update you on changes. For information on a business owner, you can choose a Director Report.

View packages and pricing

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What is included in the full report?

A full reports includes:
• Business identification
• Corporate structure
• Credit rating
• Public record information
• Detailed payment information
• Financial information (latest year)
• Directors information

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What is included in the overview report?

• Business identification
• Credit rating
• Public record information
• Summary payment information

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What is included in a directors report?

This report contains current and historical information about the Director behind the company

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What are Add-ons and how much do they cost?

• Corporate structure £2.99
• Detailed payment information £2.99
• Financial information (latest year) £2.99
• Financial information (3 years) £2.99
• Previous Directors & Secretaries £2.99

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How can you tell if a risk score is so poor that credit should not be provided?

The scores are banded by the analysis and the report will clearly indicate to clients which band the score falls into. Details of these bands can be found below.

Score 0
Scores of 0 represent companies which no longer exist (e.g. they are dissolved), have either failed in the past or are no longer in a position to request credit unless through some form of external authority (e.g. Receiver).

Score 1
Scores of 1 represents those companies who have a recent Intention to Dissolve notice or Winding-up Petition.

Score 2-15
These companies are deemed to be very high risk by the scorecard. Any company within this band will have a number of characteristics resembling those displayed by failed companies. Parental or Director guarantees are often recommended.

Score 16-25
These companies are deemed to be high risk by the scorecard; (e.g., companies with very large losses and a weak Balance Sheet or high levels of County Court Judgments. Many clients may choose not to provide credit to companies in this band.

Score 26-50
These companies are deemed to be above average risk by the scorecard. They may include established businesses that have made substantial losses; or the Balance Sheet may show a deficit in capital employed.

Score 51-80
These companies are deemed to be below average risk by the scorecard. They may include companies that have incurred large losses or companies with high levels of debt.

Score 81-90
These companies are deemed to be low risk by the scorecard and do not exhibit many of the characteristics of failed companies.

Score 91-100
These companies are deemed to be very low risk by the scorecard and exhibit few or none of the characteristics displayed by failed companies.

The choice as to what level is appropriate for each client will depend largely on the level of risk they are prepared to take on board. Some clients may have a greater aversion to risk and only give credit to companies with, say, scores over 50. Others will seek out higher risk companies and charge them higher prices for their goods/services to cover the greater risk. Many credit controllers feel uneasy extending unqualified trade credit facilities to businesses with scores under 16.

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How are credit ratings and risk scores calculated?

The credit ratings and risk scores are created by applying statistically proven scoring models to the data held about a business.

The credit rating is the average monthly exposure that is recommended.

The risk score predicts the likelihood of a company failing in the next 12 months (the lower the score out of 100, the higher the risk).

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Why can't I see accounts for Non-limited businesses?

Non-limited businesses are not required to file any documentation, financial or otherwise at Companies House, therefore you will not see a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss information included in Non-limited reports.

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How can I find out about my Non-limited business?

Experian holds information about Non-limited businesses. If you are the proprietor or partner of a Non-limited business and you wish to see a copy of your business credit file held by Experian, you can write to the address below enclosing your full name, date of birth, business trading name, business trading address and a £2 search fee (cheque or postal order payable to Experian Ltd).

Consumer Help Service
Experian Ltd PO BOX 8000
Nottingham
NG80 7WF

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How are companies that are yet to file any financial information at Companies House scored?

Director information including consumer scores, can be highly predictive in this type of scoring environment along with Payment Performance data, County Court Judgments and delays in publishing the first set of accounts.

There are other influential factors such as the age of a company and whether a company is a subsidiary of an established parent. Where there is no parent, the personal credit history of the directors becomes key. This can be used when there are three directors or less in the company as it can be reasonably assumed that business and personal finance are inter-dependant.

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What is Payment Performance information & how does it affect Experian scores?

Experian manage a substantial payment data sharing programme where provider’s sales ledgers are matched against Experian’s commercial databases.  Commercial Delphi scores will be negatively impacted by businesses that pay beyond due dates, have outstanding unpaid accounts or have had their accounts placed for collection.  Prompt payment behaviour can have positive effects on scores.  Where the influence of the payment data has been significant, text will appear in the credit opinion section of the report making reference to this.

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Can I view a report on screen without saving it and return to view it later on that day?

Your reports are stored in 'My Previous Orders' tab and can be accessed up to 90 days after purchase. 

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What reports can I buy from Experian Business Check?

For Limited and Non-limited businesses, there are two levels of reports available; a Full Business Credit Report and an Overview Report. You can also buy a report on any Company Director.

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What does "it is recommended that the directors' other business interests be reviewed" mean?

This comment denotes that the company has been scored down as a result of negative director data. However, because there are a number of elements in the scorecard relating to the directors' database it is not always possible to be specific.

We would recommend you to look for the negative information such as have any or a number of directors been involved with failed businesses in the past or have any of the companies in which the directors have an interest had County Court Judgments recorded against them?

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How are the credit ratings and risk scores calculated?

The credit ratings and risk scores are created by applying statistically proven scoring models to the data held about a business.

The credit rating is the average monthly exposure we would recommend. The risk score predicts the likelihood of a company failing in the next 12 months (the lower the score out of 100, the higher the risk).

How can I contact Experian?

To contact an Experian representative, you can either send them an email by clicking here or call 0844 481 8888.

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How can I access my invoice?

Your invoice will be available in 'My Previous Orders' tab.

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How can I access consumer reports?

This service is currently unavailable through SME Business Check.  However, you may want to try  www.uk.experian.com/e-consumerview 

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What methods of payment does Business Check accept?

Business Check accepts payment via the following credit and debit cards: Visa and Master card

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What does "it is recommended that the directors' other business interests be reviewed" mean?

This comment denotes that the company has been scored down as a result of negative director data. However, because there are a number of elements in the scorecard relating to the directors' database it is not always possible to be specific.

We would recommend you to look for the negative information e.g. have any or a number of directors been involved with in failed businesses in the past or have any of the companies in which the directors have an interest had County Court Judgments recorded against them?

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Can I buy a report on an International Company?

Currently International reports are not available via Experian Business Check. To order a report on an International Company please call (0115) 901 6000 and select option 2.

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The company I searched is not available. What do I need to do in order to obtain a copy of the latest report?

This means that our analysts are currently updating the reports for this company. It will be available again shortly.

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How do I make a complaint about Business Check?

Experian aims to satisfy the needs of customers as effectively as possible, but we do realise that sometimes things may not go as well as we would like them to. When this happens we would like to put them right as soon as possible.
Our aim is to resolve any queries or difficulties effectively, to your satisfaction and within an agreed timescale. In order to do this, we welcome your complaints and suggestions to help us identify improvements in our products, processes and services.
Our complaints procedure covers all aspects of our services including:
• Our data and products
• Our registration process
• Our service to you

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What should you do if you have a problem or experience difficulty?

You can either:
1. Contact us by email. Your email will be sent to an Experian representative who will respond to you within one working day.
Or
2. Call an Experian representative on 0844 481 8888

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How can I find out about my Non-Limited Business?

Experian holds information about non-limited businesses and their proprietors. If you are the proprietor or partner of a non-limited business and you wish to see a copy of your business credit file held by Experian, you can write to the address below enclosing your full name, date of birth, business trading name, business trading address and a £2 search fee (cheque or postal order payable to Experian Ltd).
Consumer Help Service
Experian Ltd PO BOX 8000
Nottingham
NG80 7WF

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How do I change my contact details?

These can be changed by accessing the 'My Details' tab

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What are the account filing requirements for small and medium companies?

The minimum that a small company can file is: Abbreviated balance sheet and notes

The minimum that a medium company can file is:

• Full balance sheet
• Abbreviated profit and loss account
• Special auditors' report
• Notes to the accounts

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What are the criteria for a company to qualify as 'small' or 'medium'?

To qualify as a small company the company must meet a minimum of two of the following conditions:
• Annual turnover of no more than £2.8 million
• Balance sheet total (total of fixed and current assets) of no more than £1.4 million
• Average number of employees of no more than 50
To qualify as a medium company the company must meet a minimum of two of the following conditions:
• Annual turnover of no more than £11.2 million
• Balance sheet total (total of fixed and current assets) of no more than £5.6 million
• Average number of employees of no more than 250

In general, a company could qualify as 'small' or 'medium' in a particular year if it met the conditions in that year and in the year before.

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Are my credit card details secure?

This web site is on a secure server and all transactions that take place are encrypted between your browser and the server using EnTrust. For more details about EnTrust visit the EnTrust web site at http://www.entrust.com/

In addition, Experian Business Check uses 3D Secure to provide additional payment protection. This includes the use of Verify by Visa for Visa transactions and SecureCode for Mastercard transactions.

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I am having difficulty using the Experian Business Check website

You can either:
1. Contact us by email. Your email will be sent to an Experian representative who will respond to you within one working day.
Or
2. Call an Experian representative on 0844 481 8888

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What browsers can be used to access Experian Business Check?

Your PC must be able to support the following browsers:
• Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 on PC.
• Firefox 3, 3.5, and 3.6 on PC.
• Chrome 4 and 6 on PC.
• Safari 4 and 5 on Mac.

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How am I notified of Alerts?

You will be notified of alerts by email.

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Can I change the email address for my alerts?

Yes, this can be done through the 'My Alerts' tab..

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What is the alert service?

The alert service is a monitoring service that notifies you of a change in the credit information of limited and non-limited businesses.

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What alerts will I receive?

You can choose what alerts you would like to receive:

Alert Package

Limited Companies

Non-Limited Businesses

All Alerts

Yes

Yes

Adverse & Legal

Yes

Yes

CCJ

Yes

Yes

Annual Accounts/Returns

Yes

no

Company Details Change

Yes

no

Paying Slower

Yes

no

Credit Score/Limit/Rating Change

Yes

no

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Does a previously ordered report automatically update?

No, when you buy a report it is set in time at the point of purchase. If you require an update to the report you will have to purchase one. This is easily done through 'My Reports' tab and clicking 'Re-order' next to the required report.

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* From £8.99 for an overview report

How it works

  • You search online for the business or director you want to check
  • You download an instant report - basic or full and add optional alerts
  • See a clear picture of a company’s financial status and directors

Why use Business Check?

  • Avoid bad debt and cash flow issues by checking a business
  • Take the right action when faced with payment problems
  • Know who you are talking to with director information and company structure
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