Credit and Finance, Management
Look before you leap: How international credit reports can ensure a soft landing
Posted on by Katie Hook
Estimated read time: 5 mins
If you’re considering trading internationally credit checks might not be at the top of your to-do-list, but should they be?
Working with companies overseas brings great opportunities for your business, but there may also be some risk involved. Make sure you know exactly who you’re dealing with, and whether they’re a stable and profitable company with an international credit report, says Steve Marriott, Senior Product Manager at Experian Business Assist.
Leaps of faith come in all shapes and sizes, but deciding to do business overseas ranks pretty highly. This is especially the case if you work with organisations abroad without knowing very much about them.
How can you be sure, for example, that your chosen overseas business partner is genuine, and that the details they’ve provided are accurate and current? How do you know they’re doing well enough commercially to pay for your products and services as a customer, or to meet your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as a supplier?
After all, a bank will only lend you money if you can afford to pay it back, and that is exactly the kind of assurance you need from your international business partners. The good news is that you can look before you leap. The technologies and data are already available to help you minimise risk and maximise the chance that your overseas business will be a roaring success.
Maximise your chances of success with international credit reports
Checking company credit reports for potential partners in the UK is now common practice, and is best practice for minimising financial risks. What you might not know is that you can now get similar information about companies you want to deal with abroad – including their company details and information about their profitability or otherwise.
The international credit reports that include this kind of information allow you to see:
- Whether the international company you want to deal with is a genuine business
You can use the international credit report to see if your chosen overseas partner is who they say they are. In particular, you can see their address, company number and more – and check it all matches up with what they’ve given you. That way, you get peace of mind that their intentions are good and they’re a properly registered and legal business in their home country.
- Whether your chosen overseas partner is strong, stable and solvent
Your success depends on your partners being able to honour their commitments to you, either as a supplier or a customer. With an international credit report, you can quickly see if they’re solvent based on their detailed company accounts, and any negative information such as bankruptcies and court orders that indicate things aren’t going so well for them. You can also see if your prospective business partner is part of a larger group of companies and, if so, whether they’re successful, profitable organisations or not. All this helps you make the best decisions about whether you should be doing business with them or not – helping to protect your business and improve your overseas trading strategy.
- Whether the company’s directors are people you want to deal with
To further reduce your risks, international credit reports provide additional information on key people in an international company – including details of any other companies they’re involved with and whether they’re doing well. This way, you can get to know key people a little before you start doing business with them.
Why Experian Business Assist for international credit reports?
- Experian international credit reports help you get to know overseas companies better before you decide to do business with them. You can get instant online reports for 16 countries, and same-day reports (available within 24-hours) for a further 72 countries, which means you can make important decisions faster. You can also get credit reports for companies in more than 225 countries via our international partners – and that covers almost everywhere you could dream of doing business.
- Another good reason to choose Experian Business Assist for international credit reports is our commitment to supporting small and medium business customers. We always aim to answer your phone calls within three rings and respond to your support queries within 24 hours, which means you’ll never be stuck waiting for a report you need.
- Finally, we make sure our international credit reports are as affordable as possible, with our own, cost-effective company data covering the UK and US markets. We also have close partnerships with industry leading credit bureaus around the world, allowing us to deliver reports with no mark-ups and no delays. You can also choose between our pay-as-you-go and account-based payment models – whichever suits your business best.
To find out more about Experian’s leading international credit report service, or to request an international report, click here.