If you’re a B2B business, it can be difficult to know who you can and cannot trust. One second you’ve taken on a super client who is really successful, the next they’re not paying their invoices because they owe lots of money to various other companies.

One way to avoid this type of disaster is to credit check your customers. It’s a simple and effective way of making sure that you’re dealing with people who can be trusted. It may cost you money, especially if you’re looking for several reports, but it’s a small price to pay to make sure you’ve got the right type of customer.

There are many websites and services you can use, but below are some of the free or affordable reports you can get your hands on. This is to see if you like what the report has to offer and to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

 

Experian’s Single Company Credit Report

First and foremost we would recommend using Experian – after all, they’re the ones giving everyone their credit score!

experian

Image credit: WikiMedia Commons

Experian offer companies a single one off credit report for businesses for a small fee of £24.99 plus VAT. It might sound a lot, but the report offers:

  • Information about directors.
  • A full credit rating with risk score.
  • Public record information.
  • Detailed payment information.
  • Company financial information.

Alternatively, if you’re planning on checking quite a few customers, you might want to opt for the free trial of Experian Business Express. The trial lasts for 48 hours and gives you all the information you could want/need.

 

Creditsafe’s Free Credit Check Trial

Creditsafe is a large organisation which is also frequently used for credit checks. They offer a free credit report trial, the length of which can be negotiated with Creditsafe.

creditsafe

Image credit: WikiMedia Commons

Unlike some other reports, the trial does not limit the amount of information that you’re given. The trial gives you full access to their reports – no holding back.

The only catch is that the trial only appears to allow you access to one report for one client. Despite this, it’s a good way to gauge if their reports are suited to your needs.

 

Graydon’s Complimentary Credit Check

Graydon offer a range of financial services, one of which is credit checks. In order to gain new business, they’re offering a complimentary credit report worth £325.

graydon

Image credit: Graydon

The report offers the same credentials as other reports, but they also include a few extras. Xseption allows you to see unusual behaviours as well as flagging suspicious activity.

They also analyse payment behaviours to ensure that they’re going steady, rather than being all over the place. This then gives you an idea of their likelihood to pay.

 

Check That Company’s 1 Free Credit Report

Unlike some of the other credit checking agencies, Check That Company do not offer specific reports. Instead they offer timed passes that allow you as many reports as you like within a certain amount of time.

checkthatcompany

Image credit: CheckThatCompany

For one hour they charge only £10, but do be warned that they do have a fair usage policy to deter larger companies from abusing the service.

If, however, you’d rather get a little taster first then you can use their 1 free report to discover more about your potential customer.

 

COMPANYCHECK’s Lite Credit Report Package

Last but not least we have COMPANYCHECK, who are a reputable company with millions of users. Unfortunately, unlike all of the others mentioned, they do no offer any free trials as such.

companycheck

Image credit: COMPANYCHECK

You can get your hands on a free account that allows you to see 5 Companies House documents and 5 accounts table exports. It won’t, however, let you see or download any credit reports.

You can also get singular reports for £20 plus VAT, which allow you access to the report for 12 months as well as email alerts and updates. To get this you must search a company first, then click “buy report” for that company. But be warned, it’s an annual fee that will automatically renew if not cancelled.

Their cheapest paid package, the Lite package, is £50 plus VAT per year, which gives you access to 5 separate reports.

Feature image credit: Andriy Popov via 123RF