3 Ways to Find Out if a Company Is Legitimate

When doing business for the first time with a new company, it’s vital to confirm it’s legitimate. The internet is the place to go. There are three primary ways to achieve this task.

Start by checking its own website, then dig deeper by confirming licenses, registrations, and credit history. You could even use a people search tool to find out information on company employees, especially those in management. Finally, see what other people have to say about them.

Here’s a closer look at the three ways.

1. Check Their Website

Most companies will have a website, so this is the first place to go. Confirm that they have a physical address and contact details. If a landline phone number is present, call it to double-check it’s real. If possible, drive to the displayed location and ensure the company is where it says it is.

Next, take a closer look at the site. For example, if it’s a US or UK company, there should be no errors in spelling or grammar. However, if there are many of these, it may indicate the site was created overseas, so they may not be a local organization.

The next check is their privacy statement, terms and conditions, and payment options. If there are unclear or suspicious entries in the terms, this may raise some red flags. The way a company takes payment is also a consideration. If they will only accept cash or cheques or require bank details of their customers, this may be a concern.

2. Search Online for More Information

Organizations offering professional services, contractors, and medical practitioners need to be licensed and regulated in their state of operation. So first, check what licenses these people need and then go to the relevant state government sites to confirm they’re present and current. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent place to start.

Use search engines to discover if the company is featured. For example, it may have an excellent social media profile, pledge donations, or make sustainable choices.

If you have the contact names of the management team, check on them too. People search sites are like background checks and can provide a load of relevant data on their credibility.

Another way to check on the management team is to see if they have personal social media pages. Look for any inappropriate images or posts. These items could demonstrate a lack of professionalism or credibility and should be considered when dealing with the company.

3. Read Reviews

An excellent way to determine a company’s legitimacy is to read unbiased reviews. Start with the ones on their own website; however, they’re likely to remove any negative ones and only keep the most flattering.

Sites like Yelp or Trustpilot not only contain reviews but give the company a score out of five based on the average of all the comments. This number can give you a quick snapshot of the company. 

Anything less than three should be approached with caution unless the number of reviews is so low that an accurate average isn’t possible.

Be wary of an organization that has a ranking of 5. No negative reviews are doubtful. Check that the names of the reviewers aren’t too similar, as they may have been paid to write them.

Be Confident Before Starting Business

Do your due diligence if doing business with a company you haven’t worked with before.

Spend time on the company’s website and double-check all contact information. Scan the pages for spelling and grammatical errors, questionable terms, and unusual payment conditions.

Next, check that the company has all the required licenses and registrations and delve deeper into the details of the management team.

The final step is to read public reviews and comments on the organization. 

These three checks should be enough to indicate the company is legitimate enough to do business with.

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