How can you verify if a sole trader is legit?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by claret_n_Blue, Dec 11, 2017.

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  1. claret_n_Blue

    claret_n_Blue UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm setting up a website and I want businesses to sign up but I am not sure on how I would go about verifying them to make sure they are real? Like how do I stop someone from signing up as say Facebook or McDonald's or whatever?

    I don't want to use the Companies House company number as I don't think franchises have separate numbers. Also it's possible for a Ltd company to have various businesses under their name and maybe they only want to sign one of those up.

    Initially I was thinking of maybe using their business account bank details? My bank should be able to see that I'm sending/receiving money from a business account and if the name on the account matches the name they are signing up with then that should work as a pretty solid verification?

    If sole traders aren't trading with a business bank account (not sure why but I have read that that is a possibility as you banking in your personal account doesn't change your tax etc), then how can I go about (automatically) verifying them as a legitimate business?
    Posted: Dec 11, 2017 By: claret_n_Blue Member since: Feb 15, 2017
  2. STDFR33

    STDFR33 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    4,643 1,241
    If they are a company, then it's simple. You use Companies House.

    If they are a sole trader or partnership you have no way of verifying them, and rely on them providing you accurate information.
    Posted: Dec 11, 2017 By: STDFR33 Member since: Aug 7, 2016
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    27,390 3,363
    Not all businesses have a business bank account.

    Have you thought of asking them to provide letterhead, an existing business invoice etc?
    Like other companies ask when you want to register with them.
    Posted: Dec 11, 2017 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  4. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,856 291
    References from their customers and/or suppliers.
    Posted: Dec 11, 2017 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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