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How to use confirmation statements to analyse the market and find reliable partners

To grow your business in the UK, you need to find trusted partners who can assist you with realizing your vision. So, how can you perform the task without wasting too many hours and dollars on research and analysis? One method is to use a confirmation-statements (CS) rapport  — an annual report that all the companies registered in the UK must submit to Companies House, the official registrar of enterprises at least once a year or more often, as long as it is within the 12-month review period. By filing a confirmation statement, each entrepreneur shares the essential information about the company, for instance, its name, address, directors, shareholders, and its activities. Via the confirmation statements, you will acquire the useful data needed for you to identify potential partners, assess their performance, and compare them with others. This article will guide you on how to obtain, verify, and utilize confirmation statements for your business needs.

How to Get a CS 

If you know the name or number of a company you are interested in, you can find its confirmation statements on the official Companies House website. However, this is not very convenient because you cannot compare data from different business enterprises or get more information. A better solution is to use the following platforms: Endole and DueDil. These are paid services that let you search for companies by various criteria, such as location, industry, size, and turnover. You can also check their confirmation statements as well as other data like credit rating, bankruptcy risk, court case history, and so on. This data can help you evaluate the quality and reliability of your potential partners.

How to Interpret Data from a Confirmation-Statement

The Confirmation report consists of several sections that contain various information about the company, which should help you navigate when analyzing the market and finding partners. The sections are as follows:

  1. SIC codes — these are activity codes that define what the company you are looking for does. The five digits of the code correspond to the standard classification of the type of activity. Each company can have different SIC codes at the same time if it is engaged in different activities.

SIC codes inform what field of activity the company operates in and who its competitors are. This helps you find vendors with the same or related SIC codes to find potential partners for your product or service. GOV.UK provides a condensed list of SIC codes.

  1. Registered office address — talking about the legal address of a company where it is registered in the UK (in the context of this discussion, this means England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). The registered address may not match the actual work address, for example, if the company operates abroad. Such business can register with Companies House using virtual office services like The Hoxton Mix.

A registered office address reflects the reputation and location of a company. For example, a company address in a prestigious area can imply partners with high status and income. For more niche businesses, you can look for companies with an address in a remote region to find partners with low competition or specialization in a certain market.

  1. Persons with significant control — these are individuals who have significant influence over the company: directors, shareholders, founders, or other individuals who meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • They hold more than 25% of the shares or votes in the company.
  • They have the power to appoint or remove a majority of the company’s directors.
  • They have the power to exercise significant influence or control over the company or its directors.
  • They have the right to exercise significant influence or control over the trust arrangements of the company’s assets. 

The reputation of persons with significant control may reflect the stability and transparency of the company. For example, you can look for companies with highly reputable persons with significant control to find partners with reliability, quality, and integrity for a specific business niche. Conversely, avoid organizations with unknown or dubious persons with significant control to minimize risks, conflicts, or hidden interests.

  1. Share capital — it is about the authorized capital of a company, which is the amount of money contributed by shareholders when registering or increasing capital. Share capital consists of two parts: the nominal value and the paid-up value. First is the cost of one share, which is specified in the company’s charter. Second is the value of the shares that were actually purchased by shareholders.

Share capital in numbers reflects the financial condition and annual growth of the company. High share capital signals the size and stability of the company, which in turn attracts investors. Low share capital can tell you about high risks and the need for additional financing. GOV.UK guide on filing a confirmation statement includes more information you need to provide about your share capital.

  1. Trading status: This determines whether the company is trading. Traders are engaged in commerce, non-traders are, for example, a holding company or a charitable organization. 
  2. Exemption from audit: This last one indicates whether the company is exempt from mandatory financial audits. This may be due to small size, low turnover, or lack of debt. This is important for assessing the financial transparency and reliability of the business in question.

How to Select Potential Partners Using CS Data

To select potential partners based on data from the confirmation statement, it is significant to consider compatibility, competence, and trust. More details:

  1. Compatibility: Use the SIC codes to search for companies in the relevant industry or related fields. Office addresses will help you find partners in the desired region. Review the management influencers to find similar values.
  2. Competence: Analyze their size and dynamics of capital. Find out their trading status to gauge market activity.
  3. Trust: Explore audit exemptions to support financial disclosure. Look for other documents and additional data for more verification.

Financial stability; history of payments and dividends; capital investments and investments; risk level and insurance; social responsibility and sustainability; legal status and reputation — all these additional criteria will help you conduct a more in-depth analysis and make an informed decision when choosing a partner based on a confirmation statement.

In conclusion,

Filling out confirmation statements is mandatory in the UK in order to conduct any kind of business, including dormant and non-trading companies. If you are a non-resident looking to register an LTD or umbrella-firm in the UK, consider using services like The Hoxton Mix. In addition to reporting to the authorities, the annual return helps future partners find each other. Thanks to the ability to find and interpret CS information, entrepreneurs can always find trustworthy partners while minimizing the damage caused by risks. Platforms like Endole and DueDil help you to analyze the major indicators such as SIC codes, registered office addresses, persons with significant control, share capital, trading status, and audit exemptions in the most efficient way. Using issues like compatibility, competence, and trust, enterprises can make correct decisions and create a win-win situation.

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