Company Director Check (http://company-director-check.co.uk/) is a sister database to Company Check (http://companycheck.co.uk/), which I reviewed earlier this year (http://www.rba.co.uk/wordpress/2011/01/10/free-uk-company-information/). It provides free access to information on current and past directors of UK companies that until now has only been available for a fee. Director searches can unearth links between apparently unrelated companies and help you identify “families” or groups of companies. It can also bring to light interesting patterns of behaviour. For example, I carried out a search on a director whose business activities had aroused my suspicions. I knew he had run companies in the past that had been dissolved and his most recent venture had gone into liquidation. Looking at the list of companies of which he had been director it became clear that 6-8 weeks before a company was dissolved or went under he would set up a completely new company. This had happened so often that it was not just me who had begun to smell a rather large rodent. I understand that he is “currently under investigation”!
If you are viewing a company in Company Check click on the director’s name and you are taken straight to their record in Director Check. Alternatively just run a search on the person’s name in Director Check. A list of possible matches will be presented to you, which you can refine by entering a postcode. Alternatively just work through the list until you are certain that you have found the correct person. Do not be surprised if you find a director has multiple IDs. There is nothing “dodgy” about this, it just reflects the way the system has evolved over the years. Companies House have carried out a massive exercise to try and fix this but there are still some multiple IDs in the database.
The information that is provided includes full name, short name, month and year of birth, address and past and present directorships.
The status of each directorship – active, dissolved, resigned – is displayed followed by a summary of each of the companies. More detailed information on the individual companies can be found on the Company Check web site.
Now that so much directorship information is freely available it will be interesting to see if more directors make use of the option to provide a service rather than their home address for the public record.
Definitely one to add to your business research toolkit.