By Natalia Ros
With the multitude of corporate scandals in the recent years, more and more business’ join the ranks of the untrusted. News headlines seem to be everywhere and must have caused the companies’ owners to gasp in horror at the truth of the fact that something unethical had become uncovered.
Unfortunately, bad reputation is easy to come, and trust is easy to lose.
Of course, drastic changes in the public perception of companies do not often happen overnight – they take time to build up. To ruin a company’s reputation, it would likely require something more serious than uncovering the secret agenda of a dishonest CEO or E-Coli in the ground beef on your supermarket’s shelves. More often than not, the deciding factor in how the company is perceived by the public and the consumers is how the company handles the situations that initially makes it into the headlines. Why? Because the way a company handles its slippages is indicative of the company’s underlying values, its philosophy and corporate social responsibility standards.
But once the reputation has gone underground, it will be hard to stop. News will not let go of it, word of mouth will quickly catch up, social media will spread the news all over the world, and the trust will be gone, taking with it the not-so-long-enjoyed balance in the supply and demand and the profitable bottom line.
But the truth of the matter is that inasmuch as bad reputation affects the company’s bottom line, a much worse effect may take the form of someone’s lives lost – the outcome that could be prevented have the companies had better quality standards or inspection practices.
What do we know about the companies that we hear in the news about other than what the news channels broadcast to us? Likely not much more than we are broadcasted to, and the information that leaves the news channel is not indicative of the company ownership, its legal status and any default notices that the company may have been issued.
Where do you find this information?
Each Jurisdiction in Canada maintains a database of corporate public records which are accessible by the public, often for a fee. An official public document called “Corporate Profile Report” can be ordered on any company in Canada which has been incorporated pursuant to Federal or Provincial legislation. Information on the “Corporate Profile Report” varies from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction, but in general will provide a full set of corporate information available to the public as per each Jurisdiction’s privacy laws.
The following table is a blueprint of what information “Corporate Profile Report” will provide for incorporated entities in each Canadian Jurisdiction.
Further, Corporations may own Trade Names – these are descriptive names different from the corporate name. Trade names are registered pursuant to different legislation and, when registered, may be used by companies for marketing and branding purposes. There is a similar report that can be obtained for a Trade Name called “Business Name Report” which is also available from the public record database. The information that you will find on “Business Name Report” for each business type is provided in the tables below.
Contact us to find out what else you can do in order to research a company’s information. Information about its bankruptcy status, any legal procedures it may be subject to, any real estate that it may own, etc. can be easily obtained.
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