How to determine if a company is genuine

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As many of us prepare for another year of doing business, we thought it appropriate to highlight an important aspect of doing and that is ensuring that the company your dealing with has good standing.

Many a times, we have fallen victim to individuals that represent themselves as directors of companies when in fact they have no authority whatsoever, let alone as legally appointed directors of the company.

Below is an outline of some of the areas you should look at when trying to find out whether the company is legitimate and the persons dealing with and making themselves out as directors are in fact directors of the company.

With the Investment Promotion Authority taking the company register online, this has made accessing information on companies easier.  You can access the register here: www.ipa.gov.pg.

If you want to find details of a company, the first thing you should do is access the online registry and conduct a search of the company by entering the company name or part of it or the company number if you know it.

Once the register returns with a list of the companies that matches your search query, click the company that matches your query.  If the company your looking for does not appear in the search registry, the other alternative is to type in a similar name and make sure your spelling is correct.

If you still don’t get any result that matches the company you’re after then it’s possible that the company is not registered or that the registry has not updated their records online. In this instance, it’s worth conducting a physical search of the register.  If you still don’t get any positive result from the physical search, then most likely the company does not exist and you should take caution in dealing with the individuals that represent themselves as being authorised by this “company”.

If you do get the name of the company your looking for in the online register, the next thing you should do is obtain an extract. An extract link should appear on the screen and by clicking it, the online facility will email you a copy.

What is the extract?

The extract is simply a summary of the most important information of the company. It includes, amongst other things, date of incorporation, the status of the company, details of directors, shares and shareholders.

Some company names are similar and it is important to check the spelling of the company. If the spelling is correct, the next thing to check is the “status” of the company.  The status will tell you whether the company is registered or not.  If it is registered, the status will read “REGISTERED” or similar. If the status does not say “Registered”, then you should take extra caution because if a company is not registered, it simply means the company does not exist, if it did exist before, it no longer does.

When a company is not registered, it is no longer a legal entity. This means, it has no right to enter into any business dealings. If you are dealing with a company that is not registered, you should seek independent legal advice or at the very least do not commit to any dealings with the individuals representing themselves on behalf of the company.

Aside from the status issue, it is also important to check the names of the directors and shareholders in the extract to see whether those you are dealing with that are representing themselves as directors or shareholders are in fact directors or shareholders as per the company extract.

These are just some of the points to look at when trying to make use of the online registry in your business dealings by checking details of companies and the people behind them. The great thing about the facility is that it doesn’t actually cost you any fees to conduct the search of the online register.  Furthermore, it only takes a few clicks to get the details you’re after.

Stay ahead of your business this year!

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