You’ve probably heard it before, but in the business world, information is power. The more you know about competitors, potential acquisition targets, or partner companies, the more you can plan your moves and position yourself to succeed. That’s why it pays to have company search tools at your fingertips, whenever you need them. If you aren’t a regular user of these tools, there are plenty of reasons to start doing so.

Firstly, company searches allow businesses to penetrate beyond surface appearances, and really get to know what lies beneath marketing information and corporate websites. When you carry out in-depth searches, you can uncover who owns each individual company and who serves on their board of directors. That way, you can trace links between different companies, and these links can be very useful, For instance, you may find that the same people own multiple properties on a single block, helping you devise an acquisition strategy. Or vendors pushing certain products could be staffed by officers from a company you’ve already worked with and found wanting. If you know who is trying to sell you something, you can work out whether they are trustworthy or whether they have ulterior motives.

Searching for company information can also make it easier to work across borders. The modern marketplace is inescapably global. Sooner or later any expanding company will need to sell across borders or source products and services from other regions of the world. But doing so can be problematic. When you move from working with local partners and competitors to functioning in a global market, it’s easy to lose focus or choose partners poorly. This can lead to slow or inefficient expansion to markets like China or Brazil and, at worst, it can lead to fraud and major financial losses. The best way to combat this information deficit is to use company search tools to research your suppliers, partners and clients. You can check legal documents in multiple languages to find out whether they are who they claim to be. And you can track long-term accounts to carry out due dilligence to ensure that they are legitimate operators. With that information, companies can expand with confidence and minimise the risk of unpleasant surprises. And all it takes is a simple international search of the relevant publicly accessible documents.

Company searches can also help businesses with less glamorous tasks. When you compare the operations of competitors in depth, you may well find that they use methods and structures that differ from your own. A search can discover whether rivals have specific roles which you lack, and suggest ways to reform the way you work. Searching overseas registries can also help you understand the company formation process. As this varies between jurisdictions, the exact mix of documents and processes will differ. By searching for similar companies elsewhere in the world, you can pinpoint actions to take and legal documents to obtain, minimising the risk of costly omissions.

All of these reasons make company searching an invaluable tool. Using accurate, up to date search tools can help to streamline your business methods, gain competitive advantages, and expand into new regions. So don’t lose out, and don’t lack key data. Be informed and ready to act by factoring research into everything you do.