Frequently Asked Questions about checkSURE's Director Reports.
1. “Why is my personal information available from your website?”
You may consider the information ‘personal’ but, in fact, the details we show of current and past UK directors/company secretaries of a UK company are a matter of public record. checkSURE is a business information service. The data we show is nothing more or less than that which people have chosen to file at Companies House as officers of UK companies, together with the credit scores of the companies which they are directors/company secretaries. checkSURE serves the public by allowing people – customers, suppliers, partners of UK Companies to access UK company information and director data in a convenient report format.
2. Are you registered under the UK data protection Act? What are your responsibilities?
Yes. "checkSURE" is a trading brand of Equity For Growth (Securities) Limited. Equity For Growth (Securities) Limited is registered under the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (Number Z2932826) since we collect limited personal information from customers who purchase company, business and director reports from us. However, our purchasing process only requires an email address, name, telephone number (for fraud checking) and (optional) company name. We never make this data public as this data is not public record information. We collect neither snail mail addresses nor credit card details. These are collected for processing by the WorldPay system which processes credit and debit card payments on our behalf. For the data that we collect from people who register with checkSURE as Users and Customers, we follow the Data Protection Good Practice Note on Collecting Personal Information Using Websites issued by the UK Information Commissioners Office. (See here).
IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE: Equity For Growth (Securities) Limited does not itself collect the core information from individuals or Companies relating to their statutory filings in the UK that we sell through the innovative software available on this website. We are not the UK Registrar for UK Companies and Directors. This is the role of Companies House in the UK. This government agency collects and maintains this data. Updates to the core data are made to our database nightly. Whilst we can help our customers by highlighting any mistakes that may have been made elsewhere with their data all changes or deletions must be recorded at Companies House.
3. “Why do you display my UK company director details in an A-Z directory?”
The A-Z listing of UK company directors is an important part of our efforts to serve the public by allowing them to search for directors who seek to hide themselves by 'innocently' mis-spelling their name(s) (e.g. spelling “Alan Smith” as “Alan Smithh” and claiming it as a typo when challenged). The correct spelling of names is one critical way in which Companies House links the activities of “serial directors”. This is important, since both you, and millions of other UK directors, are claiming the benefits afforded you by limited liability in conducting business. Searching for the data is a necessary component of delivering this service. In order to facilitate director identification through search, we show a minimal amount of information through our A-Z Director Listing.
4. “Why have you posted information about me on Google without my permission?”
How any search engine chooses to rank the data in our A-Z is not within our control. However, as mentioned above the data relating to directorships/company secretarials is public record information. We have no obligation under the data protection regulations to seek your permission to provide this public record information to our customers and do not do so. We will usually remove data from our A-Z listing if asked to if you have no current directorships. But this is nearly always debated inside checkSURE’s office whether we should do so since the whole point of being able to track director information is to see where directors are active going forward. In any case, our A-Z listing only shows a minimal amount of information relating to directors. Enough, we hope, to enable people to search the checkSURE database and buy the correct report. We never change data that originates from Companies House, so will not delete records from our database.
5. "What gives you the right to display my personal credit score on your Directors' Reports?"
Nothing - because we don't. We don't hold 'personal data' on you on our database - only that which you have filed in connection with your director and company activities. For clarification, we certainly do not buy any information from companies that are known as 'credit reference agencies' for individuals. As a result, we do not provide personal credit checks. Any credit scores we show are company commercial credit scores even those on director reports. You can read more about how this commercial credit score is derived by clicking on the 'credit score' link on the checkSURE Home Page.
6. “How can I have my details removed, amended or deleted from your database?”
Firstly, please remember that the principal data variables, names, addresses, birthdates, company names are not generated by checkSURE. These variables emanate from the public record information held at Companies House.†In our experience it is very difficult (if not impossible) to delete information from Companies House.† In fact, their public records go back many years and list people long dead! However, if you are a company director who wants to change your actual address details, you can now register a service address at Companies House by completing:
- Companies House Form CH01 if you are a Director,
- CH02 if you are a Corporate Director,
- CH03 if you are a Company Secretary or
- CH04 if you are a Corporate Secretary.
7. I have changed my address to a service address at Companies House, why is this not showing on your site?
As this facility has only been available since 1st October 2009, and thousands of directors are changing their details, it will take slightly longer than normal for these updated addresses to show on the checkSURE system. Please allow 15 working days for the change to come take effect. If your entry has not changed after this time simply email email@example.com and include a link to your entry on our database in the message.
8. "What is checkSURE's view of the use of 'service addresses' for directors as allowed by the new Companies Act?"
It's a topsy turvey world! As the country was enraged by the lack of transparency surrounding MP's expenses, the Companies Act 2006 makes the trading activities of UK company directors less transparent. It also makes the information available from Companies House less effective as the registrar of UK Companies. For one thing, the new Companies Act now allows UK company directors to use a 'Service Address', keeping their residential address private. So now not only do directors get the benefits of trading with limited liability but also get to hide behind a 'service address'.
One of the main reasons why people decide to form a limited company is the benefit of having limited liability. This means that directors' personal property is legally separate from the company's assets, as the company is a separate legal entity. In the event that the company was unable to pay its debts, directors' personal property would not usually be at risk. When operating as a sole trader however, individuals have unlimited liability and risk losing personal assets, such as homes, cars and other property if things go wrong. There have long been discussions about whether this form of limited liability protection encourages people to take undue risks without the corresponding levels of responsibility. But overall, checkSURE is the world's greatest fan of the limited liability company - believing it to be one of the greatest innovations (along with property rights) driving the free market system that generates worldwide prosperity.
Unfortunately, as a reaction to the animal rights activists who harassed directors of companies carrying out scientific research, the recent legislation on director service addresses is a retrograde step - a protection too far for those also benefiting from the protection of limited liability. Directors under this sort of scrutiny could already seek a confidentiality order that their address should not be available for public inspection. A confidentiality order would only be given in limited circumstances. The director or secretary would have to satisfy the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry that the public availability of his address was likely to create a serious risk that he, or a person who lived with him, would be subjected to violence or intimidation. This is entirely reasonable.
Now the same companies offering service addresses for companies are offering the same service for ALL directors addresses... this means that the only public addresses potential suppliers and customers may see is the same one for everything associated with the company. In fact, it is theoretically possible that every company and director in the UK could end up being registered at the same service address! A recent edition of the BBC's 'You and Yours' highlighted the problem of company service addresses, where several companies using 145-157 St John Street, London as a registered office address were found to be 'Boiler Room' frauds. This is the home of a 'serviced address' company that is now actively encouraging UK directors to use (for a fee of course) the St. John Street address as their own for the purposes of their directorships.
All this means that it is up to suppliers and customers of UK companies to do more even more checking. If they see that the director and company service address are the same, ask for more information from a company. If trading with small or medium size companies don't be afraid to ask for more information on the directors' residence or where the company actually trades from in reality - rather than as a paid for postal address. Credit reports can only offer so much comfort for these types of businesses and the risk of trading with them is greater than with larger enterprises.
9. “I have never been a UK Company Director or Company Secretary but find myself listed in your database. Why?”
Hm. Don’t be alarmed we are glad to be of service! For if this is the case you are likely to be a victim of fraud where someone has used your identity to set up a company. Good thing you were able to find it through checkSURE’s efforts to make this data more readily accessible. We will try to help. Please identify the search return by copying and pasting the offending entry, in an email to customer.services@checkSURE .biz so that we can investigate precisely the record in question. We will then get back to you.
10. “How can I find out what data you hold on me as a company director?”
Unless you are a victim of fraud you should already know about the data that checkSURE holds on its database about your activities as a UK company officer or secretary as this data would have been submitted to Companies House with your approval. However, you can buy a directors report on yourself for £10.95 plus VAT with a credit card and see the data that checkSURE has on you in this capacity immediately. Alternatively, please send a cheque for £10 and a self-addressed envelope to checkSURE, 2nd Floor Suite, 30 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1JJ. England and we will send you a printed copy of the requested report.