There are a number of circumstances in which knowing when a business opened is important. Perhaps you are doing market research on competitors and want to know how long it took them to become solvent. Maybe you want to know that a company has been in business for a certain number of years before trusting your project to it. You might also wish to know just for the sake of curiosity.
How to Find out When a Business Opened
There are a few different ways to find out when a business opened. There are a variety of free resources available to look up information on businesses. In addition, there are a number of paid options available.
Thankfully, many business records are public knowledge and are therefore easily obtained for free via internet searches, state or city records and a business’s website. While some people and companies can do this research for you in exchange for a fee, typically, all you need to have is the time set aside to do your research.
Checking With the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent resource when you want information on companies. Not only is it one of the largest business databases in the world, but the interface is easy to operate and is not located behind any paywalls.
Better Business Bureau Search Example
For example, say that you want to look up pizza places in your area. You simply type “pizza” in the “find” field and your location in the “near” field. This will populate a list of all the pizza locations near your area and give you a rating for them. When you are looking at ratings on the BBB website, A+ is the best score that a company can get.
You will also be able to see if they are BBB accredited. While companies have to submit requirements to be considered for accreditation, seeing that they are means that they went the extra mile. Quoting directly from the BBB, “Select businesses earn BBB Accreditation by undergoing a thorough evaluation and upholding the BBB Accreditation Standards.”
Clicking on the name of the business will allow you to get a more in-depth view. This page offers you the ability to see customer ratings, complaints to the BBB for that business and an assortment of other pertinent information such as when the business was opened and how many years it has been in business.
Searching State Databases
Every state keeps a record of all businesses that are active in that state. Typically, these databases are a one stop shop for all your business needs. This includes filing information, fees and listings of active businesses.
Typically, clicking “search records” will bring you to a page with the ability to do a further search. State websites are not usually laid out as easily as the BBB, but all the information that you find there should be free.
Company Website Searches
Consumer trust and satisfaction are the cornerstones of staying in business regardless of your industry. Many businesses that have been open for more than a few years proudly state that on their websites. Also, scrolling down to the bottom of a business’s webpage can bring you to a link map and helpful contact information.
Paid Search Options
If you are wondering_, “How do I find information on a business?” or “How do I check a company’s reputation?_” and if you want to see a more in-depth picture of a business, you can turn to third-party sites such as Manta and Hoovers.
These companies act as aggregates, and they compile information on businesses from a variety of sources. To gain access to their information, you can purchase individual reports as you need them, or you can get a subscription that grants you special access.
- Consider all the different ways the business name can be spelled before giving up on your search. Spelling and abbreviations can vary from database to database.
- Businesses that have start dates not recorded in current records may require further digging. Pinpointing a city, state, owner's name or industry can give your research efforts a place to begin. Announcements for a business opening can be found in older newspapers for a particular city -- check with a local library reference desk. Industry associations may have knowledge about older businesses or know of historians that can provide further information.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com) and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.