Having an Identity Crises?

When you set out to research a person’s life and affairs you are faced with some formidable obstacles. The real work begins with identifying the subject of your research.

You will encounter problems with aliases, middle names, nick names, and generational designators. You will have to deal with maiden names, and name changes, legal or otherwise. You must also actively look for alternate names while conducting your research.

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Six Reasons You Can’t Find a Company

1. You’re looking in the wrong place.
You might be looking in the wrong province, state or country. Check for spelling variations such as the English as opposed to US spellings of words like centre and colour.

Check the suffix. Is it Ltd., PLC, GmbH, AG, Spa, Nv or something else. This may tell you the country in which it was incorporated.

2. You have the wrong name.
Companies often do business under assumed names. This can be the initials or an entirely different name. Look for the company by first looking for the assumed business name.

3. You have the brand name not the company name.
Check the trademark databases, Thomas Register, Gale’s Brands and Their Companies and International Brands and Their Companies.

4. You have the wrong spelling.
Try structural variations–one word or two, hyphens, slashes, numbers? Also try different phonetic spellings.

5. The company doesn’t exist any more.
Companies change names, amalgamate, dissolve, and declare bankruptcy. Check sources like old NUANS microfiches, the Financial Post Survey of Predecessor and Defunct Companies, Directory of Obsolete Securities, Capital Changes Reporter, and old Moodys Manuals and other directories of defunct companies.

6. It’s not an incorporated business.
If there is no suffix it may not be an incorporated form of business such as a proprietorship or partnership.