How to find a director of a company

In business, it’s important to recognise who the big players are if you’re eager to learn more about a business you can learn a lot from their top dogs.

Directors will establish the company’s ethics, culture and morals and a lot of the time they will be heavily involved in the operations and financial side of the business as well so running a director search could help your due diligence into a business before you trade with them.

In this article, we are going to teach you how to find a director of a company whether you want the basics, all the story, or just some personal tidbits about the person in question.

Although finding a director of a company can sometimes be as easy as a quick Google search, there are some other speedy methods to determine who is running the show. 

Chapter 1

Companies House

If you’re trying to find a director of a UK company, a Companies House director search is an easy way to find out who is in charge. You simply need the name of the company and it will show you all the current and previous directors that the company has listed. 

 

Pros

It is a quick and accurate way of finding out who is listed as the company director. You can also view previous directors which may help you work out if the company is constantly changing hands (which can be a bad sign). 

 

Cons

This is fine if you just want to know how to find a director or a company. However, this is about all the information you will get. You can find out when they were appointed and therefore how long they have been a director, but not how the company has been performing since they took over.

Chapter 1

Credit Reports

Credit reports can help connect the dots between the director and how the company is performing. Like Companies House, Creditsafe can provide key director information such as when current and past directors were appointed, but can also show you how many companies (successful or failed) this director has been a part of. Also, it can show you the full financial history of the company so you can see if this has changed since a particular director got involved.

 

Pros

A credit report gives a comprehensive overview of how the company is performing, and under whose directorship. You can check this for the current state of the company, but also throughout its history.

A credit report gives you all the important company information including other members of the board, and all financial events such as if they are filing their accounts on time. 

This is more than just who is the director of a company, it can let you know how this director is doing. This is valuable information if you're wondering whether to go into business with someone. 

 

Cons

If you’re only looking for a director of a company as a one-off, this is more information than you need. For instance, if you’re just checking who the director is for a company as you are applying for a job there, then you aren’t necessarily interested in all the information about the company as a whole. 

Chapter 1

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used for professional networking and it’s often where you can get further insights about the professional life of a director or employee of a company. If the person you are trying to find has an account, this can give you interesting information regarding their career history.

However, bear in mind that LinkedIn allows you to see who has been you looking up so if you’re just trying to have a cheeky snoop, they may have this feature and know that! 

 

Pros

You can often find the director of a company by searching “COMPANY director / CEO”. If this person has an account, they will have often listed their previous employers or other companies they have directed. It can give a more personal insight to a director such as where they have studied and show some of the other people they work with via their “connections”. They may also have feedback from other colleagues about how they perform in a professional setting. 

 

Cons

Not everyone is on LinkedIn, and if they are they have either written their own Bios or had someone write it for them. This means what they have written may be quite bias, or even inaccurate. Take LinkedIn with a pinch of salt, this is more of what a director would want you to see, rather than the key facts listed within a Credit Report.

Also, note that although this is a method of how to find a director of a company, it is not taken from any official sources.

If you want the most valuable information about companies, including director searches, you will benefit from Creditsafe Credit Reports. Check directors online instantly using our free report trial.

Chapter 1

What else can credit reports teach you about directors?

Size matters in business

There is a definitive link between a company and its directors. Small to medium-sized companies are likely to have 1-3 directors, whereas larger businesses often have a board of directors than run the operations of the company. Be wary of any companies which deviate too far from the norm here. Yes, electing more directors brings in more expertise, but having too many directors in a small company can slow down decision making as well. On the other hand, larger companies bring about greater complexity, so they’ll need the extra expertise and diverse experience of a larger board.

 

Are they in for the long haul?

When conducting a director search, it’s worth checking how long the director has been at the company. If there is a high turnover of directors, it could mean something is going on within the company that could affect its future stability and performance. The problems could be that the directors aren’t getting on, or the business plan keeps changing or is unstable. It could be that the organisation of the business is failing, employees aren’t agreeing with the leadership tactics or even something like a director has more on his or her plate than they should. For a company with a high turnover of directors, there is always a reason for it. Look for trends within the search that could pinpoint the reason.

 

How are they performing?

It is vital to follow the performance of the company while they have been a director, and not just taking a current snapshot. Check the company’s credit rating when certain directors joined, did they go up or down? Are the directors having a positive impact on the business or are they dragging it down? Look for other links in a company credit report too. If the company has any bad debts, CCJs, etc. always check when they were issued and who was directing the company at the time.

It’s equally important to know if a director has a lot of current directorships, as the amount of time and effort he or she invests in his or her companies could be questionable. If that is the case, it’s worth asking who you will be dealing with regularly and who is running the operations and finances of the company so you can form a relationship with them on a personal level.

 

An insight into the past

A director search can show you all the past and present appointments a director has, and it can even link you to their other companies. If a director has a long list of previous directorships, it’s worth checking the companies out to see what went wrong and how long they remained active. Be especially cautious if a director has managed a lot of companies that have failed. A director that has been involved in a failed business in the last 3 years is 9 times more likely to fail again, compared to a director who has never failed. Likewise, if the director has a reputation for taking start-ups and turning them into powerhouse companies, this will show on his or her report.

 

Be aware of disqualified directors

A quick director search can also reveal any criminal activity or disqualification. Not only can you verify if your director is who they say they are by proof of address and date of birth; if they have been disqualified it will show up on their director search. It is illegal to deal with a director who has been disqualified so always double-check they are legit.

Understanding the whole picture when it comes to vetting a potential new customer is important. You may be familiar with the company, but knowing who is running the shop behind the scenes is equally important. 

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