So, you’re thinking of starting your own small business and building your home office. First thing’s first: what type of business structure are you envisioning: a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or a limited liability corporation (LLC)? If you decide to set up a business together with other people, how do you ensure the credibility, trustworthiness, and financial capability of all parties involved?
Before signing the dotted line on any business agreement or contract with a partner or a shareholder, know that there are ways to ensure you’re entering into an enterprise with legitimate—and transparent—individuals. One of them is using the services of a background profile website.
You need to make sure what to look out for if you want to effectively and efficiently use a background profile website and tap its full services. Some of the most essential areas to focus on include the following:
Academic Records and Education Verification
Academic records and education data are important if you’re going to start a business that relies on academic and professional requirements or certifications, such as law or architectural firms, hospitals, and consultancy offices, among others.
It’s not uncommon for individuals to inappropriately exaggerate their CVs or misrepresent their qualifications. Requesting a background check on a person’s academic records ensures an individual has the training and certifications required for any particular position being sought.
Bankruptcy, negative credit history, tax liens, and other financial issues are red flags that, when encountered, require additional scrutiny. This should not be taken for granted even if your partners won’t financially subsidize your business venture, as there can be the real possibility of embezzlement from your business to fix these problems.
Take note, however, that any background check performed on any individual’s credit report can be done only for permissible purposes under the regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
Running a business requires time, energy, and focus; thus, your partners should be free from personal issues and other similar distractions. They should be aware of their role in the company and be fully committed to the business, especially if it’s a start-up; otherwise, you’ll find yourself taking up most of the slack in the long run.
Negative publicity, ongoing litigation, or possible ethical matters may mean that your potential partner has trust issues that can be detrimental to your company. In addition to this, any individual who falsifies academic records, references, and employment information obviously is dishonest. Furthermore, an unethical business partner tends to steal clients or ideas from your company. What’s worse, he may even drag your business into legal troubles.
Partnering with an individual who has been charged with felony, misdemeanor, and other crimes is risky because your company can be affected by the obvious negative implications that may arise because of them.
Laws on investigation into an individual’s criminal history vary from state to state; as such, it’s best to consult with a legal expert about exploring an individual’s possible criminal record.
Under the law, employers or partners cannot discriminate employees or partners due to their physical or mental impairment. Meanwhile, most states protect the confidentiality of an individual’s medical or hospital records. However, you can inquire about a person’s ability to perform a certain job or duty. Also, it is important to consider that some states have stricter medical confidentiality laws, and it is best to consult with a legal expert if you wish to explore this particular matter.
Workers’ Compensation Records
In general, worker’s compensation appeals are considered matters of public record; therefore, information from them may be used during a hiring decision if it can be concluded that a potential partner’s injury might interfere with his ability to perform certain tasks or duties.
When it comes to starting a business partnership, nothing is more important than choosing the right partners who will share business responsibilities with you rather than become a liability. That said, precautionary measures such a performing background checks can protect your company against business risks.