Establishing Information from Abroad – Case Study

A client approached us wanting to collaborate with a company from Estonia. He requested to check basic information about the mentioned company. He was primarily interested in whether the company actually exists and if it does what it claims to do, as well as its financial situation. The client was interested not only in financial reports but also in information about debt and potential corruption scandals.

Estonia – Leader in Digital Transformation

Estonians have focused on the Internet and education, which has resulted in having the most economically valuable companies after 30 years. Thanks to the system and the use of the Internet and modern technologies, their development is continuous. The Republic of Estonia is the most digitally advanced country in the world, offering its citizens public services that are 99 percent digitized. A high level of citizen trust in the government, one of the highest among EU countries, fosters the dynamic growth of startups, especially in the IT sector. Estonia has the highest number of startups per capita in Europe, contributing to its nickname as the Baltic Silicon Valley. Stable tax laws and the world’s most extensive range of e-services create favorable conditions for business development.

Methods of Company Verification

Therefore, checking an Estonian company is not a difficult task, but it requires a multifaceted and meticulous approach. Company registers in Estonia are publicly available, and switching to an Estonian VPN helps in searching them. There are several Estonian portals that provide information about businesses and companies registered in the country. Each of these portals offers a wide range of information, with the additional advantage of English language versions.

Obtained Information

Extracts from the Estonian company register contain practically all the necessary information. We managed to find basic company data, such as registration date, VAT numbers, bank account numbers, and information about key persons. Going deeper, we checked the company’s history, including transformations, name changes, and business profiles. We also analyzed financial reports that were regularly published. The data showed that the company’s activities bring profits. These reports provide a lot of useful information about the company’s financial situation.

The portals we used for information also provide data on the number of employees and the average salary of workers. Additionally, you can find information on the amount of taxes paid by the company and any payment arrears, for example, to suppliers.

Information about Real Estate and Court Cases

Estonian portals also provide information about real estate owned by the company and all court or bailiff cases related to the company’s activities. You can find the history of bailiff proceedings, consumer dispute decisions, and payment orders. Financial forecasts for the next year, generated based on the current company situation, are also available, along with collected media reports about the company and key persons. For a comprehensive presentation of the company, media research and verification of reports from various sources are also necessary.

Verification of Information

All information found on Estonian portals must be verified using various sources. You cannot rely on just one portal, as it may contain erroneous data. Comparing information from several sources, finding discrepancies, and explaining them are very important elements of any investigation. We cannot provide the client with information without ensuring that it is true and confirmed.

Additional Verification Steps

As can be seen, the data from the portals are very extensive and answer many client questions. However, they do not answer one question – whether the company actually does what it claims to do. Therefore, having broad contacts worldwide is very important. To check what the company’s activities actually look like, we asked our contact in Estonia for help. A friendly detective went on-site to see everything firsthand. Additionally, he took some photos for us, which served as additional evidence, answering the client’s question.

Summary

We checked the Estonian company for our client, analyzing its existence, activities, and financial situation. We used Estonian registry portals, which provided detailed information such as registration, financial, employment, real estate, and legal data. All data was verified from various sources. To confirm the company’s actual activities, our detective in Estonia conducted an on-site visit and provided evidence in the form of photos. The verification confirmed that the company operates according to its declarations, meeting the client’s requirements.

Author: Piotr Dobosz

*Due to respect and the safety of our clients, all sensitive data has been anonymized for publication.

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