OpenCorporates offers over 180 million company records. For free.

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Businesses, enterprises, and the people associated with them are vitally important in our professional lives. Whether we create connections as entrepreneurs or business owners, become employees, or conduct analysis within a competitive environment, we always need to know who we are dealing with. Competitive intelligence database systems can help us with this.

In this digitisation and post-information age, the acquisition of this kind of business information has become much easier. For example, there are global database vendors that provide detailed financial and credit information; we might mention Dun & Bradstreet, Bureau Van Dijk or Genios here. We will definitely discuss each of these companies in other articles on business information, however, today’s topic is dedicated to the availability of this information within open data.

We can define the principle of open data as access to a certain type of data without restrictions, and as the possibility of using it (often also in a commercial context). As far as business information is concerned, the OpenCorporates project is definitely one of the leaders.

Company register aggregator

This British project was created in 2010 with three million records, but today you can search in a dataset that has over 180 million entities. This is a number, which, in terms of openness, clearly shows the uniqueness of the whole project. Furthermore, the founders say that their primary purpose is the public interest, then profit, which is why searching this database is completely free. What’s more if you’re from an academic or government institution, or a non-profit, you can apply for the entire dataset for your projects.

OpenCorporates currently harvests data from 139 business registers.

Filtering:

  • Jurisdiction
  • Company register
  • No. of indexed companies
  • No. of persons
  • Openness score
  • AML Index

OpenCorporates Search Possibilities

In its basic mode, you can obtain information on two levels: by company name, or by the name of a person in the legal entity. You can then use the advanced search option to refine your query according to several criteria:

Search by name, alternative name, identification number, alternative identification number, registered address.
Search for companies that have the desired word only at the beginning of their name.
Include branch offices in the search.
Search by non-profit organization status.

LEI identifiers

OpenCorporates is also behind the disclosure of the OpenLEIs database, in which entities can be searched on the basis of a unique Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). This primarily serves as a unique identifier for the company, especially within financial markets. Currently, the system offers over one and half million records. For Czech companies, the system indexes data from the Central Securities Depository, a.s.

Public notice search system

A unique part of OpenCorporates is also the OpenGazettes system, which now makes available over 14.5 million official records linked to company records. The following jurisdictions are now available (record counts are in parentheses):

Luxembourg
France
United Kingdom
Spain
Switzerland
Ireland
Cayman Islands

Start your company search here.

Photo by KamiPhuc