How do I validate a businesses identity?


I'm developing a website that allows businesses to register. Any ideas how to automate the validation process of the business? For example, to identify an individual you could use a credit card (not 100% accurate but close).

Business Services Validation

asked Nov 23 '11 at 13:11
Paul Riker
6 points

4 Answers


You're just going to have to take their word for it, or check manually, because there's no good way to automate this.

Here is a list of every country/state/province's business registry websites, which is the best way to manually verify a company exists: I received so much spam after starting my business, I figured there must be some kind of API that spammers are using to get business information, but I've been unable to find such a service. I suspect the information is being scraped from the websites listed in the link above.

Interesting: The USPS has an Address Validation API. Which, admittedly, doesn't really solve your problem either, but might be tangentially helpful.

answered Jan 24 '12 at 10:28
Sean Moubry
208 points


An additional approach could be to check information against an information provider such as
Experian services [1], for instance you could query the credit ranking score and credit summary or something similar.

I have experience with integration with credit card check services and those integrate easily with standard protocols (we used SOAP). Once a customer is connected to our site, we do a background check against Experian database to prevent fraud.

You might contact them for additional information on your specific needs from a business.

[1]Example of Business check, you can freely check if the company is registered

answered Jan 24 '12 at 11:45
532 points


  1. Check the land line telephone number with the provider. Generally land line telephones cannot be transferred easily where as mobile phones can.
  2. A private detective agency might be helpful as well but may be a little expensive
answered Jan 24 '12 at 12:22
159 points


Something that we have considered doing is verifying the essential business information, such as address with the state that they are doing business in, and then send them a physical letter with an online verification code.

It takes a small amount of human interaction, and costs about $1 for the letter, but that cost is worth it to us.

answered Jan 24 '12 at 12:45
Jeff S
374 points

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Business Services Validation