In the age of the internet, it is incredible easy to find out information about the people and companies that we do business with. It has become common for businesses to conduct background checks on potential employees, but it is not necessarily common practice for a business to conduct routine background research on landlords, customers, and vendors. Employing such a practice could save you significant time and money down the road.
For example, even if you run a small business (with limited resources), if you are planning on signing a contract with a landlord to lease commercial office space, it may be worthwhile to run a public records search on the landlord before you sign on the dotted line. Public records searches are not overly costly or time consuming but they could reveal useful facts that may impact whether you enter into the lease. The search could reveal that your future landlord has been sued by other tenants for failing to maintain the building or that the landlord is currently being foreclosed upon by its bank.
Similarly, if you land a new client, it may be helpful to conduct some brief research on the client to ensure that you know who you are doing business with. Such research could reveal whether the client is being sued by other companies for non-payment, whether the company even exists (and, if so, whether it is registered to conduct business in your state), and whether the company (or the principal of the company) has recently declared bankruptcy.
The failure to perform basic, inexpensive background research on your company’s landlords, customers, vendors and employees could result in your company being dragged into a lawsuit that could have been completely avoided from the outset.
Spector & Ehrenworth, P.C. has extensive experience advising businesses how respond to (and potentially avoid) business disputes. Attorneys at the firm would be happy to discuss with you the specifics of your company and/or business dispute. To schedule an appointment to speak with a business attorney, call (973) 845-6525 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.