Up-to-date business credit reports and exclusive D&B scores, whenever you need them. DNBi Professional demystifies credit reports and walks you through the evaluation process so you can easily make - and document - confident credit decisions.
Business directory to 401k rollover information and advice.www.business.com/finance/401k-rollover/
Retirement industry advisers and consultants.www.business.com/finance/retirement-consultants/
Companies that provide retirement plan benefits, including 401k plans and pensions. Get information on corporate retirement plans, or how to offer retirement benefits for employees.www.business.com/finance/retirement-plans/
401(k) plans allow employees to save for their retirement by contributing a portion of their wages to an individual account. Employers can also contribute to 401(k) plans in the form of employee benefits; be sure your 401(k) vendor can manage your employees’ investments wisely.www.business.com/finance/401k/
Learning about 401(k) plans key terms is a good place to start if you're considering starting up a retirement fund for your employees. From automatic enrollment to matching, after-tax and pre-tax contributions, 401(k) plans have several terms you may want to know before beginning one of these programs. Read More »
The 401k plan grew from a little known tax code loophole--which is where the 401k name came from--to the most common way workers invest for their retirement. This industry possesses trillions of dollars in allocated 401k retirement plan contributions. Read More »
Credit information is collected on most American companies on an ongoing basis through a variety of means. Acquisitions, debt history, and borrowing practices are all filed away in central data pools that large financial institutions can access to determine whether or not your company will be eligible for venture capital. Credit reporting agencies are those central data pools: they collect and distribute financial data to institutions governing our financial life. (They’re not to be confused with credit bureaus, which collect data on individuals.) Let’s consider in more depth who they are, what they do, and why it matters to you.
Who They Are
Experian is the largest of these, a global enterprise headquartered in Dublin, Ireland that has branches in 36 countries, employs over 15,000 people, and whose revenues were $3.88 billion in 2010. 2011 revenues have been released and project a 9% increase, to $4.24 billion. It markets its products primarily to businesses, but also has ventures in the consumer market.
Founded in 1899, Equifax is the oldest of the three agencies, and carries information on over 400 million credit holders worldwide. It’s headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, had revenues of $1.89 billion in 2010, and operates in 14 countries.
Headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion is the third largest credit bureau in the US, and aggressively markets its credit reports directly to consumers.
What They Do
These three titans have enormous traction with your overall credit rating. They collect all manner of data on your company’s spending and borrowing habits, and process it into a central database that uses complex algorithms to determine your risk assessment – the linchpin of your borrowing power.
They then sell that information and its analysis to financial institutions looking to leverage their risk management advantage. They also sell the information back to you, so that you can monitor how and why your credit rating moves as it does.
Why It Matters
The information that allows lenders to determine the risk or reward of advancing you funds for a new venture is extremely valuable, both to you and to the companies buying it. (If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have billions of dollars in revenue.) Good risk assessment allows banks to minimize their losses and maximize their investment gains.
It also allows – or disallows – your company from making productive investment decisions. If you’re judged by the collected information to be too high of a risk, your company will be unable to invest in new properties, manpower, or other growth opportunities. It’s the lifeblood of your business potential, and it’s valuable to you indeed. Without a strong rating determined by these firms, you’re unlikely to achieve fiscal growth or even solvency.
Credit reporting agencies are extremely potent institutions in modern life, and the way they do business affects the character of yours. It’s a good idea to understand how they work, and to the degree that you can, to keep them on your side.
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