We run searches on franchisees, to test if they have set up another business that is in breach of their franchise agreement.
If the client can give provide us the accountant of each franchisee, where it is known to them, it will significantly increase transparency. For example, all limited companies with a registered office at the address of the accountant, irrespective of the names of the directors, will be visible along with other trading entities such as partnerships and sole trading styles.
Initially, we will run searches on the details of the individual – both at the home and business addresses – through a compilation database. We will also search against the accountants' address, so as to cross–reference any companies discovered at these addresses against each other. Each database of this type which we hold relates to a specific year. We will run all these searches for the current year, and for the previous two years, to expose any evolution of companies over that time.
Searches against the postcodes will give us some of those companies at these addresses, whether or not they are limited.
From another database, we can establish all telephone lines listed with directory enquiries at the addresses. This means that, without knowing the name of a rogue company at the outset, this check provides all trading and individuals' names with listed telephone numbers – if there are any at the address under scrutiny.
County Court Judgments as well as credit applications made in the names of individuals will be visible to us. All credit applications, made in the names of all individuals and trading entities (such as for a mobile telephone or a bank account), will show – and the names of any joint applicants for that credit. Where suspicion is raised, these parties can be searched in their own right; with a view to establishing a trade telephone line for them.
Where there is suspicion of unauthorised trading, unearthed from any of the above, we could also make an approach to the target by telephone. This is designed to expose such unauthorized trading. Approaches are tailored both to each franchise type, and to the sort of unauthorised activity suggested by our findings up to that point. Typically, this could involve having details sent out by them of their goods or services, or some other indication of the nature and the extent of their trade.