Life is full of risks, and the business life is no exception. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate those risks.
If you look hard enough, you'll find a number of good sources of information, some available for a fee, that can provide valuable insight into a company's stability, creditworthiness, legal exposure and a wide variety of other helpful data.
The EDGAR database, available at www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm, is maintained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and contains volumes of information about public companies. Access to the information is free.
Dun & Bradstreet (www.dnb.com) offers reports and research services that can help business owners limit their risk. Cost is $23 to $105 for business credit reports, depending on the detail provided.
Primark (www.primark.com) provides financial information on U.S. and international companies, including extensive SEC filings.