Useful Resources For Financial & Corporate OSINT7th May 2019
I’ve come across a few useful resources for those interested in OSINT relating to businesses and corporations. Some are well known, some less so, but they’re all useful in their own way.
1. Companies House (UK)
Every single company in the UK has to register here. It contains names and addresses for company directors, business addresses, and lets you see the ownership history and other associated businesses of all UK company directors. Essential starting point for any kind of financial investigation.
2. Companies House Overseas Registry
Less well known than the main Companies House database, this directory lists similar business ownership registries across the world, including countries in the EU and a state-by-state guide for the USA.
3. Offshore Leaks Database
Remember the Panama Papers investigation? This database of leaked information contains details of previously-secret offshore trusts, tax havens, and those who run them. It makes it possible to identify the real people behind the complex and shadowy layers of business ownership and offshore funds.
4. Corporation Wiki
LinkedIn meets Maltego. CorporationWiki allows you to search for individuals and companies, and then uses its databases to visualise their networks. It’s more focused on the US and larger companies but it’s a really useful and well-supported tool. Some features require a (free) account while other “background reports” are simply redirections to existing databases like Whitepages.
In the EU every business from the smallest sole trader to the largest corporation has to register for VAT (Value Added Tax). This database allows you to conduct searches on individuals and businesses all across the EU. It pulls back useful extra information such as addresses, director names and current VAT status (e.g. active or ceased trading). It also allows you to search by address.
6. Companies In The UK
A HUGE resource for anyone investigating an Limited Company in the UK. It lists all publicly-available company information for thousands of businesses including directorships, addresses, mortgage and debt status. Some documents require a small fee to view but this website draws a lot of existing open source resources together in one place which makes building a picture of a company much quicker and easier.
The UK government makes thousands of database available to the public. Everything from school governorship records, to mapping, and food hygiene reports are included among many other things. This website is a reliable one-stop shop for publicly available data about individuals, businesses, and geographical locations. GetTheData doesn’t mine any information itself, but the fact that it queries UK government databases to provide its results means that it is possible to have a high level of confidence in the results.