If you're thinking of doing business with a new company but would like to make sure they're reputable, help is available. Dun & Bradstreet and WinStar Telebase Inc. recently launched Biz@dvantage (http://www.bizadvantage.com), an online business information site that allows you to conduct company background checks before signing on the dotted line.
Three main reports are available on a pay-per-use basis: the D&B Payment Analysis Report ($45), which details a company's payment habits; the D&B Business Information Report ($62.50), which provides information on a company's history; and the D&B Supplier Evaluation Report ($85), which provides data to help evaluate suppliers.
"With our service, it's pay as you go," says Jeff Cutler, vice president of sales for WinStar Telebase. "There are no minimums, no setup fees and no training fees. It's a tremendous boon to have that kind of information available to a small business."
Once at the site, you can also obtain patent and trademark information, review journals and newsletters and search through a series of free resource guides.