FAQ

1.       Who are Creditsafe?

a.       Creditsafe is Europe’s most used supplier of on-line company credit reports. Creditsafe supply business information to our customers to help them make better decisions, know who they are dealing with and protect their businesses from the threat of bad debt.  Founded in Norway in 1997 Creditsafe now has operations in eight European countries as well as the USA. By the end of 2013 we will have over 60,000 subscription customers and delivering over 50 million on-line reports a year.

b.      As well as Italy Creditsafe now has offices in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland

2.      What is the Creditsafe Risk Score?

a.       The Creditsafe Risk Score is a statistically based algorithmic model that helps businesses properly understand the risk and opportunity in trading with all current and prospective business partners. The Creditsafe Risk Score ranks the company on a scale of 1-100 predicting the likelihood of that company failing in the next 12 months with failure being defined as an organisation seeking relief from its creditors, ceasing to trade, or applying for bankruptcy protection.   The score is not a percentile score; each point between 1 and 100 has an associated probability of failure. To help understand the rating more clearly we group the Creditsafe Risk Rating into five broad categories:

3.       How do you calculate it?

a.       Creditsafe takes the widest range of factual data from the latest available sources and feeds it into our database where it is run through our proprietary model using advanced statistically modelling techniques. We identify all those businesses that failed during the previous 12 month period and compare them to the businesses that successfully continued their operations. We then use the latest statistical techniques to identify the key factors shared by those companies that failed. We then verify further refine this analysis using our commercial expertise and long experience of building rating models to highlight and identify those companies that are likely to fail. All these characteristics are weighted by their statistical significance and blended to create a highly predictive scorecard..

4.      What is the Creditsafe Credit Limit? And what is the Purchase limit?

a.       The Creditsafe Credit Limit is a recommendation of the total amount of credit that should be outstanding at any one time

b.      The Creditsafe Purchase Limit is a recommendation of the amount of credit for a single purchase contract.

5.       How do you calculate these limits?

a.       The Creditsafe Credit Limit is typically derived by assessing the strength of a business and commonly includes information gained from the following areas:

i.      Annual Accounts - based on financial values 

ii.      Demographics

iii.      Industry

6.      Where do you source your data?

a.       Creditsafe sources its company data in Italy from a number of primary sources including:- InfoCamere, the IT consortium of the Italian Chambers of Commerce, a technological structure that manages the central data storage and the data communication network interconnecting the Chamber system (105 Chambers of Commerce and 300 branch offices). Digital documents and application forms are secured with digital signatures and submitted for validation to the Chambers of commerce before they are eventually registered into the Business Register. Infocamere also collate the collection of protesti data with the officials responsible for collection (town clerks, notaries, Bank of Italy clearing houses) supplying information on-line to their ensuring that the process of supplying data for the national record archive is prompt and secure.  Creditsafe also enhances its products by verifying or adding fresher data collected either directly from customers (e.g. 3D Ledger/Payment Data) or from specialist suppliers (e.g. suppliers of contact information).

7.       How many companies in Italy do you have data on?

a.       We hold data on all businesses in Italy there are approximately 7 million registered companies, of which some 4.4m are non shareholding (non limited) companies and 2.6m are shareholding (limited) companies. Of the shareholding companies 1.3 million joint stock companies (“società di capitali”) and 1.3 million unlimited partnerships (“società di persone”). However not all registered companies are actually truly active. Approximately 950,000 joint-stock companies and 910,000 partnerships are registered as “active”.

8.      How many companies in Italy do you have financial data for?

a.     The following types of companies are compelled to submit financial statements with the Business Register: 

i.      Joint-stock company (SpA)

ii.     Company limited by shares (Sapa)

iii.    Limited Liability Company (Srl)

iv.    Cooperatives

v.     European Economic Interest Group (Geie)

vi.    Consortium companies

vii.    Consortia with external activity

viii.   Opera companies

ix.     Foreign companies with a branch in Italy

b.      Approximately 950,000 financial statements are filed each year with the Italian Business Register.

c.      Around 75% of all financial statements filed are “abridged” accounts which is more concise than the full financial statement. 

 The companies that are allowed to file abridged accounts are those which: 

 i.      have not issued securities traded on regulated markets;

 ii.      in the first year or, later, for two consecutive years, have not exceeded at least two of the following limits:

1.       Total assets on the balance sheet not exceeding € 4,400,000.00

2.      Revenues from sales and services not exceeding € 8,800,000.00

3.       Average number of employees during the financial year of not more than 50 

9.      When do companies file accounts?

a.       Financial statements must be filed with the Business Register no later than 30 days from the date of their approval by the shareholders' meeting which must be held within 120 days of the financial year end.  Companies required to file consolidated financial statements or in the presence of special needs regarding the structure or purpose of the company, may have a longer term than the ordinary one, not exceeding 180 days.

10.   How often is your data updated?

a.       As a rule, every change affecting the legal standing of a business (e.g. company name, legal form, registered office and local branches, type of activity, information on directors, auditors and owners of shares etc.) must be filed with the Business Register within 30 days. The Chamber of Commerce then has 5 days to complete the recording of the information in the Business Register. Creditsafe receives a daily update of this information and updates our databases accordingly.

b.      The Register of protesti is updated in real-time by public officers and Chambers of Commerce. The list of recent updates is checked every 15 days or every month

11.   What are Protesti?

a.       Protesti are the legal operation undertaken to enforce payment of a cheque, a bill of exchange or a promissory note (physical documents, signed by the debtor, who bring the commitment to pay a certain amount by a certain date). The creditor delivers the payment bill to a public officer (notary, town clerk) who ascertains the payment default and issues the enforcement order. Debtors who still don’t pay are then subject to a legal injunction. The Ministry of Trade and Industry entrusted the Chambers of Commerce with the implementation, maintenance and publication of the Register of Protesti. 

12.   How long do they stay on the system? Can I get one removed?

a.       The information held on the Register of Protests, as a rule, is kept for five years from the date of registration unless the protesti is cancelled before this term.

b.      A protesti is cancelled if the debtor

 i.      Pays the bill (or bills) together with accrued interest and expenses for the protesti within 12 months of the protesti being raised OR 

ii.      Can prove that he or she was protested by mistake, or not legitimately  - in these instances the “debtor” has the right to obtain the removal from the register by submitting a request for rehabilitation to the President of the Court. Once obtained, the decree of rehabilitation must be submitted by the debtor to the President of the Chamber of Commerce for the cancellation of the protesti. Once cancelled, the protesti shall be deemed as never happened.

a.       However, in cases where the debtor pays the bill, the protesti remains on the register but with a note of the payment. In all cases protesti are automatically deleted after five years regardless of payment

13.   What is the Safe Number?

a.       This is the number from Creditsafe’s own database to uniquely identify this company. The number starts with a two character country identifier followed by a sequence of eight digits. Creditsafe believes that over time companies will see the clear benefit in issuing this number to potential business partners to help speed due diligence checks prior to signing contracts.

14.   Explain how a company is viewed as active on the register?

a.       A registered business is classified “active” on the Business Register after the declaration of commencement of activities and it keeps this status as long it shows to have no insolvency procedures in place.

15.   What is the difference between your reports?

a.       Creditsafe offer top quality company credit reports on all Italian companies–  the Company Credit  report contains all the in-depth information an expert could ever need (including financial data where it is available) but in an easy to understand format that can be understood by anyone allowing you to make an informed decision on any company. We also offer separate Company Director and Shareholders reports on each business to help you more fully understand the people behind a business. We have also separated out reports on “Sole Trader” businesses to allow you to search for and interrogate information on these smallest of businesses separate to the main corporate database.

b.      We also offer individual Director reports to show you the details of the key executives in the business as well as the other businesses they are connected with. This gives you a unique opportunity to see if the people running the company you intend doing business with are associated with failure or delinquency elsewhere.Creditsafe have a database which includes over 10 million directorships across the whole of Italy.

16.   What system do you use for Industry Classification?

a.       Creditsafe use the Italian classification scheme ATECO 2007 which is the latest version of ATECO-RI, adopted by ISTAT Istituto nazionale di Statistica and the Ministry of Finance (which is in turn an extended version of the European classification scheme NACE). According to the ATECO scheme, the various economic activities are grouped into sections, subsections, division, groups, classes, categories and subcategories.  

17.    What is the Codice Fiscale number?

a.       The Italian tax code (16 digits for physical persons, 11 digits for legal persons) is used to uniquely identify - for bureaucratic and fiscal purposes - citizens, associations, taxpayers and foreigners born and domiciled in Italian territory. For companies, trusts, foundations the tax code normally also serves as VAT number (but a company may have more than one VAT code, while its tax code remains unique). The tax code is assigned at birth (physical persons) or upon incorporation (legal persons)

18.   What is the REA number and what is the Chamber of Commerce number?

a.       As well as a tax code a business usually has a REA number that allows you to uniquely identify a business within a single Chamber of Commerce. However, if a business has local branches located in different provinces then it has as many REA numbers as they are the provinces where local branches are located, but if a business has local offices located in the same province of the registered office then the local branches take the same REA number of the headquarter company. The REA number is automatically assigned by the Chamber of commerce at the time of the registration of a company or of the first local branch established outside the province of the registered office.

19.   How do I contact you?

a.       You can contact Creditsafe in several different ways:-

By email ITAInfo@creditsafe.it

By Telephone on +39 011 19464600

Or visit us at our offices at Strada del Drosso 33/7, 10135 Torino