How to Verify A Business with State or Federal Regulators

Many industries are regulated by state or federal authorities. If the company you are considering works in such an industry, be sure to check with the regulatory agencies listed in the person’s NEA Professional Profile. Here are some questions you might ask:

  1. Can the agency confirm that the person/company holds a current license?
  2. Is continuing education required in this industry? If so, is the person/company current with those requirements?
  3. Does the person/company have a clean record with the agency? In other words, has the agency ever taken disciplinary action against the person/company?
  4. If the agency has taken action, what exactly was the problem? Was the problem resolved satisfactorily?
  5. Does the agency require the filing of disclosure documents? If so, can these documents be accessed online or requested offline?

Many industry regulators have web sites that provide the above information as well as details on applicable regulations. A good first step is to simply enter the person’s or company’s name into the agency website’s search box. This will usually uncover problems in short order. If you don’t have a computer or Internet access, go to your public library and ask the reference librarian for regulator contact information. Then call the agency to pose your questions.

Getting your questions answered will take a bit of time. But’s it’s a good investment because it will keep you safe in the marketplace.