New website warns consumers and firms of risky companies

22 Aug 2012

A new website called has been launched to help consumers and small firms avoid doing business with risky companies. So far this year close to 1,300 firms were declared insolvent this year.

A recent example of the kind of difficulties consumers could find themselves in can be seen through the closure of Self Catering Ireland, which left potential holidaymakers out of pocket after the company collected deposits without telling consumers it was about to cease trading. gives small businesses and consumers full access to the official documents filed by every company registered in Ireland, allowing them to check their financial status, credit histories and information on company directors and, in doing so, determine whether firms are likely to pay bills on time or are at risk of failure.

“The new platform is an affordable one-stop-shop that, for the first time, pulls together several different but complimentary databases and analytical sources, generating instant reports for consumers and small businesses,” the site’s founder Christine Cullen said.

Figures compiled by credit risk analyst Vision-net show that 245 firms in the construction sector and 108 firms in the hotel and restaurant sector were declared insolvent between January 1 and August 16. While these sectors continue to experience strong start-up growth, the numbers declaring insolvency are alarmingly high, according to Vision-net’s figures. So far this year, 1,269 firms have been declared insolvent.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years