Is your company interested in importing Polish windows, but you have concerns about a dishonest supplier? Don’t have them! We suggest how to check the credibility of a contractor, so you may feel confident in importing windows.
How to check a company from Poland:
- Look up information on the Internet: visit the website.
- Check reviews on Google.
- Make a trial order – check the quality of the product, service and timeliness.
- Watch the life of the company on social media.
- Look at the official register of companies.
- Check the European VIES.
- Order a report in KRS.
- Request certificates from US and ZUS.
- Contact the company.
1. Visit the website
The first information is worth consulting on the Internet. The place worth visiting is the website of the windows’ supplier with whom you plan to cooperate. Admittedly, a professional-looking website does not guarantee that a given company offers high-quality services, but checking the information contained therein is a good starting point.
Serious companies know very well how important the first impression is, and the website is their business card. It is worth taking a look at the sub-pages about the company – on the website we can often find:
- the company’s history and information about its activities,
- basic information such as NIP or REGON number, which allows you to verify in government registers,
- contact to representatives and their photos (you can, for example, call them).
What additional elements are worth looking at when reviewing the “about the company” page:
- photos of the interior of the company, office, or warehouse,
- photos of projects the company has worked on,
- case studies of company`s customers,
- reviews of the company’s customers (these are selected by the company itself, so it is worth approaching them with detachment).
2. Check reviews on Google
It’s worth typing the company’s name into Google – there’s a good chance you’ll see a Google My Business window with the company’s contact information, a map of how to get there, photos and, most importantly, reviews written directly by customers.
It is worth paying attention not only to the positive comments, but also to the less flattering ones. And check how the company reacts when a customer issues a critical review. In such situations, the company has the best opportunity to confirm its professionalism.
When investigating reviews, there are two things to consider: the quality of the information source and the number of reviews.
The value of an opinion found on the Internet should be evaluated based on:
- who is allowed to give an opinion (for example, on Amazon it can only be done by a person who has actually bought something)
- how many opinions there are (it is more difficult to fake 100 comments than 2, no matter whether positive or negative)
- what level the site presents (does its reputation guarantee the reliability of the opinion)
3. Make a trial order
After checking the reviews, if you find that the company looks trustworthy, you should think about verifying the quality of products and order process. It is not enough that the company presents itself as great, has good reviews, and operates legally (continue reading to check how to verify the legality of the company’s operation in Poland).
Check if the windows are of high quality, order handling is of a high standard, and the company meets deadlines. How to do it? Some suppliers have samples of their products available – you can order one at least. This way you can reduce the risk that the product will not suit you, and at the same time you can see how the company serves customers.
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4. Watch the life of the company on social media
It is also worth taking a look at social media – if the company is active on it, shows the life of the company, training trips and investments made, then this should significantly increase its credibility in our eyes.
If the company’s profile is alive, and you can see the life of the company from the inside (so it definitely exists), then this is one of the signals that the company can be trusted. Combined with reviews, we already get quite a picture of a potential contractor.
You should assess the credibility of a company not only on the basis of the information it declares, but also check it against official government registers. You can check a Polish company as long as you have its Tax Identification Number (NIP), REGON or KRS.
What can you check in the government register:
- whether the company is registered (whether it is operating legally) and active
- who owns it (or who can make financial decisions in the company)
- what scope of activity it has
- what bank account numbers it has
5. Look at the official register of companies.
When browsing any registry of companies from Poland, always pay attention to the source of the information. All official registries have a web address suffix of “gov.pl”. You can find a legally operating company in the company search engine of the Polish Ministry of Development and Technology. All you need to know is the NIP or REGON number. You can also search by company name, but keep in mind that there may be several companies with the same name.
When you find an entry in the registry about a company you are interested in, compare its data with what the company has declared on its website or in an interview with you. The information should match. Also pay attention to how long the company has been on the market. Will a more reliable partner be a company that has been on the market for several years or more, or a business established three months ago?
In addition, if you have doubts about where your money will go and want to confirm the legitimacy of the VAT company’s bank account number, use the Polish Ministry of Finance’s search engine. If you don’t find the company’s account number there, it could mean that the company hasn’t legally registered its account, or it’s a small business with a low annual turnover and is therefore not a VAT payer.
6. Check the European VIES
Foreign window supplier can also be checked in the EU’s VIES system for confirming VAT numbers. It stands for VAT Information Exchange System. We can access the system on the European Commission website. All we have to do is search for the company’s VAT ID number and the country in which it is registered. The register is based on a member state database. We won’t get additional detailed information here, but only find out whether a company has an active VAT number (VIES).
7. Order report on reliability and solvency from the KRS
On the website of the National Court Register online – eKRS.pl you can apply for a paid report on your contractor. The registry provides information on the solvency of our potential contractors. So we can check whether, with a large investment, we are not risking a situation where our supplier turns out to be insolvent. Depending on the exact information you request, you will incur fees according to the eKRS price list. Electronic access to the KRS will make it much easier for you to verify a potential window supplier from Poland.
In the online report request, you can e.g. ask for:
- the information from the Register of Insolvent Debtors;
- if the company is listed in the databases of debt exchanges (debt exchanges);
- a report on payment reliability from Business Information Offices (BIG).
8. Request certificates from US and ZUS
You can obtain information from the Tax Office (US – Urząd Skarbowy) about the amount of the contractor’s tax arrears, and from the Social Security Administration (ZUS) about not being in arrears with social security payments. If someone does not keep his tax and social security accounts up to date, what guarantee do you have that he will honor the terms of the contract between him and you?
Certificates to the Tax and Social Security Administration must be submitted on your behalf by your window supplier. If he delays or refuses to provide such documents, this is an important warning sign for you.
The most important information about certificates from the Tax and Social Security Administration:
- certificates can be requested online
- an application must be submitted to both offices by the subject of the document (so you must ask the window supplier to provide such certificates)
- the veracity of the ZUS certificate in electronic version can be checked by entering the number on the ZUS website
- we can independently verify only whether the company is an active VAT payer
9. Contact the company
Sometimes the most straightforward solutions are the best. It’s worth spending a few minutes and simply calling a potential contractor.
What is worth asking?
- the paid-in-capital
- the beginnings of the business
- the largest investment it handled
- the financial result of the past year
- the location of the headquarters and number of employees
Reliable and trustworthy company should not have the slightest problem answering the above questions. If the answers are inconsistent, it may signal that you should think hard about cooperation, and indeed further “screen” the company beforehand with the help of other sources.
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