How accessible is official company register data in the US?
● The US is the most important and vibrant market in the world – powered by the activity of millions of companies. Yet the fundamental data about these companies – what companies exist, when they were incorporated, who is connected with them – is very hard to access as data, despite it being public information, collected by the States.
● In today's data-driven world, this dataset is fundamental to almost every aspect of our lives – both business and personal. It is critical for business efficiency, due diligence, innovation, anti-money laundering and corporate transparency, and key to us understanding the complex connected data-driven world we now live in.
● These use cases – and many others – require the dataset to be freely available for all under a licence that allows reuse, i.e. as open data.
● The US States score poorly on access to this data, just 31 out of 100 on average. There are some standout examples – for example Washington state – but there are also many problem states, including Illinois and Delaware. Furthermore, the scores have not increased significantly over the past 3 years, despite significant advances across the rest of the world.
● This has the result of increasing costs for business, undermining competition, and freezing out many groups from easy access to this data, including small and medium sized businesses, civil society, journalists and out-of-state law enforcement.
● It also provides a benign environment for criminals who are now routinely using companies for illicit purposes, including fraud, money laundering and organised crime.”
Read more in the full report...