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FAQ

We will continue to add to the FAQ as we receive questions that are of general interest. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have a question that's not answered here.

I know I want to start a business or work for myself, but I don't know in what area?

Fill in your Profile details and stress your experience, skills and motivation - someone may be looking for a partner to join them in a business idea that they already have or you may get together with another person to come up with a business plan - it's far easier to do when its not just you.

I already have a small business how can you help grow it?

Have you all the skills you need? Do you need a partner who has great sales or technical skills for example? Bringing fresh blood into a business with exactly the skills and enthusiasm you need can make all the difference.

Does your business need investment? There are private and corporate investors just looking for good investments in a growing company. State in your Profile that you are looking for investors; in your business proposition give a flavour of what your businesses future could be with that investment.

I am an investor, what can you do for me?

Company Partners has a broad spectrum of motivated business people on its database that can help you grow your investment. As an Investor you get Free membership. You have easy to use facilities and can search for the type of businesses that meet your criteria. You have available our unique Automatch system that will automatically notify you of new proposals meeting your saved criteria.

Is Company Partners regulated by the FSA?

We at Company Partners are not regulated by the FSA, we don't give financial advice and we don't sell or propose financial investments. Our job is simply to provide a service where potential partners of all sorts can meet. However we do try and give you as much useful information as we can to help you make your own mind up.

For instance we remind you to do your own due diligence on every partnership (investment or otherwise) that you may enter into - get professional advice - it will save you money in the long run. Take as much care in your dealings online as you would out in the "physical" world. Further information for Investors.

Membership fees.

It is free to register and be able look around the site. You can also try out the Add Profile and Search facilities for potential business partners, or investors/investment opportunities.

For Entrepreneurs and Mentors to then have full contact, be able to mail other potential business partners and have extended and enhanced capabilities, you should join as a full member, which starts at just £29.95 a month - with no other hidden fees. A link to a comparison of membership types and costs is available from your "My Account" page when logged-in.

Membership is a monthly subscription, you can however join for just one month. Simply contact us immediately after joining to ask for the subscription to be cancelled. Finding a business partner is not done overnight however, you have to be there just when the right person comes along.

For Investors we have special facilities and free full membership.

Fee transactions are carried out using our secure and trusted payment partner WorldPay, part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. When you make an online payment you go directly to their secure servers and all your transaction details are encrypted.

Can I pay by cheque?

It is faster and more secure to use credit or debit cards on our payment provider's secure server, WorldPay - a Bank of Scotland company. You can pay by cheque however, but only for the 6 month fixed fee membership. Contact Company Partners for arrangements.

Why do you charge?

We have to charge at some point or the site would go out of business, it is actually very costly to maintain and continue to develop our service. There are a lot of benefits to being a full member
and it allows the site to exist.

How secure is the site?

Company Partners never releases any of your details to any 3rd party for mailing lists. We also automatically operate a "blind" email service for you to make initial contact with other members; your email details therefore are kept confidential until you yourself decide to communicate them.

Fee transactions are carried out using our secure and trusted payment partner WorldPay, part of the The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. When you make an online payment you go directly to their secure servers and all your transaction details are encrypted.

Who are Company Partners?

Please see the Who are Company Partners? section.

Tips on Profile & Searching.

When entering your Profile, make it easy for people to find you. Ensure you have selected ALL the areas that are relevant to your or your situation. Use the Profile Heading to briefly indicate your situation: ie "Designer looking for business adviser" or "Established electrical manufacturer looking for sales expert". In the text boxes include key or descriptive words that are likely to be searched on by someone looking for your skills/background, or your type of business proposal.

Entrepreneurs looking for an Investor have good example profiles / executive summaries available to look at on their profile page.

When Searching try multiple sectors and locations. To widen your search. Then you can narrow it down.

I can't see my Profile when searching.

First check that your profile has been saved as "live". Then although others can see it, the system knows it is you searching and so doesn't show yourself in your own searches. We have provided an easy way to view your profile, just as others see it, with the "view" button in the Profile Manager. As long as it is indicated as being live in the "Total Live Profiles" on your logged-in Home page, or showing a "L" next to it on the Profile Manager page, then others will see it.

My idea is confidential !

Okay, so you should not give away in your Profile what your innovative and groundbreaking idea is. However, the world is littered with good ideas that never actually went anywhere. Implementation is just as important as the idea. What do you need to make your idea work? Put that in your Profile.

As you get interested people contact you, you can shorten who you want to deal with by asking about their background and judge whether you need to have them sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement) before releasing full details of your idea.

I want to sell my business. Would any of your members be interested?

The short answer is yes. Most Company Partners members are interested in running their own business. Some already have ideas and may have started a business; others are looking for an opportunity to use their experience and skills that your existing business may provide.

When entering your Profile make sure you put in the Profile Heading that you have a business to sell ie "Printing business for sale". The free text boxes then give you more room to add sufficient detail to outline the type of business, location etc.

Have you any tips on evaluating investments or business partners?

The first thing is of course to use exactly the same common sense and due diligence that you would in any walk of life. It is sensible to get professional advice. This can be from your accountant, solicitor, or there are specialist consultants.

Company Partners has not checked or evaluated people, or business propositions - you must do this yourself. It's wise to not only check business partners or investment opportunities, but also those who may be interested in investing.

You may be able to determine yourself about the validity of investing your own time, but never agree to passing any money to anyone without professional advice.

How do I change or delete my Profile?

If you just want to change anything in your Profile, that can easily be done through editing the content directly on your Profile page (accessible once logged-on). You can also set your profile to "Draft", which preserves it but makes it invisible to other members (useful while perfecting it, or if you just don't want people to see it for a while). If you want all your details deleted please let us know through the contact form.

How do I cancel subscribed membership payments?

Please contact us to request cancellation of any payments. We always do that promptly on the same day that we are asked.

Can I mail members about my services or products?

Everyone gets tired of unsolicited sales calls and mails. People do not join Company Partners to make themselves available to others trying to sell to them. If you have a product, or service that requires a partner or an Investor that is fine. But it is not allowed to mail members if all you are really looking for are customers for your products, or for your services. Instead contact us to talk about how you can advertise on the site.

Do you reveal my email address to anyone?

No, Company Partners never releases any of your details to any 3rd party for mailing lists. We also automatically operate a "blind" email service for you to make initial contact with other members; your email details therefore are kept confidential until you yourself decide to communicate them.

You also have a choice in your Profile section to say if you want the occasional update from us, it is only about once a month and has information about starting and growing a business, also news on investments and funding. The only other time we may mail you is for administration or feedback issues.

I've logged-in, but can't see the Search button?

This can sometimes occur if you are using a AOL web browser. Even if previously it worked using a AOL browser, they sometimes change settings that cause web pages to not appear correctly. Please try using Internet Explorer, or Firefox instead of AOL's browser.