Monday, March 02, 2009

Free stuff

Here is a few suggestions for useful places for people in business, all of which are free.

Search the insolvency register to make sure you're not giving credit to the wrong people:

Check a companies registered address and basic details:
use the webcheck services.  You can pay and get extra reports and accounts and information about directors.

Check a company to see if they are registered with the FSA for regulated services:
this one will avoid you dealing with people who are trading illegally

Check the Data Controller contact details for any company registered for Data Protection and check to see whether a company is registered or not, though all companies who hold any computer records for non-domestic use should be registered, though most are not:

Check UK telephone numbers and find out which company operates them and therefore how much you might pay to call it.  Remember, when a person switches mobile providers and takes their number with them, the original company still owns the number and determines the charge to call them.  For example, if you move from O2 to Orange and keep your number, you will still be charged as if you were calling an O2 number.  Why does it matter?  You may have free Orange to Orange calls and think you are calling an Orange number, but in fact you may be calling an O2 number.  Good for anoraks like me too!

Not sure if this counts for business, but I'll let you decide, I find it useful:

FSA still, but their news feeds is a good source of information:

HM Customs and Excise, register here to file your VAT online and you get an extra week to file after your normal paper deadline and if you pay by direct debit, then don't take the money until about 10 days after that.  Also means you can literally file at 23.59 on the last day and don't have to allow any time for postage.  It's secure too and you can't lose your VAT return in the post.
Select the VAT online link

Stop getting cold calls and sales calls by registering here:
They are paid by OFCOM to run this service and are official

Get a completely free fax to email number, either 0844 or 0870 (which are now free to call for BT customers with included minute plans):
Used these people since they began and they do a great job, best on the market and totally reliable.  I have about 100 numbers with them and no problems.  Sign up for a free number and convert it into a fax to email number straight away.  Loads of our customers now use them for 0844 fax numbers so they can have an incoming fax if people really need to send them a fax.

Online collaboration and info storage place for free:

Free online backup system for up to 2gb (you do have to pay for more) but I use it and it works well.

Find out the details of who owns any .uk domain name at:

Use these people to check any email account when you're out and you don't have webmail access, they sell services as well, but the check any account is very good, often use it:

Get a free temporary email address, useful for signing up for free downloads and free trials, without being bombarded by advertising after that.  Lasts for an hour, excellent service, use it all the time for those "free downloads" which need to email you a link to get the downloads:

Place to get some good free fonts for your advertising and materials:

Excellent free to-do list that you can share with other people and also works with a free iPhone app too, so excellent for sharing lists on the move:

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