How do you know if a business is reliable before you go there? You can never be certain, but you can find as much information as you can before you make a call:
There are many online resources:
- The Better Business Bureau grades and verifies businesses and charities.
- Search for previous issues and complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaints Database.
- Check to see if the person you’re considering has the appropriate license to practice in Ohio.
- For restaurants, you can search the Franklin County Public Health’s Food Inspection Reports.
Reference USA: is a useful resource for finding information about a business, including the CEO, the address, the phone number, and more, if you need to make a complaint. You can do a quick search for a known business, but you can also find local businesses in a particular service or industry, if, say, you need to know who all the locksmiths in the area are:
- Select “ U.S. Businesses” and choose the “Custom Search” tab
- On the left hand side, select “Geography,” and “Metro Area,” then in the middle, choose “Ohio” and select “Columbus”
- On the left, select “Business Type” and “Keyword/ SIC/ NAICS;” in the middle, search for the type of business you want.
- On the right, select “View Results” - this will give you a list of all the local businesses in the industry you selected.
Finally, check for news or other information in the Columbus Dispatch Archives, and our business databases: Business Source Premier, Regional Business News, and Weiss Financial Ratings, which has ratings for banks and credit unions. Remember to enter your library card number and PIN to access these resources from home. We also have many more consumer links that have been selected by reference librarians.