We’ve often stated that the goal of OpenCorporates is simple (but huge): to create an openly licensed database containing every corporate legal entity in the world, and provide open URI ids for them. We base this URI on the ID issued by the company register, as this brings multiple benefits:

  • No Monopoly ID system  Because we don’t produce the IDs, we can’t claim any IP rights in the URI and this allows it to be freely used without restriction and without even any reference to us
  • Knowable and useful If you know the URI you know the company number and vice versa – this makes it suitable as an ID even if we haven’t yet imported the data for that jurisdiction
  • A route to more data  Critically any database of companies shouldn’t be a dead end, but a route to other sources of information, and the entry…

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