The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

How to Report a Business

how to report a business

Are you unhappy with your experience at a business? Whether it’s a small local shop or a large national chain, customer satisfaction is important. The best way to let a business know that they’re not meeting your expectations is to report them. Certain reports can be made anonymously, so you don’t have to worry about repercussions from the business in question. This article will help you understand the process of how to report a business.

What to do before you report a business

Reporting a business can be a complicated and stressful process. There are a number of things you should do before you report a business so the process goes as smoothly as possible. First, research the business you want to report. This includes looking up their contact information, visiting their website, and reading any reviews or complaints about them. 

You should also gather any evidence you have of their wrongdoing, such as receipts, emails, or pictures. This way, you can back up your claim. 

Once you gather the information, you can contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file a complaint. Include all of the relevant information and evidence in your complaint so that it can be properly investigated. We’ll review this process more in-depth in the next section. 

How to report a business

If you aren’t satisfied with the way a business conducted itself, you have the right to complain.

Step 1: Contact the company

The first step to reporting a business is to go directly to the business you’re trying to report. This way, you can try to encourage customer service to rectify the situation. The company may give you a discount or offer you a free service. After speaking with customer service, ask them to transfer you over to a manager. Explain what happened,

when it happened, who it happened with, and any additional information that may help them investigate the incident. If the company doesn’t attempt to help you or investigate further, then you can move on to step 2. 

Step 2: Post complaints on social media

Some complaints are best displayed publicly as the company may be quick to save face and offer you a way to resolve the dispute.  

Step 3: Contact the Better Business Bureau

Write your complaint to the Better Business Bureau using their online complaint filing system. 

Every year, countless businesses are reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is a nonprofit organization that collects complaints from consumers and helps businesses resolve issues. If you’ve had a negative experience with a business, reporting it to the BBB can help to hold the business accountable and prevent others from having the same experience. Once the report is filed, the BBB will investigate and work with the business to try to resolve the issue.

Step 4: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

If the problem is severe enough, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can investigate the company. The complaints offer the FTC the opportunity to build a case on the company, in the event of wrongdoing. On the FTC’s website, you can file an online complaint in a matter of minutes.

Step 5: If you’re a fraud victim, email

If you’re a victim of spam and fraud, email the FTC’s Consumer Fraud Department.

Once you file your complaint to various channels, you may be wondering what happens after you report a business.


What happens after you report a business

 what happens after you report a business


When you report a business, the first thing that happens is that an investigation is opened in order to determine whether or not there has been any wrongdoing. This usually involves looking at the business’s financial records and speaking to employees and customers. If the investigators find evidence of illegal activity, then the business will be shut down and the owners may be prosecuted. In some cases, businesses may be able to avoid prosecution by agreeing to pay a fine or make changes to their practices. However, if a business is found to have engaged in serious illegal activity, it may be permanently shut down and its owners could face prison time.

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) doesn’t process anonymous complaints so you’ll need to provide your personal contact information as well as evidence pertaining to the incident which will then be shared with the company under investigation. 


Tips for dealing with businesses that have been reported

If you’re ever in the unfortunate position of handling a business you reported, there are some things to keep in mind as you continue to deal with the reported business. 

Speak up

Businesses are legally required to cooperate with investigators, so don’t be afraid speak up. If there’s a specific complaint, let it be known and heard. 

Keep track of pertinent documentation

In the event you need to file a complaint or take legal action, you’ll need evidence to back up your claim. Keep track of all correspondence or documentation related to the case.

Be Patient

Finally, be prepared to be patient; investigations can take weeks or even months to complete. It isn’t a speedy process and for good reason as investigators need time to review your case. 

If you follow these tips, you’ll be in good shape to get the resolution you’re looking for.


Resources for reporting businesses

resources for reporting businesses

Frequently Asked Questions about Reporting Businesses

How do I report a business? 

There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to properly report a business. First, you’ll need to gather all of the necessary documentation. This includes paperwork detailing the nature of the business, as well as any relevant financial records. Once you have all of this documentation, you’ll need to file a report with the appropriate agency like the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.

When should I report a business?

If you’re reporting a business for its bad practices, try to resolve the issue directly with the business. If you are not able to do so, or if you believe the problem is serious, you can file a complaint with the appropriate government agency. 

How can I file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

One of the online services the BBB offers is the ability to file a complaint against a business. This can be helpful if you feel like you have been treated unfairly or if you have experienced a problem with a product or service. The BBB will investigate the complaint and try to resolve the issue. If they are unable to do so, they may take legal action against the business. filing a complaint with the BBB can be an effective way to get results.


Everyone has had a less than satisfactory experience when dealing with a business. Maybe the product or service you received was not what you expected, or the customer service was less than acceptable. If this has happened to you, don’t sit and complain to your friends – report the business! Reporting a business can help protect other consumers from experiencing the same problems, and it may also help get your money back or improve the service you received.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Recent Business Law Articles