Our site is a closed service where users request an invitation to access the site. We are primarily looking for producers and makers to join to share information about their products, stories & track the supply chain of their products.

In this request form we ask for their first/last name, company name and the service we offer requires users to associate with being a 'brand', a 'producer', a shopper' etc.

This would then be filled in, sent to us to review & we would immediately approve this user if they seem to fit the profile for people we're looking for to join our app*.

Or we would follow up via email and ask for more information from them such as their website url and their social media profile links plus a short explanation of why they'd like to join our platform.

I'm putting the case forward that asking for the information of their company website and why they'd like to join upfront will require less manual back end work from us. I do, however, appreciate that users may spend less time initially filling this information out & would perhaps spend more time on it after a follow up communication.

Is there best practice for verifying a business account in this way: is the information we're asking for even correct or should we approach in a very different manner?

*Disclaimer: Our site was open but we work with blockchain so lots of people signed up to a free account to try & assess our blockchain so we have thousands of empty/uncompleted/inactive accounts. This sign up is to address this issue & have active/engaged users.

  • Or we would follow up via email - may want to include email in the initial request form then. (being nitpicky)
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 16:12
  • we do indeed ask for their email, i've made a human error & not added it here!
    – K.Oliphant
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 16:40
  • You could include fields for their website and "Why I want to join" on the original application, but worded along the lines of "Optional, but supplying these details may speed-up your application to join our platform".
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 12:46

4 Answers 4


Not to be Mr. Obvious here, but ask for the information that you need. And don't ask for the information you don't need.

What will you do with their name? Will you use it? Yeah, probably. What about company name? Will you do something with that information? Maybe, maybe not. What will you do with Brand/Producer/Shopper? Do you provide different services for each? If not, then maybe drop it.

Every piece of information on the form needs to be there for a reason. Every field has to earn a place on the form.

(When signing up for stuff I often wonder why they're asking for each piece of info. Some questions seem like something their marketing team asked for, which is not necessary for my transaction with the service.)


Not aware of a best practice. My last employer, had an optional field that served as a gate keeper. After manual review, it would help sales have a more informed initial conversation.

I also want to share that an open text field can become a treasure trove of information. We ran some of the collected data through text analysis and created some affinity diagrams that later became part of the employer's content strategy.


Hugely opinion based.

When asking people to sign-up, could you not ask them for their email address and verify that address as a business you are interested in? For example, would people sign-up to your site from their own private email address?

In that respect, you'd have their company information, up front.

With regards to your final question "is there best practice for verifying a business account in this way (etc)?" No, what there is, is the best method to fit your needs, which cater for the user information you are trying to gather, whilst reducing the users you do not want, whilst not alienating those you do, but have made the process more than they want to go through.


The best practice could be to convince them how your app works, what the benefits if they are signing up? why they need to share their information with you?

If they are interested or want to be a part to get win win solution with your web app then you will get the real information from them rather than false information.

Your site is just like dribbble.com which is user can't sign up, visitor that want to become a member, they need an invitation from the current member.

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