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Clutch Research Methodology

Mapping business services companies in a specific market and verifying their trustworthiness to help you identify the best company to hire.

We rank service providers and map them on a Leaders Matrix based on our research in a specific market. A Clutch Leaders Matrix provides a broad view of the top-performing companies in a particular industry or location.

See All Leaders Matrices

Clutch Leaders Matrix

Verification is a second, premium offering, which service providers can elect to participate in. Clutch-verified companies must pass our verification process, and you can identify them by the verified flag on their profile.

clutch verification logo

Learn More About Clutch Verification

How Do I Use a Clutch Leaders Matrix?

Use a Clutch Leaders Matrix to start your research. It's your first step in identifying the business service providers you might want to hire.

Each company featured in a Leaders Matrix is evaluated based on client reviews, past work, market presence, and specialization in a given service.

Even though a Clutch Leaders Matrix lists market leaders, these companies may not be the best fit for your business. Consider proven, niche, and emerging leaders as well. Remember, the best choice for you is the service provider that has:

  • Experience with the services you need
  • Evidence of successfully completing projects for previous clients
  • Complementary communication and project management style

Location and budget are also important criteria to consider when investing in a service provider.

How Does a Clutch Leaders Matrix Work?

Each Leaders Matrix takes into account a company's 'Ability to Deliver' and 'Focus.'

Ability to Deliver includes the company's client reviews, past work, market presence, and prestigious awards. Focus is a company's level of specialization in a given service. 

Leaders Matrices are interactive graphs that show where companies fall across four quadrants:

  • Market Leaders (top right)
  • Proven Leaders (top left)
  • Niche Leaders (bottom right)
  • Emerging Leaders (bottom left)
Quadrant What Does Each Quadrant Mean?
Market Leaders Strongest ability to deliver, high focus on the desired service, received strong feedback from clients
Proven Leaders Strong ability to deliver, low focus on the desired service, and received strong feedback from clients
Niche Leaders Moderate ability to deliver, high focus on the desired service, and received strong feedback from clients
Emerging Leaders Moderate ability to deliver, low focus on the desired service, and strong feedback from clients


Leaders Matrix FAQ

A company's Ability to Deliver score considers a company's client reviews, past work experience, and brand presence in its target market. Together, this information influences how a company ranks on Clutch directories.


The number, recency, and quality of client reviews factor into a company’s Ability to Deliver score.

Over the phone or through an in-depth online form.

Review a Company

We look at:

  • Type and quality of clients the company works with
  • Portfolio items and case studies that demonstrate the company's experience in different areas: projects, services, industries

We use six main criteria:

  • Marketing Efforts –Does the company present itself clearly and professionally online?
  • Reputation ­– Does the company have a strong reputation in its industry?
  • Geographic Presence (for local pages only) – Where is the company located?
  • Accolades – Has the company won any awards?
  • Social Media Presence – Does the company have a social media presence?
  • Thought Leadership – Does the company demonstrate efforts to innovate in its industry?

A company's Focus score takes into account the services, or focus areas, that the company specializes in. These services are represented as service lines on each company's Clutch profile.

Clutch company profile

Competitive market segments with many companies listed are likely to have the top 15 companies as Market Leaders in the Leaders Matrix.


If a company has a high Ability to Deliver score and specializes in two or three main services, it’s possible for the company to rank in the Leaders Matrix that corresponds to each service. This is rare, however.

Clutch rankings are dynamic based on data available within reviews, Clutch profiles, and other sources (for example: company websites, social media, and more). As the underlying data changes, Clutch rankings and leaders matrices are subject to change.

Navigate to our site map and select a category. Then, select 'Leaders Matrix' at the top of the page.

Clutch Verification Program

Clutch verification adds another layer of trust to the information we provide our users who are researching the best service providers to hire.

What's Our Verification Process?

After a company becomes a premium profile or sponsor, Clutch Analysts gather business registration information to confirm their legal entity is registered and active. Registration is confirmed through each state’s Secretary of State website and a supplemental legal certificate from the company.

Information we verify includes the following:

  • Business entity name
  • Status (active/inactive)
  • Jurisdiction of formation
  • ID number
  • Date of business formation

Verification also includes the Clutch credit check. Payment and legal filings data are compiled from consumer credit reporting agencies to confirm a company is in good standing and has no significant derogatory credit marks. If applicable, Clutch will upgrade a company's verification level after receiving credit information from CreditSafe or Experian, our partners for this credit approval process. Nothing is needed from the service provider to carry out this process.

Partners for Credit Approval Process

Experian provides the following data points for each US-headquartered sponsored company:

  • Bankruptcy filed
  • Lien count
  • Judgment count
  • Collections count

This data is displayed on the Clutch profile if it’s within our credit standards.

CreditSafe provides the following data points for sponsor companies headquartered outside of the U.S.:

  • International Score (A-E): A denotes a low-risk company; E denotes a high-risk company
  • Credit Rating (1-100): A standardized score which enables credit risk comparison between companies registered in different countries

This data is not displayed on the Clutch profile and instead contributes to Clutch’s International Credit Risk Assessment. This assessment score is displayed on the profile.

What Are the Different Verification Levels?

We provide three levels of verification:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Verification Levels for Companies in the U.S.

Clutch verification levels for companies in the US

Credit Source: Experian

Verification Levels for Companies Outside the U.S.

Clutch verification levels for companies outside the US

Credit Source: CreditSafe

The Verification Terms & Conditions apply. Clutch does not endorse any company, including verified companies, on their listings. Verification status and levels are at the discretion of Clutch Analysts.

Verification FAQs

When looking for a service provider, use our verification information to supplement your research and to see if a vendor on Clutch is registered, active, and trustworthy.

Please note, as a potential buyer, we advise you to use your judgment and research when making hiring decisions. We do not endorse any company, including verified companies, on our platform.

Data is collected from different sources based on the location of each company in question.

Yes; a Clutch Analyst will determine if a company meets the requirements of an open-source background check that confirms no negative information that is both credible and pertinent exists.

A company is ineligible if it:

  • Filed for bankruptcy
  • Has an inactive business registration status
  • Has significant negative marks on a credit report
  • Has not met the requirements of an open-source background check
  • Has submitted fraudulent reviews

A company’s International Credit Risk Assessment score considers three criteria:

  1. Likelihood that business will go bankrupt
  2. Likelihood that a business’ payment performance will become seriously delinquent, defined as 90-plus days beyond terms
  3. History of debt collection against the company.

Clutch verification adds another layer of trust for a company to display to its audience on its Clutch profile. Potential buyers and new clients can confirm that a business is active and has no derogatory credit marks. We hope that the more information a potential buyer can find about a business on Clutch, the more willing they will be to contact the business.

No. Verification level is independent of sponsorship package level. For example, ‘Gold’ sponsorship does not guarantee a Gold Verification status.

Verification is a supplemental piece of Clutch’s Premium Profile and Sponsored offerings. Visit our Sponsorship page for details.