Understanding the Delphi score


What is the Delphi score?

The Commercial Delphi score is a proprietary credit rating system calculated by our data provider Experian. This score is used to predict credit risk and potential business failure within the next 12 months based off of a company's performance and creditworthiness. It is calculated using an algorithm based on the following:

  • Financial results,
  • Average trade creditor days (ie how long it takes the business to settle its debts with trade suppliers),
  • County court judgements (for both the business & its directors),
  • The commercial track record of its directors,
  • Insolvency events reported in the London Gazette,
  • Any delays in filing financial statements,
  • Recent increase in credit applications tracked through previous searches.


The Delphi score ranges from 0 to 100, with the lowest scoring companies carrying the highest risk.

A score of 0 indicates dissolved or otherwise failed companies, and a score of 1 is used for companies which are currently under dissolution/liquidation, or have intention to do so.



Commercial Delphi Bands and Star Ratings

For ease of readability, Experian have banded ranges of Commercial Delphi Scores together based on the level of risk they represent. In addition to these bands, Experian also provide a graphical Delphi Star Rating, which indicates a company's level of risk through a simple 0-5 star scale.

The Delphi scoring bands can be found below, alongside their corresponding Star Rating:

Commercial Delphi Score Commercial Delphi Band Delphi Star Rating
0 Dissolved or serious adverse information such as a liquidator, receiver or administrator appointment, a resolution to wind up, a winding up order, a meeting of creditors or a voluntary arrangement. 0 stars
1 Recent Winding-up Petition or Intention to Dissolve notice. 0 stars
2-15 Maximum Risk 0 stars
16-25 High Risk 1 star
26-50 Above Average Risk 2 stars
51-80 Below Average Risk 3 stars
81-90 Low Risk 4 stars
91-100 Very Low Risk 5 stars


The Delphi score is referenced alongside other credit figures on the "Credit & Risk" section - definitions of these figures can be found below:



Credit Rating

Experian assigns a credit rating to a business based on their Delphi score and size. This credit rating indicates the average level of credit required by a business from one of its suppliers over a 30 day trading period, from a maximum of £10m to a minimum (above £0) of £500.


Credit Limit

A credit limit is the suggested maximum amount of credit that should be extended to a business, based on factors such as their credit rating, the business' status and the types of accounts they file with Companies House. Experian decreases the differential between the credit limit and the credit rating as the level of risk increases.


Failure Odds

Failure Odds indicates the probability that a business will fail within the next 12 months. This value is based on proportions - a 1:1 value would indicate a 50% likelihood of failure (being 1 in 2) while 7:1 would indicate a lower chance (1 in 8, or 12.5%). In summary, the lower the value indicated here, the higher the risk of failure.


Average DBT

DBT, or Days Beyond Terms, refers to the number of days beyond the agreed payment terms that a business takes to pay its invoices. A 12 month trend of a company's average DBT can be found on the "Credit & Risk" section of your screened company, as well as 3, 6 and 12 month averages for this metric. This is a commonly used business credit figure used to track late payments.


For more information on how to use financial data in a sales environment please read the advice in the linked guide. 

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