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[edited by: Webwork at 12:45 pm (utc) on July 26, 2007]
[edit reason] Tidying up; See Charter [/edit]
joined:July 5, 2007
Not sure if there is a legal rule that stops you adding sites. From a sales approach, it's probably better you contact and ask them if they want to be included.
Businesses are already hacked off with spamming, and if you start mass emailing, this could work against you big time.
Give yourself a reasonable target of links to add before you launch, a number based on what a visitor would find useful in your niche. 100 listings is a good number to shoot for if you deal with a narrow topic area. The broader your topic is, the more listings you will need to add. Avoid having empty categories as far as possible.
So not only is it okay to add companies, it's something that you have to do to have any reasonable chance of being taken seriously by visitors and submitters.
Try adding high quality websites to your categories, sites that most visitors would recognize. This can help improve your submission rate since the submitters will not know if you added those sites or if those companies did in fact submit to your directory. It's a good way to get things started.
Hope that helps.