Research on company

Keywords: companies, public companies, private companies, corporations, business, economics business reference service business reference service science technology business division library of congress
Description: Annotated list of selected print and internet business resources related to company research. (Business Reference Services (Business Reference Services; Science, Technology, and Business Division; Library of Congress)

Many local public library systems subscribe to databases for citizens holding a current library card so please check to see what you may have access to.

This source includes information from the Gale publications like Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies and Graham & Whiteside directories covering other regions of the world (excluding the United States). Dun & Bradstreet

A source useful for both current business information and business history. Most companies have D&B reports (generally for credit information). Dun & Bradstreet is a publisher that often actively seeks information from private firms by directly calling the company. Much of the information in a D&B report is voluntary so the quantity of information will likely vary from company to company. In 2003 D&B acquired Hoovers which was another known publisher of information on privately owned companies.

Data from D&B is available for purchase directly from the company. They also have a number of products that are available via subscription including Hoover's Relationship Manager, Hoover's Academic, and via Mergent Intellect. Check locally at universities and public libraries for access.

PrivCo is a source for private company business and financial intelligence that covers over 500,000 private companies. PrivCo focuses its coverage on U.S. Major Private Companies (with at least $50-100 million in annual revenues) including thousands of companies that earn well under $10 million per year in annual revenue. PrivCo also provides financial research coverage on what they consider to be smaller but high-value private companies. Also included are investor, venture capital, and M&A information for the private company market. This is a subscription database available at the Library of Congress for onsite researchers only. For those researchers not at the Library of Congress, it can be accessed only by those who have paid for a subscription.

Directory information for publicly and privately owned companies in the United States and Canada compiled from over 5,000 Yellow page directories, Business White Pages, Corporate Annual Reports, SEC 10K reports, Chamber of Commerce Directories, state directories, and other public information sources.

Never underestimate the information that companies publish on their own web sites. However, keep in mind that some companies use their web pages as glorified catalogs, brochures, or advertisements.

In addition to searching in business journals, you may also search for articles from multiple sources in many full-text databases, such as Infotrac, Nexis, ABI-Inform, EBSCO Masterfile, and Business & Industry (Gale/RDS); however, such databases are generally not free so check to see if your local public or a university library in your area has subscribed to any of them.

The American City Business Journals are a good source for local company information. Such companies are often the companies that are most difficult to find information on. The site does require registration, and some things are not free, but there is no charge for most access. The site links to business news from over thirty cities including Washington, Seattle, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Baltimore, Albany, Orlando, Nashville, and more.

In addition there are also several web sites which have compiled links to other local resources including City/Regional magazines and Local/Business periodicals.

Companies are required to file with the Secretary of State of the state in which they are established. The National Association of Secretaries of State has an easy pull-down menu to find your state's web page.

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