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Company Research

A guide to resources for researching public, private, local, and international companies. Includes sources for annual reports, market analysis, and news stories.

Defining your Company

When researching your company, it is important to first identify whether your company is a public company, private company, or subsidiary. The amount of information available will depend on which one of these categories your company falls into.

  • Public Companies sell shares of the company (stocks) to the general public, and are required to submit financial information and annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Public companies are easier to research as a general rule of thumb.
  • Private Companies do not sell publicly traded stocks, and as a result, are not required to release as much information to the government or general public. They are more challenging to research than public companies.
  • Subsidiaries of public companies can be difficult to research because the parent company is not required to report on each of them individually. Therefore, when researching a subsidiary, you often have to read carefully through reports about the parent and look for references to the subsidiary.

Information about a company's ownership can be found in Analytic Reports. Analytic Reports can summarize company history, executives, financials and other information. They are often offered by business information services as part of extensive information databases, business browser solutions or single company research reports.

Best Bets for Company Research