Research on private companies (particularly small private companies) can be challenging, since private companies are not required to make available the same information required of public companies. It is often necessary to search in a number of different sources for any available information, including the company's website and local/regional news sources.
If, after searching in the databases listed in the box above, you are unable to locate any information about your private company, try the following databases.
The kinds of information you may find about a company depends upon several factors. Here are some tips for doing a more thorough search:
1. Think about variations of the company name.
Resources may use alternative spellings or abbreviations of a company name. In addition, some databases require a ticker symbol to find company information. Do a quick search in Google Finance or a similar search engine to find the ticker symbol.
2. Figure out if the company is public or private.
Publicly traded companies are usually much easier to find information about. Try these tips for finding and using information on private companies:
3. Find out if the company is a subsidiary, family or foreign owned, or a nonprofit.
4. Is the company newsworthy?
Search national news sources to find articles on companies that are doing well or having problems. You might find small private company news in their local media outlets.
(Content adapted from Butler University Libraries 'Company Research' guide.)
And don't forget the company's website! Many public companies link their annual reports and SEC filings under the "Investor Relations" section of their website.
Check out individual stock exchanges and indexes for information as well: