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Business Research

Introduction to Business Resources at Buley Library and Beyond

Looking for a Private Company?

Check out the FAQ on this topic in this guide:

Finding Company Information on the Web

EDGAR Company Filings Database: performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Thomas Register of Manufacturers (Thomas Publishing Company): search across 607,000 manufacturers across the U.S. and Canada. A good resource for business-to-business information needs. Also provides a means to trace a brand name back to its manufacturer.

Fortune's Global 500: an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue

Key Terms

Private Company – A private company is one that is owned by an individual, family, or group of partners. The amount of information that private companies must report is limited, and much of that is confidential. Thus, it is often difficult to find much information on a private company.

Public Company – A public company is a company that issues securities or shares of stock for the public. Those who purchase these securities or shares become investors in and owners of the company. This process is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and public companies must file numerous financial and other reports with the SEC. Because these reports are public information, much data and information can be found when researching public companies. For more information, visit the SEC website at

Subsidiary – A company which is owned in whole or in part by another company. When researching a subsidiary, it is often advantageous to also research the owning company or the parent company.


Library Databases with Company Information

You can find company information in a number of the library's business databases. Best Bets can be found on the library's A-Z Database list.

It's helpful to know your company's ticker symbol (an abbreviation used to identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a stock market) before you begin searching. 

WATCH: Find Essential Company Information Quickly in Mergent Online

-a video tutorial by Chad Boeninger, Business Librarian at Ohio University Libraries