First ask if the company is public or private?
Public companies sell ownership shares that trade on a stock exchange. They are required to submit financial data to the government agencies that regulate them.
Private companies do not sell stock to the public and generally are not required to disclose financial data. Information on private companies is harder to find. Potentially useful sources include the company’s website, news articles, industry and trade journals, and specialized databases like Gale Business Insights: Essentials and RefUSA (Brooklyn Public Library) or PRIVCO (Baruch College Newman Library). Students can access Brooklyn Public Library databases remotely if they have a library card. Brooklyn College students can access Baruch Library databases onsite.
Business Insights: Essentials is an easy and authoritative database to find information on companies. It will also provide the ticker (stock) symbols of publicly-traded companies and tell you whether a company is a subsidiary of, or owned by, a larger company.
Company web sites often include company histories, the names of key executives, and financial information. It is a good place to start research.
Triangulate your research by looking for information in multiple sources. It’s important to find similar reports written by third parties and compare the content and analysis.
What industry (or industries) is your company part of? Industry research will give you valuable information about a company’s standing and competitors and general industry trends.
Look for recent news on Nexis Uni® to update your research. Company information can become dated very quickly.