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BS: Business Bachelor of Science

Accounting, Accounting & Finance, Finance, Business Management, Health Sciences, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Organizational Dynamics, Organizational Management, Sports Management

Company Profiles

Information on companies varies greatly depending on the type of company. Use a directory to determine whether a company is public, private, non-profit, or non-U.S.

Public - There is a great deal of information available on companies that trade on the stock market - SEC filings, annual reportsanalysts' reportsnews stories, etc.

Private - Information on private companies is more difficult to find.  Directories and news stories may be the main sources. All 50 states make some level of corporate and business filings available online, see Business Filings Databases for links to the states.

International - The amount of information on international companies varies. If the company trades on the U.S. exchanges it must file annual reports (20-F) with the SEC. Other information can be found in directories, databases, newspapers, and magazines.

Non-Profit - Nonprofits must file IRS Form 990 which includes financial data.  Form 990 and other information on nonprofits such as organizational statistics, a summary of organization goals and activities, list of board members and executives can be found in For more information see the Nonprofit Industry Research Guide.

Subsidiary - A subsidiary is part of a larger parent company.  Parent companies do not necessarily disclose subsidiary information separately.  Information is usually interwoven within parent company profiles and financials.  Some parent companies may provide information on subsidiaries via the corporate website.  Other information may be located through news articles.

Company Research Venn Diagram

Company and Industry Profiles

Understanding how a company is organized is the first step in company research. This information guides the researcher to the right types of sources and sets the appropriate expectation of how much information can be found. (See additional information below)

The amount of information available varies greatly depending on the type of company. Most company databases have information on public companies, but there are sources that specialize in private company information and subsidiaries as well.

The resources listed on this page contain in-depth reports on companies.  The number of companies and the depth of the information provided in each of these sources varies.  You may want to look at several of them.  If you are looking for specific information about a company such as SWOT analysis, use the tabs at the top of the guide.  If you have questions or problems contact James McCloskey,

Company Rankings
Fortune Global 500

Forbes - World's Biggest Public Companies

Forbes - America's Largest Private Companies

Inc. 500

The Globe 100: Best of Massachusetts Business

Red Herring - Top Technology/Life Sciences Companies

Company History
Business Source Ultimate
Histories for over 10,000 companies are available. Select the "Company Information" link from the list on the top.

Mergent Archives

Mergent Archives is an online database providing access to a vast, indexed collection of historical corporate and industry related documents including Mergent's Full Collection of Digitized Manuals, Ford Equity Research Reports, an Industry Report Collection, and 85 years of Annual Reports for companies across the globe dating back to as early as 1925. This database contains more than 180,000 documents covering over 100 countries and industries.

Ticker Symbols
"A ticker symbol is an arrangement of characters (usually letters) representing a particular security listed on an exchange or otherwise traded publicly. When a company issues security to the public marketplace, it selects an available ticker symbol for its securities which investors use to place trade orders. Every listed security has a unique ticker symbol, facilitating the vast array of trade orders that flow through the financial markets every day."
Source: Investopedia

Many of the resources in this guide will identify ticker symbols, but one of the quickest ways to find a ticker symbol is to use a website like Yahoo Finance or CNBC.

Exporting to International Markets
eCommerce Export Resource Center's eCommerce Country Briefs
Market research on cross-border e-commerce related topics and issues.