Company Type Matters

When researching a company, it is important to know whether it is public, private or a subsidiary of a larger company.

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 therefore 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 the general public. They are therefore more challenging to research.

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.

Company Directories

Company Profiles usually include address, phone number, type of business, industry and NCAIS code, key executives, and sales figures. Each tool below has different features for creating lists of companies by characteristics.

Business Source Ultimate (EBSCOhost)

Create a list of companies by major metropolitan area (Milwaukee)

Click the company information option from the top of Business source ultimate

Mergent Intellect

Filter companies by, new, women, and minority-owned in the advanced search.

Click on the advanced search option to filter companies by caracteristics

Business Insights: Global

Build a list of companies based on specific criteria like revenue, state, country, or company type.

Click on the companies menu from the top to see the company finder tool.

Company Reports

These reports provide information & reports for specific companies. Order search results by most recent date for the most updated information.

Business Source Ultimate (EBSCOhost)

search for the company name and choose company entity from the drop down menu
Choose company report under document type in the advanced search

ABI/INFORM Collection (ProQuest)

Search for the company name and select company profile from the document type

Find Specific Reports

Business Databases Chart: See what types of company reports are available in all 6 business databases

LibraryAnswers: See a list of FAQs about with instructions for finding specific company reports

Comprehensive Article Databases

These databases aggregate articles from press releases, trade publications, and scholarly journals. Search by the company name and a topic of interest for news and academic research.

Understanding Types of Business Articles

NameBusiness Source UltimateProQuest Business Databases
TipUse the Company and source type filters
NameBusiness Source Ultimate
TipUse the company and publication type filters