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Finding Company Information:
Step 1: Background Info

This guide will help you find information about public companies. It's a great place to start looking for strategic and financial information.

Finding Company Information

Photo Credit: Brian Glanz via Flickr

Finding Company Information

Public vs. Private

In most cases, you should select a public company for your project.  Why?

  1. Public companies are required to provide key information to their stockholders, usually in the form of an annual report.  These reports are a great source of information.
  2. Public companies are required to file reports, such as the 10-K, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These reports include everything from sales figures, risk factors, legal proceedings, and more. 

Private companies, on the other hand, are not required to provide any of this information to people outside of the company.  This makes it very difficult to find enough information about a private company to complete your project.

How to Find Background Information

The first thing you need to do is select a company to research. 

Already know the name of the company?

Great!  Then it's time to pull up a little background information. Try some company history and background information. Here is one way to o do that:

  1. Go to Business Source Complete - company information search
  2. Search by Company Name, Ticker symbol, or keyword

Remember, there may be many different companies with the same name.  For instance, a search for Coke will pull up many different records, some for coal plants, not a beverage company.  Make sure you select the right one!

Not sure which company you want to research?

No problem!  You will, however, have to do a little digging around to find a company that interests you.  Here's one way to do that.

  1. Go to Business Source Complete
  2. Use the various browse options - like Industry Profiles, Company Profiles or Company Information (look on right for Browse section) - to find something that works for your interests and task.
  3. Or use the search function to select a company

Once you find a company to research, please write down it's Ticker Symbol.  There are times it may be easier to search for more information by ticker symbol rather than name.