Company Research

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The answers to these questions determine the best starting point for your research.
If you know which category fits, use the appropriate tab to the right to start your research.

  • Is the company public or private?
  • Is it a U.S. company or an international company?
  • Is the company owned by another company (a subsidiary)?
  • Is the company large or small?
  • Are you looking for info on a nonprofit organization?
  • Or, are you looking for specific types of info such as company history, financial, social performance, rankings, etc.?

If you don't know, look for a profile in Hoover's (link below). If you find your company in Hoover's, examine the info to see if your company is traded on a stock exchange, is a subsidiary, or is a private company.

If you can't find the company in Hoover's, try the other directories linked below.

If you can't find the company in any of the directories:

  • There is a good chance that it may be a small private company.Try resources on the Private Co tab. If it is also a Michigan company, try resources on BOTH the Private and the Michigan Companies pages.
  • Or, there is a chance that you are using a brand name and the company name is different.
  • Or, there is a chance you've made a typo or spelling mistake.

If you aren't getting anywhere, ask a librarian for some help!

Quick Info - will tell you if a company is public, private, international, subsidiary

Parent or Subsidiary?

When a company is owned by another company, the company traded on the exchange that owns other companies is called the parent company; the companies under the parent are called subsidiaries.

If your company is a subsidiary, you will need to research the parent company. You might not be able to find separate financial info on the subsidiary. However, many details on the subsidiary might be found in the parent company's SEC filings (esp. the 10-K report), articles, and other sources.

Company Name or Brand Name?

Sometimes a student has trouble finding a company, because the word the student is searching is actually a brand name. Sometimes a brand and company name are the same; but sometimes the brand is produced by a company with a different name. For example, Kleenex is made by Kimberly-Clark.

There is a large free database that can be used to identify brand owners. It's also possible to search for a brand name in Advertising RedBooks or ABI/INFORM (ProQuest).

Special Directories @ EMU Library
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