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What Kind of Company?
In general, it's easier to find information companies that trade on a stock exchange (public companies) or companies with large public profiles. The business databases will include articles about all types of companies.
Public companies and Subsidiaries
- Consider the public company Yum Brands. You are probably more familiar with its subsidiaries, KFC, Pizza Hit and Taco Bell. There should be plenty of articles about these subsidiaries with their large public profiles.
- Public companies issue annual reports to shareholders. These reports are usually posted on company websites and at Securities and Exchange Commission
- Subdiaries don't usuallly offer separate reports
- Private companies don't have to issue annual reports and often can be more difficult to research. An example of a large private enterprise is Perdue Farms, Inc. Some information about private companies can be found in directories such as RefUSA, Hoover's Academic and LexisNexis Academic.
- There are sources that track non-profit organizations such as GuideStar
- It is easier to find information on non-profit organizations with large public profiles
- Non-Profits are also included in some of the business directories
Use these sources for a quick overview of a company.
Company Profiles (through Business Source Premier)
Profiles from Datamonitor available through the Business Source Premier database.
Hoover's provides detailed information on 40,000 public and non-public companies.
International Directory of Company Histories
Online from volume 139, 2012 to the present, this source provides detailed accounts of company histories. Volumes 1 through 138 are available in Reference - call number Ref HD2721 .I58
In addition to finding an overview of a company, Ref USA also allows you to make lists of companies based on several criteria such as location or industry. RefUSA also tracks parent and subsidaries.