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Doing Company Research

Compiled by Ellen Terrell
Business Reference Services
Updated: January 2013


This finding aid is not intended to include all sources of company information on all industries, in all places, or by all publishers - there are far more possible sources than could be included in a single guide. Rather, this guide is designed to give someone searching for company information some ideas and strategies for finding this type of information.

When doing company research there are many, many sources to use. Depending on the company - its size, industry, location - some sources will be good while others will not. Small and private companies tend to be harder to research using the more standard print resources. Researching them tends to be a more creative exercise. Those companies in industries that are dominated by private players or those in areas that are more suspicious of their competitors, tend keep their information more closely held.

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Doing Company Research

Table of Contents

Private Company Research
Public Company Research
Foreign Company Research

Many of the sources cited in this guide may be available in a local public or university library. You will also find much information available on the Internet, but it may not be reliable, and you may not find what you are looking for if you rely solely on free Internet sources. Many of the best sources for information are not free. They are either print or electronic sources a library has purchased. To use them, you must go to your local public or university library rather than relying strictly on the Internet. For information on additional resources for company information, you may also consult the publications listed below, available in many large libraries.

Business Information Sources. Lorna M. Daniells. 3rd ed. Berkeley : University of California Press, c1993.
LC Call Number: Z7164.C81 D16 1993
LC Catalog Record: 92041827

How to find information about companies. Washington, D.C. : Washington Researchers, c1979-.
LC Call Number: HD2771.H68
LC Catalog Record: 87648233

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