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Directories/Basic Company Information


Before You Begin

The directories listed in this section represent a selection of the many directories available which provide current information on companies. However, many of these sources have been published for quite a while, so they can be used for historical research as well. For example, the Million Dollar Directory has been around since the late 1950s and Thomas's Register even longer. Most of the directories included in this section offer basic contact information, sales figures, etc. Some also include more extensive information on company background, organization or more officer lists/bios/contact information, etc. If you are looking for company histories or more historical information, the Library of Congress has a guide for that as well.

Historically, directories came out in print. This meant a delay in the data and a limit to the ways users could use the title. However, those print volumes have since evolved into databases that allow researchers to determine what they want their list to look like. Databases like ReferenceUSA - found in many public library systems - allows users to limit their search to specific geographic parameters (city, state, metro area, etc), industry, company type, etc. in order for them to get the list that suits their specific needs.

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Doing Company Research

Table of Contents

Private Company Research
Public Company Research
Foreign Company Research

For information on other directories, you may wish to consult some of the following sources:

You may also search the Library of Congress online catalog to find additional directories. Below are some selected LC Subject headings that may be useful for searching regional as well as universal or general directories.

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Corporate Information . External Link

Run by Wright Investors' Service, some of this service is free but other parts are for members only.

LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations. New Providence, N.J. : LexisNexis Group, c2002-
LC Call Number: HG4057.A217
LC Catalog Record: 2002256063

This is a source that provides basic company information while also giving subsidiary information in a hierarchal structure. It has volume on US Public, US Private, and International companies. This is not a print source that is all inclusive - it focuses on large national and multinational companies. If you are looking for small local firms or private companies of moderate size, this is not the best source. This product is available on Lexis-Nexis, a subscription based service as well as from the publisher's External Link website, both on a subscription basis.

Ward's Business Directory. Detroit : Gale Research, c1990-.
LC Call Number: HG4057.A575
LC Catalog Record: 90656245

Very limited information but much more broad in its coverage than the Duns Million Dollar Directory. Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies.

Corporate Yellow Book. New York, NY : Monitor Pub. Co., c1992.
LC Call number: HG4057.A15646
LC Catalog Record: 92658853

This is one of many titles from Leadership Directories External Link which are in print or electronic format (a fee-based product) and comes out 4 times a year. Corporate Yellow Book: Who's Who at the Leading Listed U.S. Companies.

Directory of American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries. New York, Uniworld Business Publications, [etc.], 1955/56-.
LC Call Number: HG4538.A1
LC Catalog Record: 55039067

This print title is now part of a subscription database offered by the publisher and includes both Directory of American Firms Operating in Foreign Countries and Directory of Foreign Firms Operating in the US. The online version has many more companies included than do the print titles.

Notable Corporate Chronologies. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1995-.
LC Call Number: HG4009.N68
LC Catalog Record: 95657052

International Directory of Company Histories. v. 1-90: Chicago: St. James Press, c1988-. v. 91- : Detroit : St. James Press, Gale Cengage Learning
LC Call Number: HD2721.I63
LC Catalog Record: 89190943

Online version is available from Gale Virtual Reference Library via subscription.

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There are many, many directories for various industries, professions, etc. I have included a sampling below. Some have direct links to web products, some don't. If the industry is heavily regulated - communications, heath, financial services, aviation - also look at any filings, reports, etc that may be with the regulating federal and or state agency or agencies.

Many of the industry specific directories and sources that published for many years in print have moved away from publishing in print and instead publish only online - including Bacon's External Link and SNL Kagan. External Link It is now possible to develop lists of companies by industry in databases that are not specific to an industry such as ReferenceUSA but searching by industry codes in those databases. See our Industry Research guide for assistance

Harris U.S. Manufacturers Directory. Twinsburg, Ohio : Harris InfoSource.
LC Call Number: HF5035.H37
LC Catalog Record: 00215844

Also see the publisher's External Link web site for additional information.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. New York, Thomas Pub. Co.
LC Call Number: T12.T6
LC Catalog Record: 06043937

Annual published since 1905/1906. It is available electronically as well it is free but registration may be required. Also see the publisher's External Linkweb site for additional information.

U.S. High Tech Register. Twinsburg Twinsburg, OH : Harris InfoSource, c2000-.
LC Call Number: HF5035.U184
LC Catalog Record: 00214971

Also see the publisher's External Link web site for additional information.

Working Press of the Nation. New York, N.Y. : Farrell Pub. Corp., c1947-.
LC Call Number: Z6951.W6
LC Catalog Record: 46007041

Telecommunications Industry Association Membership Directory. External Link

The TIA is a U.S. non-profit trade association serving the communications and information technology industry.

D&B Directory of Service Companies. Parsippany, NJ : Dun's Marketing Services.
LC Call Number: HD9981.3.D86
LC Catalog Record: 89649716

Began as Duns Directory of Services Companies and then changed names and has been published since 1989.

The Advertising Red Books. Advertiser, business classifications. New Providence, NJ : LexisNexis, 2003-
LC Call Number: HF5805.S7
LC Catalog Record:2003252518

They do have a fee-based product on their web page.External Link

Directory of leading chain tenants.. Tampa, FL : Chain Store Guide, c2004.
LC Call Number: HF5468 .D58
LC Catalog Record: 2004215114

Directory of Department Stores. Tampa, FL : Business Guides, c1998-.
LC Call Number: HF5465.U3D472
LC Catalog Record: 98642029

Directory of Apparel Specialty Stores. Tampa, FL : Business Guides, 1997-.
LC Call Number: HD9940.U3D459
LC Catalog Record: 97641596

Consultants &: Consulting Organizations Directory. Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1973-.
LC Call Number: HD69.C6C647
LC Catalog Record: 82642042

Best's Insurance Reports: Property / Casualty. United States. Morristown, N.J. [etc.] A. M. Best Co., 1900-.
LC Call Number: HG9655.B5 (1976-1993)
LC Catalog Record: 77642339
LC Call Number: HG8501.B475 (1994-2002)
LC Catalog Record: 96644751
LC Call Number: HG9655 .B5 (2003-2008)
LC Catalog Record: 2003234187
LC Call Number: HG9655 .B5 (2009-)
LC Catalog Record: 2009201154

Also see the publisher's External Link web site for additional information.

Best's Insurance Reports: Life / Health. Morristown, N.J. [etc.] A. M. Best Co., 1908-.
LC Call Number: HG8941.B482
LC Catalog Record: 97641569

This was just life insurance until 1993 when it was changed to Life/Health. United States. Also see the publisher's External Linkweb site for additional information.

Best's Insurance Reports: International. Morristown, N.J. [etc.] A. M. Best Co., 1985.
LC Call Number: HG8021.B47
LC Catalog Record: 85642095

Also see the publisher's External Linkweb site for additional information.

Directory of Food Distribution. [New York, N.Y.] Business Guides.
LC Call Number: HD9321.3.D53
LC Catalog Record: 80645020

World Gas Handbook. New York, NY : Poten & Partners, Inc. : World Gas Intelligence.
LC Call Number: HD9581.A1W667
LC Catalog Record: 00211108

The Bank Directory. Skokie, IL : Accuity, c2005-.
LC Call Number: HG2441.R3
LC Catalog Record: 2005245313

Accuity also publishes to related additional titles: World Bank Directory and North American Financial Institutions Directory (North American edition). Publisher of these titles was at various points Polk or Thompson. The title is often known as the Thompson Bank Directory, Thomson/Polk Bank Directory, Rand McNally Bankers Directory, or just Polk's bank or banking directory. They are three separate directories with different histories that have merged under Thompson and then Accuity.

American financial directory. Skokie, IL Accuity, 2005-
LC Call Number: HG2441 .A58
LC Catalog Record: 2007210251

Banking / Financial Institutions.

Various Sheshunoff External Link products. This publisher is known for banking and financial institution directories.

FDIC. The FDIC Institution Directory

(ID) provides the latest comprehensive financial and demographic data of every FDIC-insured institution, including the most recent quarterly financial statements, as well as performance and condition ratios. There are for US institutions.

Thomson Credit Union Directory. Skokie, IL : Thomson Financial Information, c1991-.
LC Call Number: HG2037.R28
LC Catalog Record: 91642114

(AKA Rand McNally Credit Union Directory, 1986-90).

Directory of Chain Restaurant Operators. [New York, N.Y.] : Business Guides, Inc.
LC Call Number: TX907.D49
LC Catalog Record: 62004170

National Real Estate Investor Online. External Link

Their Sourcebook provides links to various real estate related companies by categories like: REIT's, brokers & agents, etc.

National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. External Link

Company Names, Ticker Symbols, Property Sectors and Market Capitalization.

American Hospital Directory. External Link

Offers free hospital profiles and state and national statistics.

Janes External Link

Janes publishes multiple titles. Included in their print directoris are the various Jane's airports and handling agents titles: United States and Canada; Europe; Central and Latin America, including the Caribbean; Far East, Asia & Australasia; and Middle East & Africa.

Davison External Link

Davison has produced many different titles often seen as Bluebook for many years. This includes the Textile Bluebook, Box & Carton Bluebook, and Tile & Stone Bluebook. There are print versions, often by individual state, but some of the Textile Bluebook External Link is available online for free but advanced features are part of their subscription database.


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Harris InfoSource. External Link

Harris InfoSource has merged into Hoovers which is a D&B company. They still publish many of the Manufacturing and Services Directories for individual states as well as various regions (Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, South Central, New England, West, Northwest, Pacific Northwest, Tri-State Area).

ThomasRegional. External Link

This is a series in Industrial directories that focus on regions. Some regions are within a state (Northern California, Greater Florida) and some cover several states (Pacific Northwest, Greater Carolinas, Eastern New England, Greater NY/NJ, Western New England, etc.).


ReferenceUSA is a database that allows users the ability to set the own search parameters and create their own lists. Check your local public library

Local phone directories.

In addition to traditional print phone directories you can find a number of online directories for locating local businesses. Some examples are Yellow Pages External Link, MantaExternal Link, and Yelp External Link which also provides customer reviews.


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Investopedia has a short tutorial on Ratio Analysis External Link which has basics and sources of information as does Fuld & Company,External Link a Competitive Intelligence consulting. Investopedia has a nice listing of some of the more common ratios External Link and a nice dictionary External Linkof financial statement terms. These peer review tools don't necessarily go company by company but some do. The RMA, D&B, Leo Troy, and IRS sources look by industry, either SIC/NAICS or their own industry breakdown. Other tools like the paid area of Hoover's is more flexible and will allow for more individually company comparisons. If you are looking for books about Ratio Analysis the best LC subject heading is "Ratio Analysis." There are general sources that cross the industries, but there are also some sources specific to a particular industry (some are listed below).

Hoover's. External Link

Their analysis/comparison is part of the subscription services.

Mergent Online. External Link

This is a subscription database but in their "Create Report" section users can choose companies and data elements.

RMA Annual Statement Studies. [Philadelphia] Robert Morris Associates. 1964-.
LC Call Number: HF5681.B2R6
LC Catalog Record: 72626355

By NAICS code/Industry not by company. Originally named Robert Morris Associates, RMA or Risk Management Associates provides "comparative industry data that comes directly from the financial statements of small and medium-size business clients of RMA’s member institutions." See the publisher's External Link web site for additional information.

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios. Leo Troy, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall.
LC Call Number: HF5681.R25A45
LC Catalog Record: 84643204

By SIC Code/Industry not by company.

IRS Corporation Statistics.

This is not strictly peer review but there is an industry breakdown of various information required on corporation IRS filings. Statistical tables are arranged "by Size", "By Sector or Industry " and "By Type of Return". Provided also are links to articles in "The Statistics of Income" or other IRS produced material relevant to those areas.

CFO Magazine. External Link

Produces an annual Cost Management Survey (formerly the SG&A Survey) published in the February or December issues. The survey ranks the largest companies publicly traded in the United States, according to their cost management index (the CMI is calculated by adding a company's cost of goods sold to its SG&A expenses and dividing the sum by operating revenue).

Mergent's Industry Review. New York, NY: Mergent FIS.
LC Call Number: HG4961.M68
LC Catalog Record: sn99048772

Also known as Moody's Investors Industry Review (since 1984).

Industry Week 1000. External Link

This free database to view the entire IW 1000 or sort the list by several categories including industry, country, ranking, and financial performance measures. Among the financials captured in the database of our eighth annual list are revenue, net income, profit margin, revenue growth, total equity, and earnings per share.

Federal Communications Commission

(FCC). For Wireline information there are several reports/areas: the Statistics of Communications Common Carriers; Telecommunications Carrier Locator; and the Local and Long Distance Telephone Industries to name a few. The other Bureaus also offer information and reports: Wireless Telecommunication, Wireline Competition and the Media Bureau.

Retail Industry Indicators. External Link

Annual compilation of charts and tables, which includes general and specific-to-sector statistics describing retail industry economic and business indicators. It uses, where available, historical information for comparison purposes. Data on sales, compensation and employment, profitability, business bankruptcies, shrinkage and other data are reported in national figures. Additional tables report sales, compensation, employment and number of retail establishments in the United States. Finally, data on sales and employment at the state level are included.

National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. External Link

(NAREIT) Industry information on performance statistics, sector statistics, etc.

Building Owners and Managers Association. Washington, D.C.: Building Owners and Managers Association, c1882-.
LC Call Number: TX980.N33
LC Catalog Record: 86658585

BOMA's "Experience Exchange Report" features operating income and expense data on commercial properties throughout North America. Contains benchmark data including: Line-item expenses for cleaning, repairs/maintenance, utilities, administration, leasing and more; Breakdowns on city, private/government, downtown/suburban and building size; Expanded submarket (zip code) breakouts; Occupancy data in four ranges to help you identify how occupancy levels affect individual line-item expenses.

Sheshunoff. External Link

Sheshunoff Information Services, Inc. has been publishing for over 30 years on regulatory compliance and financial institution operations and management. They have both print and electronic products.


Their Industry Analysis section, Banks Data & Statistics, Research & Analysis sections are quite useful.

S&P Industry Surveys.
Industry Surveys are by industry. Each has tables in the rear of the report that give much financial information by company by financial statement. This title was published in print until 2011 at which point the only access is electronic via the NetAdvantage subscription product.


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What's in a Name : Famous Brand Names Oren Arnold. New York : J. Messner, c1979.
LC Call Number: HF5827.A733
LC Catalog Record: 79015555

Discusses the origin and development of well known products.

The European Directory of Consumer Brands and Their Owners. London : EUROMONITOR PLC, c1992-.
LC Call Number: HF3493.E823
LC Catalog Record: 92650051

Great American Brands : The Success Formulas That Made Them Famous. New York : Fairchild Publications, c1981.
LC Call Number: HF1040.8.C571981
LC Catalog Record: 80068646

Covers the history of brand names. David Powers Cleary.

Brands and Their Companies. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1990-.
LC Call Number: T223.V4A25
LC Catalog Record: 90640879

International Brands and Their Companies. Detroit : Gale Research, c1990-1995.
LC Call Number: HD69.B7I58
LC Catalog Record: 91644462

Companies and Their Brands. Detroit, Mich. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1990-.
LC Call Number: T223.V4A253
LC Catalog Record: 90641391

International Companies and Their Brands. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1990-.
LC Call Number: HF54.U5I55
LC Catalog Record: 91644461

Trade Names Dictionary. Detroit, MI : Gale Research Co., 1976-1989. 1st ed. (1976)-7th ed. (1989).
LC Call Number: T223.V4A25
LC Catalog Record: 84643242

New Trade Names. Detroit, MI : Gale Research Co., c1977-c1989.
LC Call Number: T223.V4A22
LC Catalog Record: 81644245

Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands. editor, Janice Jorgensen. Detroit : St. James Press, c1994.
LC Call Number: HF5415.3 .E527 1994
LC Catalog Record: 93037940

Brandweek Directory. New York, NY : ASM Communications, c1998-.
LC Call Number: HF6182.U5A39
LC Catalog Record: sn 99044025

The Trademark Register of the United States. Washington, Trademark Register, [etc.]
LC Call Number: T223.V4A27
LC Catalog Record: 73086256

The US Patent & Trademark Office has a searchable database of trademarks (select Trademark Search from the menu).

Last Updated: 09/25/2018

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