This section provides you with the sources that allow you to:
Be sure to search for articles about the companies you are researching. The "Databases for Articles" tab in this guide provides links to subscription based databases that you should use for any type of company.
When doing company research one should determine whether a company is public, private, or a subsidiary. You should use a database like Mergent Intellect to make this determination. If you are doing research on a local level where there are many small businesses, use a database like ReferenceUSA to make the determination. Additional databases that can help in this process are listed below.
If you have identified a company as a subsidiary, find its parent. Then use the databases in the "Identify Type of Company" section to determine whether the parent company is public, private, or a subsidiary.
You will not be able to find detailed financials for the majority of subsidiary or private companies (unless the subsidiary happens to be trading separately from the parent). However, PrivCo will have financial data for over 850,000 privately-held companies. In addition, a database like ReferenceUSA will provide estimated sales figures for these types of U.S. companies. Use Orbis if your private company is incorporated in the United Kingdom.
Most companies also have websites, so you should comb through them for information.
Use databases like ABI/Inform Collection and others listed in the Databases for Articles section of this guide to find out if anything has been written about these companies in magazines, trade periodicals, or newspapers.
These sources will help you identify competitors. They will also help you determine whether the competitor is public, private, or a subsidiary.
ReferenceUSA is a strong source for identifying competitors on a local level as well as helping you to determine the type of company.