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International Management and Marketing Resources: Company Research

The University Library owns a variety of print and electronic resources to use when researching your topics. The following are a few core tools to help you begin your research process. The Library Homepage is located at



This section provides you with the sources that allow you to:

  • Identify type of company
  • Find information about public companies
  • What to do if a company is private or a subsidiary
  • Identify competitors

Be sure to search for articles about the companies you are researching.  The "Articles" tab in this guide provides links to subscription based databases that you should use for any type of company.

Identify 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.

Public Company

If you have established that a company is public, you will be able to find many sources that provide financial summaries, as well as links to their 10-Ks or 20-Fs.  The sources in this section will help you find this type of information. 

10-Ks are the annual reports that U.S. public companies must submit to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  20-Fs are the annual reports that foreign companies trading in the U.S. file to the SEC.  Another good source for the 10-Ks or other annual reports is the company's website.   These reports are usually located in the "Investor Relations" section of the website. 

European Companies

Companies that incorporate in different countries are required to follow their regulations. Companies that are incorporating in the United Kingom, whether listed (publicly traded) or unlisted (private) must file with Companies House. They also have to submit financials. Other European countries have their own requirements. This section identifies sources whereby a researcher can find and purchase official company documents, including financials. 

Subsidiary / Private Company

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 subsidiary or private companies (unless the subsidiary happens to be trading separately from the parent). 

Most companies also have websites, so you should comb through them for information.

Use the databases 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.

Identify Competitors

These sources will help you identify competitors. 

Mergent Intellect will also help you determine whether the competitor is public, private, or a subsidiary.