When searching for facts about the activities of a company, consider the following:
Types of Business Organizations:
a. Private/Closely Held Companies - The majority of businesses in the United States are private companies. They do not sell shares to the public and are not required by law to report financial information to the SEC, so it can be difficult to find information about them.
b. Public Companies - Sell shares to the public on a stock exchange. The SEC requires public companies to disclose financial and corporate governance information that is available to investors and to the general public through EDGAR, the SEC's database.
c. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) - Authorized by statute in certain states, in which the liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount individually invested. LLCs are managed by members or managers, and members' rights to transfer ownership of their shares are limited.
d. Partnerships - Voluntary associations of two or more persons who jointly own and carry on a business for profit. Under the Uniform Partnership Act, a partnership is presumed to exist if the persons agree to share proportionally the business's profits and losses.
e. Subsidiaries - Companies controlled or wholly owned by a parent company; to search for information on a subsidiary, it is usually necessary to search the SEC filings of its parent company.
Basic and In-Depth Company Information:
a. Lexis Advance: Explore Content > Company and Financial;
b. Westlaw: All Content >
c. Pace Law Library Databases: Corporate, Business and Securities Law.
Corporate Information Required by Federal Law to be Reported to the SEC:
a. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC): EDGAR - the SEC's official database of public company financial data and information filed by all public companies operating in the U.S. (including those based in other countries), including registration statements and periodic financial disclosure filings. All documents can be downloaded for free.
b. SEC Descriptions of SEC Forms.
c. Lexis Advance: Company & Financial > SEC Filings AND Company Profiles > Market Guide Company Profiles, Experian Powered Business Reports
d. Guide to SEC Filings (Thomson Research) - lists and describes in detail each required SEC disclosure documents.
e. The Public Register Online: a free annual report service, with more than 4,500 public company annual reports and SEC filings. Additional reports are added daily.
Annual reports of individual public companies are also available company websites.
Stock Analysis Reports contain extensive information on the financial condition of a company or an industry compiled by financial experts, with recommendations on investments, see Lexis Advance > Company & Financial > Analyst Reports::
a. Zack's Equity Reports - equity research reports for over 1,100 U.S. and Canadian publicly traded companies.
b. Weiss Stock Research Reports - independent, objective opinions of the historical risk-adjusted performance and value of more than 15,000 companies relative to their earnings prospects. The ratings are derived, for the most part, from quarterly financial statements filed with the SEC.
c. Integra Industry Reports - detailed industry descriptions, together with at least two years of balance sheet and income statement summaries, key financial ratios, and industry growth rates.
Lexis Advance - Explore Content > Company & Financial contains, in addition to databases listed elsewhere in this guide, many other information sources:
Lexis Practice Adviser (use drop-down menu from Research link at top left) - topics include Banking & Finance, Business & Commercial, Corporate Counsel, and New York Business & Commercial, with links to relevant subtopics, updates, news, and more.
Pace University Library Databases:
Business Source Premier (1965-) - provides full text for over 2,710 scholarly business journals (access remotely with Pace username and password).
Business Insights - Essentials (formerly Business and Company Resource Center) (1980-) - Company and industry news and information, including company profiles and histories, brand information, rankings, investment reports, articles, and publications.
Business Economics & Theory Collection (Gale) - Nearly 1,800 articles on business and economics topics.
ProQuest Research Library: Business - Business Market Research Collection.
MarketResearch.com Academic - Primary research and expert analysis including industry interviews, competitive analysis, market trends, product innovations, buyer behavior, and market share on many markets and industries.
Mergent Onlline - Public company information U.S. and international databases, and D&B private company database' with detailed information on companies that includes corporate structure, executives and compensation, financials, and more.
NetAdvantage (Standard and Poor's) - Detailed information and analysis for companies,industries, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
Nexis UNI: Business - company dossiers and research, news, recent Supreme Court decisions, law review articles, and blog posts on business topics.
ThomasNet - A directory of manufacturers and their products and services; includes detailed catalogs and CAD drawings. The database is searchable by product, company name, brand name, CAD drawing, and part number.
ValueLine Investment Survey - Comprehensive current information on stocks, including indexes, summaries, histories, analyst reports, ratings, industry reports and market-driven supplements.