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Company & Industry Information: Company Information Databases

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to finding Company & Industry information.

Finding Company Information

When looking for information about a company, the type and amount of information you will find and the sources that you will use to find it will vary according to a number of factors:

  • where the company is located (e.g. Canada; U. S.)
  • whether the company is publicly traded or private
  • whether the company is a parent or a subsidiary

In particular, private companies have very few reporting requirements and information about them can be difficult to acquire. On the other hand, publicly-traded companies are obliged to produce and disseminate reports to provide investors with up-to-date and accurate financial data. In many cases, subsidiaries of publicly-traded companies will not file separate reports, but will be incorporated into the parent company reports.

This guide identifies information resources available to you at the U of L that can help you find information about individual companies.

Don't forget...

... to check the 'articles' tab to search article databases for specific company information, too!

Financial Information

Competitor Information

Many of the databases mentioned here provide a list of competitors, but it's likely imperfect, generated based on NAICS or SIC codes. If you have a suspicion that the competitors are incomplete or incorrect, go with your gut and find other ways to discover them, based on your own familiarity with the industry, and comparing other companies by sales/revenue or market share. You can also find more like-businesses in trade & business news publications, tradeshow exhibitor directories, membership directories, and business to business sites.

Company Information Databases

Investment services provide major reference sources for finding company information. These sources provide detailed information about companies and are used in real-world business research for making investment and other business decisions.

Useful Websites

Trouble finding your company?

  • Determine whether the company is public or private.
  • Be sure you are researching the official name of the company. Many companies have popular names that may not be listed anywhere. For example, 3M is really Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.
  • If the company is a personal name or includes initials, e.g. Walt Disney or H. J. Heinz, look under each part of the name. Various sources are not consistent in how names are treated.
  • If the company name is a common word such as Apple or Amazon and you tend to retrieve articles about fruit (Apple) or rivers (Amazon), try adding in Inc. or Corp. after the name. 
  • If you are researching a subsidiary, expand your research to include the parent corporation. For example, Google is under its parent company Alphabet. 
  • Companies sometimes change their names, so look under multiple possible company names. For example, cigarette maker Phillip Morris changed its name to Altria
  • Very small or very new companies may not appear in the standard sources, particularly print sources, so broaden your search. Look for news articles and a company website. Use any regional or specialized industry directories which may be available.
  • See if the database you’re searching within has a specific search tool or area to search for company names – Euromonitor, Factiva, and others have special sections or filters to search by company names. In the list of results, there may be a way to limit results by company, as well.
  • Make sure the source you’re searching includes private or international companies. Some sources like Mergent only have publicly traded companies, so smaller companies aren’t included.

(thanks to Business Reference and Services Section of the American Library Association)