- Public or Private?
For public companies (companies whose stock is available for sale to the public), a large amount of information may be found in books, annual reports, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and in newspaper and periodical articles. For private companies, much less information is available than for public companies. For private companies, there are no SEC reporting requirements; there may be no annual reports; there may be little or no information in books or in newspaper or journal articles.
- Find out whether the company is: a subsidiary or joint venture? a franchise? foreign-owned? Check corporate structure, affiliation, and status
- What does the company say?
Read a company's finanical statements and annual reports.
- What do others say?
Read news articles, investment reports and other secondary sources to fill in the gaps. Find out what articles have been published on various aspects of the company's operations. Consider current events including business rankings.
Online access to the print edition of the Mergent Manuals, with extensive information on U.S. and international public companies, including financials, stock, properties, joint ventures, subsidiaries, S.E.C. filings, etc.
SEC - EDGAR
Securities and Exchange Commission electronic filings for public companies and mutual funds in the U.S.
Westlaw Campus Research Contains company information e.g. Hoover's Company Records, including profiles for thousands of private and public U.S. corporations, and SEC Filings. Click Hoover's Company Records to get to the company reports.
International Directory of Company Histories
A frequently updated collection of company profiles. These have more information than online sources and include bibliographies for further reading.
Located in Library, first floor reference collection,
call number HD2721 .D36
Mergent Online is a database of corporate information covering over 22,000 US and foreign public companies. Information available for each company includes the following:
- Up to 25 years of annual and quarterly financial data, including balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and financial ratios
- Up to 10 years of scanned, full-image, annual reports to shareholders
- Filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission since 1996
- Extensive information about the corporation's current long term debt
- A complete corporate history including acquisitions and changes in ownership structure
- Lists of subsidiaries, property holdings, and key personnel
- Links to recent news reports
Data output can be customized and exported as comma-delimited files (readable by Excel and other software).
EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Refer to the Guide to SEC Filings from Thomson Research.
EDGAR Filings and Forms include 10-Ks (annual reports for US firms), 10-Qs (quarterly reports), 20-Fs (annual reports for foreign firms) and DEF 14As (proxy statements) of public companies from 1994 forward.
EDGAR documents are also available from:
- EDGAR Online (incorporating FreeEDGAR; subscription required)
- Morningstar Document Research (formerly 10-K Wizard; subscription required)
- SEC Info (registration required)
Pre-EDGAR documents may be obtained from:
ANNUAL REPORTS TO SHAREHOLDERS:
Annual reports to shareholders are available from several sources:
Historical Corporate Reports Online from the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School.
IRIN (The Investor Relations Information Network)
For International Companies, check http://www.rba.co.uk/sources/finars.htm for a list of links to sources.
The Mergent Equity Research Report offers summaries of: recommendation, analysis, business, earnings momentum, recent developments, price momentum, peer companies, a price performance graph and financials fundamentals graph. Available as part of Mergent Online under the Reports tab.
- Akama Open Business Directory
- AnyWho Yellow Pages (AT&T)
- BlackWebPortal Yellow Pages
- Central Contractor Registration (US Federal Government contractors)
- Infobel (telephone directories on the Web)
- Manta Company Profiles (registration required)
- National Minority and Women-Owned Business Directory (DANA REF HD 2346 .U5 N34)
- VetBiz Registry
- Ward's Business Directory (DANA Reference Desk, KILMER Business Counter 1)
- WHOIS database (Network Solutions)
Mississippi Chambers and Economic Development
Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership - Has a business directory which lists businesses by category and has a search feature.
To find information on lawsuits and legal claims, refer to the "Legal Proceedings" section in the SEC Form 10-K, via Hoover's Online. This site allows individual sections of SEC filings to be displayed after a company search has been conducted. Of historical interest is the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade (1990's) as tallied by Corporate Crime Reporter, a legal newsletter.
Look up patent filings (from 1790 to present) on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Database; choose Quick Search, enter the company name as Term 1, and select "Assignee Name" in Field 1. More intellectual property resources may be found on the Patents Guide compiled by Ellen Calhoun.
Search for registered trademarks with the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System. Use the Structured Form Search; enter the company name as the Search Term, and select "Owner Name" as the Title Field.
If you are wondering whether American corporations have an influence on the political process, the Political Money Line will let you search by donor name (company, individual, or PAC).
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is presented each quarter by the University of Michigan Business School. The focus is on goods and services from major companies in a few dozen industries.
Initial Public Offerings may be tracked at Hoover's Online - IPO Central, with links to the SEC S-1 filings.
Inappropriate health, safety, and working conditions at companies are often brought to the attention of the federal government, and the Department of Labor mainatains a database of Enforcement Data that is searchable by industry, ZIP code, and state.
You can use the Subsidy Tracker from Good Jobs First to see what financial incentives were granted by state government agencies to companies to encourage job creation or economic development.
You can see different rankings of companies on the Forbes Lists by sales, profits, assets, or market value.
The annual Fortune 500 rankings, which actually covers 1,000 companies, are based on revenues.
Listings from the Hispanic Business 500 Directory is available online for 2001-2009.
The Inc. 500 is a list of the fasting-growing companies in the U.S.
Insurance firms are rated according to their financial strength by A.M.Best Ratings & Analysis (registration required).
Many more online lists may be found on Gary Price's List of Lists.
- Alabama Secretary of State Government Records Inquiry System
- Alaska Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
- Arizona Corporation Commission
- Arkansas Secretary of State: Search Incorporations
- California Secretary of State: Business Search
- Colorado Secretary of State Business Center
- Connecticut on-line Network Commercial Recording Database (CONCORD)
- Delaware Department of State, Division of Corporations (fee-based)
- Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations: Document Searches
- Georgia Secretary of State Corporations Database
- Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Business Name Search and COGS
- Idaho Secretary of State Business Entity Search
- Illinois Secretary of State Corporate/LLC Search
- Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division
- Iowa Secretary of State: Corporation Search
- Kansas Online Corporation Search
- Kentucky Secretary of State: Online Business Data Base
- Louisiana Secretary of State Corporations Database
- Maine Secretary of State: Corporate Name Search
- Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation: Business Data Search
- Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Corporations Division
- Michigan Corporation Division Business Entity Search
- Minnesota Secretary of State Online Services for Corporate and UCC Records (fee-based)
- Mississippi Secretary of State Business Services: Corporation Search
- Missouri Secretary of State Business Entity Database
- Montana Secretary of State Business Entity Search
- Nebraska Secretary of State Corporation and Business Entity Searches
- Nevada Secretary of State Business center
- New Hampshire Business Name Lookup
- New Jersey State Business Gateway Service (fee-based)
- New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Corporations Information Inquiry
- New York Department of State Corporation and Business Entity Database
- North Carolina Secretary of State Corporations Division
- North Dakota Secretary of State Business Record Search
- Ohio Secretary of State Business Services Division
- Oklahoma Secretary of State Business Records Department
- Oregon Secretary of State Business Name Search
- Pennsylvania Department of State - Corporation Bureau
- Rhode Island Corporations Infolink
- South Carolina Secretary of State - Search Business Filings
- South Dakota Secretary of State Corporations Division
- Tennessee Secretary of State, Business Information Search
- Texas Secretary of State Direct Access (fee-based)
- Utah Department of Commerce Business Entity Search
- Vermont Secretary Of State: Database Search
- Virginia State Corporation Commission
- Washington Secretary of State, Corporations Division, Registration Data Search
- West Virginia Secretary of State Business Organization Information System
- Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Corporate Registration Information System
- Wyoming Secretary of State, Business Division
Some additional resources are available at Locating U.S. Corporation Records Online from the Internet Prospector.
The number of organizations and firms which filed reports are compiled by the International Association of Commercial Administrators in their Annual Jurisdictional Reports. For 2007-2009 figures, select the year, the state, and then select "BOS Annual Report."
Business Source Premier. Searchable abstracts of articles selected from about a thousand periodicals and journals. Between 70-80 percent of the items also include full text.
The Mississippi business journal - The library has a print copy at - PERIODICAL-- HC101 .M47x.
Library / Main Desk
Tel: (601) 974-1073