Finding Company Information
To locate financial information for a business, you first have to determine whether the company you are researching is publicly or privately held.
Publicly held companies trade stock on a stock exchange and are required to file financial reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To search for a public company's financial reports, you can use the Mergent Online, Business Source Premier, or SEC EDGAR database.
Privately held companies are not required to file financial reports with the SEC, thus making it more difficult to find a company's financial information without paying a fee. One strategy to take is to search on the company's website for annual financial reports.
Similar to privately held companies, franchisees are not required to file financial reports with the SEC. One strategy to take is to search for the franchisee's franchise disclosure document (FDD). The FDD Exchange is a private company that provides access to FDDs. The Basic Explorer membership is free and will give you access to one FDD per day.
Selected business websites
Associations - Business and Economics
from IPL2 (Internet Public Library)
Bureau of Labor Statistics
principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics
official business link to the U.S. Government
California Business Portal
from the Secretary of State's Office
Consumer Price Indexes
monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services
County Business Patterns
from the U.S. Census Bureau
SEC (U.S. Security and Exchange Commission) filings
Foundation Center 990 Finder
Search for IRS 990 forms
Minority Business Development Agency
From the U.S. Department of Commerce
National Center for Charitable Statistics
the national clearinghouse for the non-profit sector in the United States
Office of Women's Business Ownership
From the U.S. Small Business Administration
U.S. Census Bureau: Business and Industry
economic data by industry sector, historic business data, statistics of U.S. businesses, labor force information.
Search for local, state, and federal government information.