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Business & Economics: Company Research

Essential research tools for business and economics topics.

Public or Private?

Which type of company are you researching?

Public companies:
stock is owned by the public and is traded on a stock exchange
required to file financial statements and other reports with the SEC

This makes it easy to find information on public companies.


Private companies:
stock not sold to the general public and does not trade on an exchange
not required to share financial information or other company news

Thus it can be difficult to do research on private companies.

Parent Company?   Subsidiary?

Another thing to consider: Is the company affiliated with another company through stock ownership?

Parent Company:  Owns a significant amount of stock (often over 50%) of another company ("subsidiary").

Subsidiary:  Company for which over 50% of the voting stock is controlled by another company ("parent company").

Since the stock of the subsidiary is not available for sale to the general public, that company does not have to file financial statements or other disclosures with the SEC, making it more challenging to research a subsidiary.
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Research Tools
The following subscription databases  indicate ownership relationships, such as parent companies and subsidiaries:

* UWM Libraries Subscription Databases

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Featured Print Reference Books

Industry Profiles and Market Share

In addition to using the company databases to research a company, you may also want to check the Industry and Market Share databases to see if the company is covered in those sources.