General (phone, address, executives, etc)
Contact information for both public and private companies
- Greenwood Superpages
- Melissa Data - The Lookup Directory from Melissa Data provides a first-rate collection of 18 look-up databases. Accessible from a single page — for free! Includes U.S. Place Names, Zip Code Demographics, Income Tax Statistics, Area Codes in a Radius, Worldwide Place Names, Copywriting Tips, Nonprofit Organizations, etc.
- Toll Free Directory - Companies are listed by product, service, company name, state, and 800 numbers.
Executives, including biographies
For public companies, biographical information is available in the company's proxy statement and Annual Report/Form 10-K.
Here are a few websites which will provide executive biographical information:
- The company's website
- Library of Congress' Guide to Business History
- Wikipedia - Companies - This section of the popular Wikipedia encyclopedia provides company profiles for hundreds of U.S. and international firms, both public and private. You can find entries either by browsing the various categories (e.g., companies by country, by stock exchange, or by industry) or by entering the name of the target organization in the search box.
Here are a few websites, which will supply financial information about public & private companies:
- Yahoo! Finance
- Smart Business Reports - If you assume risk in dealing with other businesses and have a need to determine business or asset ownership, these online reports of public records may be very helpful (fees charged).
Annual Reports, proxy, and 10k
Here are a few websites which will provide financial statements (Annual Reports, 10-Ks, etc) on public companies:
Is the company still in business?
An excellent place to start looking (regardless if the company is still in business or not) would be to check the Secretary of State website for the state in which the business is located.
Is the company public or private?
Information on private companies is not readily available. A few sources that would provide information on private companies would be:
- Central Indiana Better Business Bureau
- ReferenceUSA - Directory information on ten million public and private U.S. businesses.
- Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies
- ThomasNet - Brings together industrial buyers and suppliers on a national, regional, and local level. Browse or search US and Canadian Companies to find the industrial products or services you need.
Is this company a subsidiary or division of another company?
- Corporate Affiliations - Offers insight on nearly 1 million parent and subsidiary businesses worldwide, and has recently expanded coverage to include additional in-depth details on directors, executives and their professional interactions, to help you build relationships that encourage business success. Has a 7 day free trial.
- ReferenceUSA - Directory information on ten million public and private U.S. businesses that includes business hierarchies.
What is the company's line of business? (SIC or NAICS codes). Here are sources for determining SIC and NAICS Codes.
Would you be interested in company rankings (top 10 list), competitors, ratings, or market share information? (Market Share is the ratio of sales for one company's products or product line to the total market sales of that product or product line, expressed as a percentage of the market.)Here are some excellent websites, which provide company rankings.
- Forbes - Click on Lists.
- MarketResearch.com - Offers more than 2.3 million reports from over 950 leading research firms. Also has Market Looks, an 8-10 page summary on specific industries. Free registration.
- INC 500 Lists - Includes the Inc. 500 lists for 1982-2005. Full contents of the 14 annual issues of Inc. and four annual issues of Inc. Technology are posted at this website when the magazines go on newsstands. All stories back to 1988 are available for free in the (searchable) online archives.
Would you be interested in news or articles about a particular company? Here are a few excellent websites which will provide articles are individual companies.
Case studies/Best practices