Michigan State University

Company Research: Introduction

Introduction to Company Research

When researching a company, it is important to know whether it is public, private or a subsidiary of a larger company.

Public companies sell shares of the company (stocks) to the general public, and are required to submit financial information and annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Public companies are therefore easier to research as a general rule of thumb.

Private companies do not sell publicly traded stocks and as a result, are not required to release as much information to the government or the general public  They are therefore more challenging to research.

Subsidiaries of public companies can be difficult to research because the parent company is not required to report on each of them individually.  Therefore, when researching a subsidiary, you often have to read carefully through reports about the parent and look for references to the subsidiary.

Click on the Directories tab above to see databases which identify companies as public, private or subsidiaries and provide basic company information.

Company Information Databases Comparison Table

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Gast Business Library

Gast Business Library
Michigan State University
Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 50
East Lansing, MI  48824-1300
(517) 355-3380

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