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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The iMBA's Guide to Digital Business Research

Company Information Research Flow Chart

Visual depiction of a BIS Librarian's suggested search strategy for finding company information using the Three Easy Steps to Find Company Information.

For resources under each step, visit the Three Easy Steps to Find Company Information.

What You Can Find for Free and Why Library Databases

Free Company Websites:

  • Lists products or services
  • Contact information
  • May have background/history
  • If public, may have latest filings or news
  • Not likely to have financials          

Library (Subscription) Databases:

  • Revenues (either estimated for private companies or from filings)
  • Top Executives & brief bios
  • Lines of business –

   aka Industries (either NAICS or SICs)
   What it does ( makes, services or both)

  • Designates if private or public (subsidiary, branch, parent)
  • Competitors (either designated by company or within SIC)
  • Option: financials and background/history
  • Ability to compile lists for competition           

The following library databases below are for finding information on international companies:

Emerging Markets Information Service

To find information: first select a country or multiple countries; then click on company analysis, industry analysis, or country analysis tab; and type the name within search box. (free)

Global directory of over 2 million companies, 860,000 trade names, and over 4.5 million executive names. This is an excellent source to look up addresses for international or small companies that are typically not covered in the general company information databases. Includes supplier listing for products and services. Brief profiles, emails, and even product catalogs are available for some suppliers. More in-depth information or advanced features are subscriber-only.

To search for company information, click on "Search our directory", and use the search box below. You can search for company names or services, and limit the geographic region.

Mergent Online

To find company reports, use the "company search" window on the left side of the home page. You can limit your search to companies in a specific country. Make sure the "International Company Database" box on the left side is checked. Then, click on the "Country" drop-down menu on the right side, select the name, and click search.

Once you have found a company and reached its "company details" page; click the "filings" tab. You will see a table containing details of the company's recent filings. The icons in the "view documents" tab will provide you with various formats for viewing the filings.

 If the filing you are looking for is more than 90 days old; you will need to use the EDGAR search function. In the "company search" section; select the Government Filings tab near the top of the page and enter a company name or ticker symbol. 

In the "filing date search" section; specify a time frame for your search. Finally; in the "filing type" section; specify what type of filings you are interested in. (Again; Form 10-K is the government-required annual report for publicly-traded companies.)

Mergent Online also has financial ratios. Chad Boenniger at Ohio State has a good video describing how to search the database for individual companies or creating reports which compare ratios of company peers within industries for checking your work when making ratio calculations.  



Users can search by Company name or keyword in the top search bar.

Under advanced search options, found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the left hand side, you can search by term, geography, keyword, revenue, ownership, and more.



Need More Help?

Grainger Engineering Library Information Center's STEM Entrepreneurship & Business Services can assist you in getting started with these and other resources.  If you have any questions, please e-mail