Start your research with a company profile in a source like Hoover's. You may not find everything you need, but it should at least answer some key questions including:
- What is the complete, official name of the company? This can be more difficult than it sounds. Try a search and note the stock ticker (if it has one) or the exact name for additional research.
- Is the company a subsidiary? It may be a subsidiary of, wholly or partially owned by, a parent company. If so, you may only find information on the parent company.
- Is the company publicly-held? Private companies aren't subject to the same regulations as publicly-held companies, and therefore don't have to produce the same documentation. There may be less information in traditional sources, and you'll have to try alternative search strategies.
- Is the company a U.S. company? Unless the foreign-owned company is traded on a U.S. stock exchange, you'll have to try some alternative sources.
More Research Strategies
You have access to the major tools that will make your company research easier, but the ones you need will depend on the focus of your research.
- Annual Reports
- Investments and Stock Prices
- Industry Research
- Finding Articles
- Private and International Companies
- Use Company and Industry Research to Land a Job
Since you could be researching a company for all sorts of reasons, ask me if you don't see what you need.