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Company Information

The focus of this guide is to provide resources for locating information on domestic and international companies


Types of Companies - Definitions


A public company is one that trades stocks or securities on an exchange. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates the sale of securities in the United States therefore a great deal of information, especially financial information,  is available for publicly traded companies on a company's website, on free investment sites and on library subscription sites. 


A private company is usually owned by an individual or a group of individuals in a partnership or closely held corporation.  Minimal information is available for private companies on the web, in directories, and in newspapers.


A company that is owned by another company (parent company). Financial information on a subsidiary is seldom available and it is necessary to read the reports of the parent company.  Newspaper and magazine articles often provide useful information.

Multinational Company (MNC) or Multinational Enterprise (MEC)

A company that has operations in a number of countries. MNCs based in other countries and sell securities in the United States are regulated by the SEC


A company that is based in a foreign country and is regulated by the governing body of the home country.

Non-Profit or Not-for-Profit Company or Organization

A company or organization that is not allowed by law to make a profit, such as a charity, association, or educational institution

Finding a Ticker Symbol

A ticker or stock symbol is the abbreviation or code used to identify a company or security on the stock exchange where it is traded.

Finding an NAICS or SIC code

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies to classify comparable business establishments.  In 1997 NAICS replaced the Standard Industry Classification (SIC).