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This guide shows resources for business topics related to marketing.

Private vs. Public Companies

What is the difference between a private and a public company?

Private Company information is much more difficult to gather than Public Company information.  This is especially true as concerns financial information. Whereas Public Companies are required by law to disclose detailed financial information to the SEC (available from Mergent and ValueLine), this is not the case with private companies, who can decide for themselves how much they wish to make available.  However, there are some courses of actions which can be taken to find information.  These include:

--Mergent Intellect - A database that contains financial information on thousands of private companies. 

--Searching in Business databases (such as the ones listed to the right), which index articles from scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers.
--Searching in 
 newspaper databases and business specific databases (such as the one listed in the "Databases" tab.)
--Looking at the company's website -- different companies divulge different amounts of information -- from none at all to quite a bit.  Usually, if any information is available, it is hidden behind small print links with labels like "financial information," "investor information," or "fact sheets." 

Company Specific Information

Databases For Company Specific Information
Mergent Logo Mergent Intellect Logo
Mergent Key Business Ratios lgo Mergent Key Business Ratios Archives
IBIS World Logo Additional Business Topics

Related Sources For Company Information

See Other Tabs On the Marketing Research Guide