Skip to Main Content

BUS 1100 Introduction to Business

Finding company intelligence for job searching and interviews.

Step 1: Identify your company - Is it publicly-traded, private, a subsidiary or nonprofit?

Start with the company's web site. 
Use Google or other search engine to find the company's web site(s) and note the following:
Are there variations of the company name?
Different research resources may use alternative spellings or abbreviations of a company name.  Some databases require a ticker symbol to find company information.
Is the company public or private? An International company or nonprofit?
It is usually easier to find info on publicly-held companies.  
See  the tab above for "Types of Companies".
If it's public, be on the lookout for the ticker symbol (see tab above), an abbreviation that can be used in some websites.
What about the company's "family tree"? 
Is it a parent company? Division of another? Foreign-owned? Family-owned? 
More information about the company will be at the parent company's site.
Is the company newsworthy? 
Companies tend to be in the news when they want the publicity.  For smaller companies you may need to search local newspapers. Smaller companies may be promoted in local news.
Warning:  Just remember websites are produced by the company's marketing department, and will most likely present information portraying the company in a positive light, hiding information they don't want competitors to see
Tip: Look at the bottom or top of the web site for:
  • About Us
  • Corporate Information
  • Investor Relations
  • Governance

Next you will be looking for Key Company Reports.

Tip: Look at the bottom or top of the web site for:

  • About Us
  • Corporate Information
  • Investor Relations


Information on companies varies greatly depending on the type of company.

Public - There is a great deal of information available on companies which trade on the stock market - SEC filings, annual reports, analysts' reports, news stories, books and case studies.

Private - Information on private companies is usually limited to brief information in directories, news stories, and sometimes books. See private company sources on our Company Research guide

International - The amount of information on international companies varies. If the company trades on the U.S. exchanges it must file annual reports (20-F) with the SEC. Start with sources on this guide. 

Non-Profit - Finances and other general information can be found in Form 990 which nonprofits must file with the IRS annually. Many are posted on the web at Some information can also be found in newspaper and journal articles.  See the Company Research guide for recommended sources.

Ticker symbols are letters used as shorthand to uniquely identify a public company, such as AAPL for Apple.
Knowing a company's ticker helps you retrieve company info quickly.

The ticker symbol can be found in any of these sites:

Having trouble pinpointing your company? Try these sites, and search the article databases as well.

For questions or feedback contact the McQuade Library
Call us: 978-837-5177 | Text us:  978-228-2275 | Email us: