U.S. private companies are not traded on any stock exchange and are not required to file detailed financials with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). Thus, information is sparse and difficult to find. Most companies in the U.S. are privately held. Researching private companies requires out-of-the-box thinking and an understanding that it will likely be hard to find information beyond name and location.
Annual Financial Reports
Understanding SEC Filings:
Public companies are those that sell stock to the general public, and trade that stock on a stock exchange or over-the-counter market. The U.S. government requires publicly traded companies to file financial statements and annual 10-K reports to the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
There are a number of filings the SEC requires but there are a few that are going to be the most helpful to those looking for what the company does:
Databases to find Annual Financial Reports:
To find Company Profiles on Mergent Online follow these steps:
The Business Source Complete database contains detailed profiles about companies published by MarketLine. To find a MarketLine report on a specific company, follow these steps: