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Business Research: Private Companies

What is a Private Company?

A private company is defined as a firm or business owned by an individual, family or small group. Shares in the company are not traded on the stock exchange.  Private companies are not required to file annual reports or financial data with the Securities Exchange Commission.

Books in the Library

Locating Information About Private Companies

If you've searched Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies, Hoover's Handbook of Private Companies, Dun & Bradstreet Reports, or the Forbes list of largest private companies, and still did not locate information about a particular private company, try these sources:

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Company web page
  • Conference Presentations or Proceedings
  • Industry Organizations
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Local/Regional Magazines and Business Journals
  • Local/Regional Newspapers
  • Secretary of State's office or website
  • State Attorney General's office or website