General Company Information

This commercial site by i-CD Publishing (UK) Ltd. helps you find businesses and residences in the United Kingdom. You must register to use the site, and much of the information it provides is not free. However, if you're willing to work at it, you can find names, addresses and phone numbers without incurring a charge. To do this, run a query under the People Finder or Business Finder tab. Pass over the initial search results, and go to the bottom of the page where you will find a link labeled, "Search Free Directory Enquiries." Click it to retrieve the free basic contact information as well as a map of the company's or individual's location. Paid subscribers can retrieve additional information, including electoral rolls from 2002 to present and company and director reports.


Duke University offers this database of images and information about print advertisements appearing in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. (Some collections appear to go a few years beyond 1955). Search or browse the collection, which covers ads for beauty and hygiene, radio, television, transportation and World War II. Information provided about ads includes the ad headline, sponsoring company, year it appeared, and the publication running the ad. The keyword search function was down on the day we tested access.


This database contains information about advertisements appearing in print since 1940. The search feature works for paid subscribers only. Others may browse the collection by year or decade. Information provided about the ad includes the product name, company, publication where the ad appeared and issue date.

Annual Reports Service

This PrecisionIR site provide free access to company annual reports. Search or browse by company name or industry to find the reports. If an Adobe icon appears to the left of the company name, you may download the report. You must submit your name and address to complete the download.

The Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau offers business and charity reports databases. The business reports database currently contains reports for businesses in select jurisdictions. It's a great way to learn something about private companies if the company does business in one of the select locations.

BizJournals Company Profiles Database

Contains profiles on more than 880,000 public and private companies. For free, you may search the database by keyword and review basic information. Many of the basic entries contain the company name, headquarters location, phone and a link to the Web site. They also provide a brief description of the company, the names of select executives as well as links to related BizJournals' articles. Currently, each entry prompts you to "get this company's full profile and more." It outlines the type of information missing from the basic report. However, when you follow the link for more information, you receive a prompt to sign up to be notified when the premium database is available. The offer includes a 45-day free trial (when it is available).

Business Filings Databases (

Find a directory of state corporate information databases compiled and annotated by Kathy Biehl. It covers all 50 states.


This InfoUSA database enables finding company contact information for free. Search by company name to find company name, address and telephone number. The site also enables submitting or reviewing opinion about companies. If you register with the site, you can purchase a business credit report. Reports include key contact information, lines of business, corporate affiliations, public records, Web site addresses, news and more.

Canadian Companies Research Guide

The Winspear Business Reference Library at the University of Alberta compiles this briefly annotated list of noteworthy sources of information about Canadian companies. It covers sources providing published articles, company directories, company profiles, company rankings, annual reports and financial data, company or industry comparison reports, company relationships and stock data.

Canadian Company Capabilities

Industry Canada offers a database of profiles of small and medium-sized Canadian companies and businesses involved in manufacturing, business services, and wholesale trade. Search by keyword, company name, location, SIC code or other criteria to find business contact information, year in business, primary business activity, product or service information (including whether it exports), technology profile, a description of the market and more.

Canadian Corporations Database Online

Search for Canadian business corporations by company name or number. Data returned includes the business status, address on file, effective date of registration, directors names and addresses, and other information, if relevant.

Canadian Trade Index

Available in print, over the Web or on CD-ROM, the Canadian Trade Index provides information about Canadian companies and their products. Search by company name or product to find company contact information, product list, Web site, catalog, export regions and more.


CAROL stands for Company Annual Reports Online. After registering (free) with the site, obtain access to company annual reports from Asia, Europe and the United States. Search by industry sector or browse by company name. CAROL indexes annual reports available online. It does not store these reports on its own server. Therefore, you will find reports in a variety of formats (mostly PDF) and covering a variety of years. CAROL also links to stock exchanges around the world and provides a news update service covering IPOs, mergers & acquisitions, and other events typically the subject of securities filings.

This utility queries several WHOIS databases for information about the owners of a domain name. It covers several top-level domains (TLDs) including .com, .edu., .net., .org, .mil, and those of many foreign countries.

Company Search

Companies House, an executive agency of the UK Department of Trade and Industry, offers information about UK registered companies. Search by partial or full company name (including previous names) to find registered office, company type, SIC classification, previous names, date of incorporation, branches, and more.

Corporate Consumer Contacts

This section of the Federal Citizen Information Center's Consumer Action Handbook, provides contact information for more than 650 U.S. companies. Designed for use by consumers, the listing focuses on contacts for product or service complaints. It's one of the few directories to list the customer service telephone number for (We provide that information, too, at

The Corporate Library

The Corporate Library is an independent investment research firm providing corporate governance data, analysis and risk assessment tools. It offers a database of S&P 500 companies that you may search for free. (Paid subscribers receive access to a larger database of U.S. and international companies.) Search by company name, ticker, CEO or other criteria to find the company name, CEO name, ticker symbol, industry and market capitalization. For a fee, you can also download company and board member profiles. The site offers additional free databases. Find one containing chief executive officer employment contracts, which you can search by keyword. "Governance Policies" is a keyword-searchable database of governance policies.


The site serves as a wonderful starting point for company-related research, but now requires a cumbersome registration process. Nonetheless, much of the content is worth the burden and you can still obtain some information for free. Search a company by name or ticker symbol to find profiles. The profiles provide a brief business description, Wright Quality Rating (4-part measurement of investment risk, financial strength, profit and growth), officers, current year's sales, recent stock performance, number of employees, links to news stories, and more. One caveat: the site performed slowly during our evaluation, and on one occasion, it shut down.


Use of this resource requires free registration with the site. Search a database of information about high technology companies. CorpTech aims to gather information unavailable via traditional resources like Dun & Bradstreet or Standard & Poor's. For example, it targets small private companies, or companies whose profits exclude them from major databases like D&B's Million Dollar Directory. Search by company name, location, SIC or NAICS code, or other criteria. Retrieval is limited for those with free site membership.

Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada

The 5th edition (1997), prepared for the Society of American Archivists, is available in full text at no charge. It offers contact information for researching the archival records of companies in the U.S. and Canada.

Dun & Bradstreet Reports

Find business credit reports. Search by company name and location, DUNS number, executive name or telephone number.

Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920

Duke University offers this database containing information about print ads. Search or browse the collection, which covers various types of ads (e.g., ephemera, broadsides, cookbooks, etc.) Information about ads includes the headline, year of publication, company, product name, and publication.

Exempt Organization Select Check

On-line IRS search tool that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings.

Forbes 500 Largest Private Companies

Discover basic financials about the 500 top private companies in the United States. The site also links to home pages and provides address information as well as the name of the CEO.

Foreign Trade Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau offers several publications for finding statistics on foreign trade. This Web page provides access to relevant press releases, exporter profiles, data on U.S. trade in goods (published jointly with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis), and Federal Register notices and rule-makings.

Foundation Finder

The Foundation Center offers this free tool for locating foundations. Researchers must know at least part of a foundation's name to use it.

Franchise 500

Entrepreneur Magazine offers a database containing information from its 21st Annual Franchise 500. Find franchises and their rankings, street and Web addresses, business description as well as an annual breakdown of the number of units owned since 1997, information about where they seek to franchise, financial information, and contact information.

Free Australian and New Zealand Business Information Resources

Published in the September/October 2004 issue of Online Magazine, this article, written by Nicole Sackers, Michelle Nutting and Sinead Williams, provides an overview of free Web-based business resources covering Australia and New Zealand. The annotated information sources include regional media, sources for company annual reports, directories, sources for conducting company research, sources for obtaining historical stock quotes, statistical sources and sources offering industry information.

 Launched as a public beta on 11 June 2008, the site promises to deliver "reviews, ratings and salary details about specific jobs for specific employers." While access to the information requires registration, it is free. The catch? To join, you must provide a review or salary information for a current or past employer. The type information you will find includes the company name, top executive, its industry, employee size, revenue, Web site address, reviews and salary reports. You may also search salaries or reviews by keyword.

Global Technology Forum

A Web site of The Economist Intelligence Unit, offers several goodies to researchers interested in the electronic business practices of companies doing business abroad. Find a "Doing ebusiness in ..." database that provides current news, market profiles, ebusiness rankings, and more. The market profiles include information about a country's business-related taxes, laws and regulations, infrastructure, ebusiness marketplace, and economy. The "best practice" channel offers case studies concerning the ebusiness strategies of select companies or industries. The "research" channel offers market trends, business strategies, executive surveys and benchmarks, and a collection of Web-based resources.


Thomson Gale provides this business information portal, which gives consumers access to news, company profiles, market reports and other information on a pay-per-view or subscription basis. Six menu tabs describe the content. Competitive Intelligence contains reports from sources such as Ward’s Business Directory and Graham and Whiteside Major Company Series. Industries and Markets contains reports from many different sources and covers topics such as trends analysis, market leaders, product and brand information and statistics. Management Practices provides access to 3 separate databases -- Business & Management Practices, Thomson Gale Encyclopedia of Management and Thomson Gale Business Plans. Industry and Business News contains articles from journals, newspapers, newswires, and magazines. Lead Generation helps you create lists of contacts by industry, product type, keyword or job title. Biz Match helps you find business contacts. It includes sources such as Consultants and Consulting Organizations, American Wholesalers and Distributors, and Taft Directory of Corporate and Foundation Givers. You may search or browse the portal for free. Pay to access full-text information.


Discover basic information about charitable organizations. Learn their assets, income, FEIN, funding and activities. The site also features an advertisements database offering services such as volunteering and financial resources. GuideStar also has a charities form 990 database.

Hoover's Online

Find company and industry information, including brief business descriptions, executive biographies, competitors, news, and more.

Industry Data Finder

The Cole Library, Rensselaer at Hartford offers a useful research guide and annotated collection of links to industry resources. It covers major industries -- automotive, banking, construction, food, paper, and more -- and provides the corresponding SIC and NAICS codes, industry profiles, financials and statistics, forecasts, news, hot issues, trade associations, trade publications, as well as regulating government agencies and major companies in the industry.

Insurance Ratings offers insurance company ratings from Standard & Poors and Fitch (formerly, Duff & Phelps) free of charge.

Investment Advisor Public Disclosure Database

The Securities and Exchange Commission and state regulators make information about investment advisor firms available. Search by full or partial company name, IARD/CRD number or SEC number to find a business' primary name, alternate names, IARD/CRD number, SEC number, address, and a link to its Form ADV (application for investment advisor registration). The application then discloses additional useful information; for example, whether the business has assets under management of $25 million or more, its state of incorporation, number of employees, number of clients, and more.


The Kompass Worldwide database contains information about 1.7 million companies and 790,000 brands in over 70 countries. Search by product or service, company name, brand, executive name, or keyword to find contact and basic company information, including logo, year established, number of employees, executives, approximate sales, trade names, and more. Some business entries are more informative than others. Databases

This site offers a number of databases for discovering information about aircraft and aircraft owners. Discover whether a company or individual owns aircraft, or find out how many people and companies in your city own aircraft. Information returned includes registration number, aircraft serial number, aircraft manufacturer, model, and year, engine manufacturer and model, owner name and address, registration date, airworthiness certificate type, and approval rating.


Find analyst reports, company profiles, information about mergers and acquisitions, and more. Try the Company Library.


Line56 offers various products and services for the business-to-business e-commerce market. Researchers looking for hard to find information about private B2B companies may want to start here. Line56's B2B Company Directory helps you find businesses by B2B category. It also occasionally profiles businesses in the directory. Profiles offer a brief business description, press releases, contact information, business status (e.g., private), number of employees, and the names and positions of people in management. B2B Finance tracks the current B2B stock market and offers profiles of B2B public companies. Profiles offer a brief business description, ticker symbol, current stock market performance, press releases, articles from Line56 Magazine, contact information, business status (e.g., public), number of employees, and the names and positions of people in management. Finally, B2B Research offers analyst and research reports related to the B2B market.

LLRX Business Filings Databases

Kathy Biehl's guide to online corporate and business filings available provides links to and descriptions of services available from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as selected commercial services.

MacRae's Blue Book

Published since 1893, this buyer's guide provides information about the products of 120,000 industrial companies. Search by company or product keyword to find names of matching businesses, their city and state/province, phone number and brief business description. You can also limit queries to whole words (no truncation) or to a U.S. or Canadian location. Click "more" after abbreviated initial entries to find fax numbers, street addresses, type of business activity, business contacts, Web site and more., a business information service by ECNext, Inc., aggregates research reports and other business information by commercial providers. Currently, you will find Dun & Bradstreet reports on U.S. and foreign companies, company and industry reports by Datamonitor and Snapdata as well as industry reports by ICON Group International. While detailed information is available for sale at this site, you will find snippets of information for free.

Kalorama Information, LLC, publisher and distributor of market research reports, offers a search interface to its studies as well as to Findex and MarketLooks. MarketLooks provides brief (10 to 15 pages) analyses of industries. Findex, by FIND/SVP, is a database of abstracted industry reports by FIND/SVP. Search by keyword. Keywords may encompass company names. Researchers receive abstracts free of charge and may order full-text reports via the site. Accessing Findex summaries requires a paid subscription, but visitors may search it free of charge.

MNI Leads

Manufacturers News, Inc. offers a database (formerly, MNI Database) of sales leads. Search by geographic location, industry, or company size to find profiles of sales prospects. The database previously gave away basic contact information for free. Now a commercial source, it reveals the number search results and the cost of downloading them.

Outlet Bound

Developers of Outlet Centers (DOC), a non-profit service organization, offers this directory of outlet stores. Search by location, store name, brand, or category to find outlet stores. Features include listing outlet locations within a state or a specified radius, retrieving an outlet center's brochure, and links to the center. Company information includes who sells what brand, outlet name and location, and occasionally, a telephone number.

Price's List of Lists

Gary Price offers this excellent compilation of resources that rank companies, people, or other groups.

Public Register, The

In addition to assisting researcher's looking for company home pages, financial information, and research reports, The Public Register provides free copies of annual reports. Researchers must order them, but there is no charge.

Recent Advances in Manufacturing (RAM) Database

This bibliographic database contains information on the manufacturing industry from over 500 journals, magazines, and other materials. It covers the industry generally as well as manufacturing management, environmental and quality management, product development, manufacturing systems and processes, applied technologies, maintenance, monitoring and inspection, and education and training. To find article annotations citing specific companies, enter the company name.

Scannery, The

This focused search engine helps you find information about public companies worldwide. It crawls the Web for mention of more than 20,000 public companies in countries around the world. Search by keyword to find matching documents. The Scannery offers some advanced search features including phonetic searching, stemming, finding synonyms and limiting queries to specific industries. As with other public Web search engines, search results take you to the Web site where the document is found. You can also track additions to the database by keyword.


Funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP), SCORE catalogs annual reports and other documents, prepared by companies in several countries, and held in U.K. libraries. The catalog contains information about current company reports, but focuses on indexing older reports. A note at the site indicates its funding will soon end, but it already contains an impressive collection. You may search for companies by name, or browse the collection by country or industry sector.


SkyMinder offers public and private company profiles, financial data for public companies, news, and market information. Search the company and news databases for free after registering at the site. Purchase individual documents as needed. Opening an account with the site provides members with additional information concerning European, US and worldwide companies and business industries. Sources include Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Knight Ridder and other media.

It in own words, "TechAgreements is a research tool for those looking for model legal forms and competitive information on publicly disclosed deals in the Internet, Computer and Telecom industries." Search by company name or keyword, or browse agreements by industry. The site offers a brief summary of the agreement including the date it was signed and number of pages. You pay per agreement to access the full-text. helpfully supplies a line item for entering billing references.

Thomas Global

The Thomas Global (previously Thomas Global Register Europe) is a directory of 700,000 manufacturers and distributors from countries in Asia, Europe and North America. It provides basic information about manufacturers, including the company name, address, phone, fax, number of employees, year established and product type.


The company that runs The Scannery offers this database of information about public companies in South Africa. Find financial and other public documents as well as interactive organization charts that provide information about subsidiaries and company news from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. You can also search the Web sites of specific companies by keyword. Free registration is required. Site information cautions that it intends to become a fee-based service in the future.

Westlaw Company Information

Subscribers to Westlaw, a commercial online legal research service, may customize their access to include a company information guide. Go to MyWestlaw, and then select topical tabs. Check the box next to Company Information. A tab, labeled Company Information, should now appear on the Welcome screen. Click it to find Westlaw database recommendations based on the type of information you seek. If you are looking for sources of information about company executives, for example, see the suggestions under Key People. Other categories include Company Overviews, Company Directories, Corporate Family Tree, Registered Agent & Public Filings, Litigation History, Financials, Securities Filings, Intellectual Property, Products & Brands, and News.

Who's Who: Sutter's International Red Series

Find three biographical directories -- Who's Who in Spain, Who's Who in Italy, and Who's Who in Russia. Search by executive, company, or industry sector to find biographical information or company or industry profiles. Profiles and biographical entries appear in English.

Worldbox Business Intelligence

This commercial service offers information about more than 50 million companies worldwide. For free, searchers may obtain basic business information about companies around the world. Fee-based membership provides access to: 

  1. Hong Kong Company Services (access to offline research services for Hong Kong company and public record information)
  2. Company Financial Statements and Profiles (basic business information about European, Japanese and U.S. public and private companies, banks and insurance companies worldwide)
  3. European Credit Reports (companies in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom) 
  4. Other Services.



Discover basic company information, annual sales, number of employees, ownership type, and more. Other features at the site enable the creation of lists for marketing purposes. For example, I created a list of psychiatric hospitals located in the Denver and Salt Lake City metropolitan areas. Also create reports by industry. These include market size statistics, market analysis by company size, by state, by metro area, or by specialty.


This site offers a database of information about deals involving European companies (since August 1997) and United Kingdom companies (since January 1999). Search by company name, advisor, industry, deal type, time period, or country; or create more complex queries using advanced search features. Data returned includes deal type, dates of announcement and expected completion, target company (including country and industry), bidder company (including country and parent info), vendor, and comments. This is a free database that requires registration. Zephus also offers an email alert service for tracking the activities of certain companies.


ZoomInfo is a search engine for finding companies, people or jobs. It contains profiles on more than 36 million people and 3.8 million companies. Initial results for company searches show the company name and location. Follow the name link to find a basic profile, which provides the following, if available: street address, phone, Web site, industry, revenues, number of employees and key people. However, be sure to verify this information. Our test queries found several errors. Initial people search results show options, if they match what appears to be more than one person. Follow the name link to find more details, including employment history, education, professional membership and Web references. Again, take this information with a grain of salt and verify it.

Note: Registration and log-in may be required to display some information. Access to executive profiles requires a paid subscription.