If a company is publicly-traded, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and subject to numerous reporting and disclosure requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These include periodic filings (e.g., SEC Form 10-K) and as needed filings (e.g., SEC Form 8-K). These filings are designed to:
Below are some FREE sources of information regarding publicly-traded companies.
Hoover's Company Profiles, containing general information about a company (e.g., description, basic history, officers and board members, competitors, products, operations, and more) are available in the Nexis Uni database, as well as the Proquest Business Market Research Collection database.
How to find public company information from Nexis Uni--provided the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Andersen Library
The SEC requires considerable periodic disclosure of a company's leadership, operations, and financial health. The financial sections of SEC filings generally include a statistical summary of operations, financial statements for each line of business, legal proceedings (if any), and a list of affiliated companies and subsidiaries. Other sections include information such as board membership (including member biographies and term principal stockholders, security holdings of management, and a list of directors with biographical and terms-of-office information.
The core SEC filings for a US publicly-traded company are:
NOTE: There can also be amendments made to each filing, so be sure to review any 10-K/A, 10-Q/A, etc.
How to find information on public companies from the Edgar Database--provided the Harvard Law Library
Companies (and other entities) required to register with the SEC are required to make disclosure filings with the SEC using its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval – a/k/a "EDGAR" – system. These filings contain a wealth of information about the companies (or individuals) making the filings. For additional information on using EDGAR as a research tool, please see: