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US Company Background Info

First of all apologies for being slightly off topic, but I was hoping some of you US-based guys might be able to help.

I have a possible new business lead with a firm based in the US and I wanted to get some background data on them, especially financials.

In the UK, this would be pretty easy, as you can go to the Government-run Companies House website and buy a copy of the accounts for any UK company, for a nominal fee.

Is there an equivalent for US-based companies ?

Steve Jones (UK)
Saturday, May 08, 2004

Dun and Bradstreet is one place to try.

If they are a publicly traded corporation, then you should be able to access many (if not all) of their filings with the SEC.

Mark Hoffman
Saturday, May 08, 2004

If it's a public company (ie, it's traded on one of the stock
markets), the EDGAR database is a good place to start; it's
the place that all the required Security and Exchange
Commission filings are stored and archived.  It's very
dull reading, but you won't lack for information :)

If they're not publicly traded, Dun and Bradstreet (as
mentioned) is good, although all you'll find out with
this is the compan's "credit rating".  Financial info and
such wouldn't be in a D&B report.

The EDGAR database:

www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml

x
Saturday, May 08, 2004

If you buy one share of the company, then you are entitled to their annual report.  This may be worth paying the odd-lot fee to your broker.

Some public libraries in North America stock annual reports of large companies.  Perhaps this is also true in the UK, or you can hire a research firm to find them for you.

David Jones
Saturday, May 08, 2004

Thanks guys, but the firm in question is not listed (AFAIK) on NASDAQ, DOW, or anything.

I think they are more like a UK Ltd comapny.

Steve Jones (UK)
Sunday, May 09, 2004

There should still be a D&B report on them, and probably a Standard and Poors as well, S&P.

Simon Lucy
Sunday, May 09, 2004

If it's a smallish company, you could try to look them up in
the Hoover's database

http://www.hoovers.com/free

I never actually used their pay services, but they
have miscellaneous business info, and hopefully some
approximate info about sales, number of employees,
number of years in business, D&B number, etc.  If it's not
traded, you won't get much more than this without doing
some serious investigative work.

Also, try Searching on them in the local newspaper for
their city.  This is part of my due-diligence on any
outfit I don't know much about and it often turns up useful
info.

x
Sunday, May 09, 2004

Thanks x, it looks like they are re-sellers for D&B.

They have reports, but not copies of actual accounts, like in the UK. I'll give it a go and see what it tells me.

Steve Jones (UK)
Monday, May 10, 2004

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