Company Research - Before You Begin
Three things you need to know before you start
1. It is usually easier to find information about publicly owned companies than privately owned ones.
2. Generally, it’s easier to find information about corporations as a whole than their subsidiaries or divisions.
3. It is usually easier to find information about large, nationally known corporations than about local or regional ones.
If your company is privately owned:
There may be very little information on your company if it is a small private company, especially a local company. Private companies are not required to report their financial information to the public. The best source of information might be articles in news sources for the city in which the company is located. These will usually be feature stories but probably will not offer much in the way of financial information. The company web site will only highlight what they want you to know so it cannot be considered a complete picture of the company.
If your company is a subsidiary:
If your company is a subsidiary or a division of a publicly owned corporation, you’ll find information less readily available. For example, the parent corporation is not required to divulge financial information for the separate divisions; therefore, details of the financial status of the subsidiary will be difficult to verify.
If your company is foreign owned:
An increasing number of foreign companies have established a U.S. division or subsidiary. You may encounter many of the same difficulties as you would in researching a private company.
If your company is local, regional, or otherwise small in scope:
When seeking information about companies of this kind, the best approach is usually the direct one—talk to the company itself. In this case, however, you’ll want to learn about the company before you speak directly to its representative at your interview. Look for articles in local publications like Business First or The Courier Journal.