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Video Tutorials: Searching Databases for Company Information: Public or Private?

Start with these Questions

Public Company?

  • Traded on the exchanges
  • Required to provide ongoing detailed information in filings made with the Securities & Exchange CommissionPrivate Company

Private Company?

  • Owned by a closed group
  • Not required to release information and can be more challenging to research
  • Can range from small businesses to large well-known companies (Hallmark Cards and Mars Candy, for example).

Affiliated with Another Company?

  • Linked or related to larger firms
  • Several are household names but are difficult to research until one establishes its relationship to the larger company (e.g., American Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) is owned by Disney)

Source: Baruch College, Newman Library, Subject Guide

Public or Private; Ticker Symbol: Where to Find Out

A quick search in Lexis-Nexis Academic (Get Company Information) will give you information on whether a company is public or private, and the Ticker Symbol (which can help you search databases by entering Ticker Symbol.)