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International Business

Guide to Bishop Library international business information.

Public, Private, or International?

Before you begin company research, you should know if you're looking for a private, public, or international company. 


It will affect where you search and the amount of information you'll retrieve. 

Public companies are easiest to research.  They:

  • Are regulated by the gov't (in the US--the SEC);
  • Sell shares to the general public;

Private companies are more difficult to research.  Private companies:

  • Are privately owned;
  • Are not regulated by the gov't;
  • Do not have to disclose any information.

International companies

Information on public int'l companies varies greatly from country to country.  Some countries, like Canada's SEDGAR for example, provide links to their SEC filings. Annual Reports provides worldwide annual reports.


Int'l Corporate Filings


"provides access to most public securities documents and information filed by public companies and investment funds with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)." Available in both languages French and English. (The SEDI system allows you to search for insider filings.)

United States

All US companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free.

N.B. You can also search the EDGAR filings through the Mergent Database.


Free sources of international corporate filings are not easy to find. Try the following sources:

Provides links to the websites of SEC-equivalent regulatory bodies around the world.

Journal Articles

Journal articles offer information on companies from an outsider's viewpoint.   They can often help you get to the full story, and are important sources of information.