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:
Private companies are more difficult to research. Private 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.
"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.)
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 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.