Finding Companies and Businesses Online

There are plenty of great sites that provide free information on companies, including Yahoo Finance, Accoona, and (for US companies) the SEC EDGAR database (now full-text searchable…Yippee!).

But there are a whole lot of other sites as well, some of them offering some suprisingly in-depth information.

One of my favorites is Bureau van Dijk, which you know has just gotta be Dutch…except it's not!  They have a deep database of companies from around the world.  Up at the top of their site they offer a “Free Directory – Company information in an instant”.  You can search here for individual companies, or leave the company name field blank (be sure to uncheck the “whole words” box) to generate large lists of particular industries, particular regions, particular size-ranges, or all of above, combined.  Not bad, for a freebie.

The Dun & Bradstreet Small Business site is a great way to quickly search for a company name/address anywhere in the world…despite the site name, large companies are included here as well.

ICP is not the deepest or most up-to-date site for international business searches, but I sometimes get hits here when nothing turns up at other sites.

The Small Business Administration in the US provides incredibly detailed information on the zillions of small companies that are registered as contractors with the US government through their Dynamic Small Business Search.  The search function isn't the easiest to use, but the rewards in terms of information returned, make it more than worth the effort. 

And there are quite a number of country-specific options, provided by government agencies or through private sector databases.  Here are a few for a quick look-see:

Companies House for companies in the UK.

Teikoku Databank, Ltd covers Japan.

For companies in France, have a look at Société-bilan

IBISWorld covers Australia and the Integrated Companies Registry Information System handles Hong Kong.

As always, have fun.

pafalafaga David Sarokin

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