Skip to Main Content

Business & Entrepreneurship: Research

Company Research

Data Axle Reference Solutions (Formerly: ReferenceUSA) 
(subscription database provided by the Delaware Division of Libraries) Looking for information on your competition or businesses that could be your partner? Reference Solutions has detailed information about 58 million businesses that is updated weekly. It is the only business database that is enhanced with more than 24 million phone calls per year providing you with the most accurate data possible. Search and filter criteria includes business type, NAICS code, geography and sales volume. 

For access scroll to the bottom of the Terms & Conditions & click the checkbox to accept, then click on continue, enter your 14-digit public library barcode and click Log On.

Securities & Exchange Commission (free) 
The SEC makes sure that public companies make basic facts about their business operations accessible to everyone as a basis for investment decisions. EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, is the database on the SEC website to find most of the various company filings going back about 10 years.

D&B Hoover's 
(some free content) Source of basic company information on thousands of public and private companies to find out whether a company is public, private, parent or subsidiary along with some free financial information and other data. 

(free)  Directory of US-based suppliers and manufacturers used to figure out who makes a product or a part.

(some free content)  Tracks venture capital investment in startups

United State Patent and Trademark Office (free) Repository of all US patents and trademarks that is useful information for researching science and engineering companies. Use the Quick Search of the USPTO Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT) to look up patents by applicants or assignees

Search for a company web site.
(free) Some large companies will have multiple web sites  – one or more customer facing usually by product or product group and public companies may have an investor facing web site. Small public companies may have a page for investor relations on their web site. Public company’s required financial filings will be posted on the investor facing web site or page. 

Check Social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube 
(all free) Look for news about a company and insight into customer relations. What social media a company actively uses will depend on what social media their customers use.

Industry Research

Economic Census 
The economic census profiles U.S. national and local economies every 5 years.

Economic Indicators 
Monthly and quarterly reports from the US Census Bureau.

GlobalEdge Industry Profiles  
Michigan State University’s GlobalEdge has overviews of a variety of industries. Profiles include links to related online resources such as industry associations as well as to information on risk related to the industry and lists of top companies around the world in each industry.

Major Economic Indicators 
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 
"The standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy."

Find manufacturers, distributors and service providers

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 
BEA produces economic accounts statistics that enable government and business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public to follow and understand the performance of the Nation's economy. To do this, BEA collects source data, conducts research and analysis, develops and implements estimation methodologies, and disseminates statistics to the public.

Nonprofit Research

The free version provides access to IRS Form 990 filings and includes revenue information as well as money spent on top outside consultants and top highest-paid executives.

Chronicle of Philanthropy 
Key publication for nonprofit leaders, fundraisers, and grant makers. The Chronicle is published in print monthly and provides daily updates on its website along with tools and guides related to running and researching nonprofits.

Council of Nonprofits 
Organization that serves as a national network and resource for nonprofits. Web site includes information on trends and policies as well as tools and resources.

Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement is a membership organization of Delaware nonprofits. The web site includes a searchable member directory under the Who We Are tab, some research is available to non-members in the Research & Resources tab and current information is available about Delaware's nonprofit sector in the staff's blogs under the News tab.