Private Company Research Sources
Finding information on private companies is challenging because there are few regulations and reporting requirements.
Private Company Profiles
Below are recommendations of where to get information on private companies.
- U.S. & International Private Companies: FactSet, Capital IQ, D&B Hoovers, Orbis, PrivCo (US private companies only)
- Startups: PitchBook, CB Insights, Capital IQ, PrivCo, FactSet.
- U.S. Small Businesses: Reference USA (use the U.S. Businesses database).
- Subsidiaries and Historical Profiles: LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations (in the upper right, go to Subscriber Tools > Historical Search).
- Profiles linked to News and Legal Activities: Nexis Uni (in the upper left, go to Menu > Company Dossier)
You may also need to scour news sources or talk to people in your network to get additional information.
Many of the above resources include information about subsidiaries of both public and private companies. Keep in mind that the information companies have to and choose to release about their subsidiaries varies, making it hard to compare subsidiaries and/or find detailed information and financials.
For example, Google is a private subsidiary of the public company Alphabet. While Alphabet does disclose detailed information about Google's financials, it does not do that for all of its subsidiaries.
How can you tell if a company is a subsidiary?
- Many online resources (such as the Google Knowledge Panel (image) and Wikipedia summary box (image)) will provide details about the company's structure and whether it is a parent or subsidiary.
- Most of our databases that include company profiles will include a label or field that will indicate whether the company is a parent or subsidiary (image from D&B Hoovers).