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About this Company & Industry Guide

Company Type

Begin your research by determining the company type, public or private, domestic or international. You may use MergentOnline for this information. This database provides company and industry information. 

Use the print resource LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations (Meader Library Reference Collection MREF HG4057 .A22) to find a company's corporate relationships, i.e. parent company, subsidiary or division.


  • Public or publicly traded company: Trades on a stock market and sells stock to the public; Required by the federal government and most state governments to disclose company information, such as operational and financial data.

  • Private or privately held company: Owned by a set of individuals (sole proprietor, partners, etc.); Does not sell stock to the public, and normally exempt from disclosing company information.

  • Parent company: Operates and controls other separately chartered businesses.

  • Subsidiary: A separately chartered business that is owned or controlled by another company.

Moss, R. (2004) Directories. Strauss's handbook of business information: a guide for librarians, students, and researchers. (2nd ed., p. 23). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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