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International Business Research Guide

NAICS & SIC Codes

When researching specific companies or industries, it is helpful to know how the company is classified. NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification System) codes are needed when doing research on specific industries your business is in or searching information about your competitors.

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Industry & Market Research

ABI/Inform Complete (Database) - Covers in-depth industry reports and news.

Gale Business: Insights (Database) - Offers the latest global industry analysis, data, and forecasts.

Business Source Ultimate (Database) - Includes profiles of industries and world's 10,000 largest companies with over 3,100 SWOT analysis.

IBISWorld (Database) - Detailed industry market research reports including global industry reports, iExpert summaries, and featured reports on over 700 industries.

Mergent First Research (Database) - Detailed profiles for over 700 industries in the U.S. and Canada. 

Mergent Online: Industry Analysis (Database) - Industry characteristics data and reports based on the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB) classifications.

Company Reseach

Business Source Ultimate (Database) - The "Company Profiles" section covers detailed reports of world's 10,000 largest companies with over 3,100 SWOT analysis.

IBISWorld (Database) - Current market share and other useful information about companies are found in in-depth industry reports - "Major Companies" section.

International Directory of Company Histories (Book/eBook) - This directory is a must if you are looking for a thorough overview of a company. 

International Directory of Business Biographies (Website) - A great source of background information on the CEOs and other leaders of major companies.

Mergent Intellect (Database) - Mergent Intellect provides information about more than 310 million businesses globally (including 70 million in the U.S.), 90 million executives, 900 industry segments, and over 250 North American residents. Unlike many other business databases that primarily focus on public companies, Mergent Intellect focuses more on private companies. Company profiles include basic company details (e.g., address, industry, number of employees), industry details, information about key executives, and a list of companies that are affiliated.

Mergent Online (Database) - Covers company history, subsidiaries, financial data, and annual reports on U.S. public companies and international companies.  Also provides access to SEC filings (EDGAR).

PrivCo (Database) - PrivCo offers detailed data on US-based, non-publicly traded corporations, including family-owned, private equity-owned, and venture-backed companies. Its advanced search capacity allows users to conduct in-depth company, investor, M&A, venture capital funding, and private equity research.

Thomas Register (Website) - Want to know who makes latex gloves?  Check Thomas. AKA "the Green Book," a great source for information on industrial distributors and manufacturers and related services. 

Ward's Business Directory of US Private and Public Companies (Book) - provides extensive ranked lists of companies in most industries and states.

Ward's Business Directory of Private and Public Companies in Canada and Mexico (Book)

Europages - Consists of European business search engines in 26 languages.

World Chambers Directory

Company registration websites

Company websites - Don't overlook the information that can be found on a company's website.  Links such as "About Us" and "For Investors" "About Us" indicate that the company is publicly traded and can provide helpful information.