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Company Research: Private Companies

General Business Directories

U.S. State Corporations Databases

Use the separate U.S. States tab for links to databases of business and corporate entities in each of the fifty states.

Private Companies Database

ReferenceUSA, a database of 15 million private and public companies in the United States, searchable by corporate name, location, and industry. Entries provide links to parents and subsidiaries. (Rutgers-restricted Access) (Non-Rutgers users who are New Jersey residents can use ReferenceUSA via Jersey Clicks with a NJ public library card.)

PrivCo is an excellent resource for business and financial research on non-publicly traded companies, including family-owned, private equity-owned, venture-backed, and international unlisted companies. The database currently includes profiles for over 900,000 companies, 20,000 private equity and venture capital firms and investors, and 100,000 private market deals. (Rutgers-restricted Access)

Company Identifiers

Employers can be identified by an EIN, an Employer Identification Number issued by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes. EIN Finder offers a free lookup but registration is required.

The ReferenceUSA U.S. Companies/Employers database provides the EIN for many (but not all) companies in their listings. (Rutgers-restricted Access) (Non-Rutgers users who are New Jersey residents can use ReferenceUSA via Jersey Clicks with a NJ public library card.)

Another identifier is the alphanumeric BIC or Business Identifier Code (sometimes referred to as the Business Entity Identifier or BEI). A lookup tool is provided by SWIFT, an international cooperative organization that facilitates financial transactions, particularly between financial institutions.

Not-for-Profit Organizations

ReferenceUSA, a database of millions of non-profit organizations and companies in the United States, searchable by name, location, and industry. (Rutgers-restricted Access) (Non-Rutgers users who are New Jersey residents can use ReferenceUSA via Jersey Clicks with a NJ public library card.)

You can also use the Nonprofit Organization Lookup provided by Melissa Data.

Many not-for-profit organizations are required to file an annual report with the IRS called Form 990. (See Which Forms Do Exempt Organizations File? from the IRS.) Some of the best sources of these 990 filings are: