Public vs Private Companies

 Is the company public, private, or a subsidiary of a parent company?

Public Companies are companies with shares that are traded on a stock exchange and that are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and file under Federal Securities Law. It is generally easier  to find information on public companies than it is to find private companies. Public Companies have made an Initial Public Offering (IPO). All public companies have ticker symbols that are identifiers on the stock exchange.

Private Companies are privately held and do not have shares on a stock exchange. Information from private and subsidiary companies are apt to be found in newsletters, magazines, trade journals, etc.  Dun & Bradstreet and Hoover’s report some private company financial information.

Subsidiaries, both private and public companies may be parent companies and have subsidiaries.

Free Online Company Information

Mission or Value Statement


Places you may locate mission statements.

  1. The company's website on the Internet
  2.  The company's annual report
  3. 3. Databases - Business Source Complete