Investigating Companies

Investigating Companies

RECENT UPDATES

Insiderviz
The sites visualizes insider trading of US companies by both insiders and members of congress. Any insider trade that has been reported to the SEC can be found mapped onto the stock graph.

IRE 2022 Tipsheet: Reporting on Businesses That Want Nothing to Do with You

Datahub.io
There are thousands of datasets from financial market data and population growth to cryptocurrency prices. If you don’t find what you are looking for ask the Data Concierge for a free quote to find the data for you.

GIJN Training Videos: How to Investigate Companies

The Journalist’s Resource: Regional Federal Reserve Banks: The Ultimate Guide
Regional Fed banks regularly produce national and local research that can help contextualize stories, and bank economists are often willing to talk with journalists.

Financial Secrecy Index
Tax Justice Network site tracks companies registered in Delaware or the island of Nevis in the Caribbean.


For more training videos, visit our YouTube page.


INVESTIGATING COMPANIES

Yahoo! Finance Page
Information on thousands of companies. If you’re looking for shareholder information, enter the company name or ticker symbol, hit “get quote,” then look for the “profile” link under “more info.” About halfway down the page, on the left gutter, there’s a breakdown of insiders and big owners.

Yahoo! Finance Vision
Video-centric financial information and news.

Investment Adviser Public Disclosure
The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has just announced a new Web site that allows users to look up information about SEC- and state-registered investment advisor firms. Users can search for firms and pull up their most recent Form ADV, the form that firms file to register with the SEC or the states. The form contains information about the firm’s operations, its key personnel, and disciplinary actions involving the firm. The site also provides links to related sites, such as state regulators and the Central Registration Depository Public Disclosure on the Internet.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
Easy-to-use searchable database of thousands of U.S. companies.

Freeedgar.com
Files from the Security and Exchange Commission.

Searchsystems.net
Links to almost 5,000 public records databases. Claims to be the largest free collection of public records databases on the Web. Formerly the PAC-Info. site, just click on a state and you’ll get a list of all free public record collections for that state. Most include incorporation filings.

Securities and Exchange Commission
Federal agency with proxy information and more.

Violation Tracker
Violation Tracker is the first wide-ranging database on corporate misconduct. Produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First, it covers banking, consumer protection, false claims, environmental, wage and hour, safety, discrimination, price-fixing, and other cases resolved by federal regulatory agencies and all parts of the Justice Department since 2000 — plus cases from state AGs and selected state regulatory agencies.

Insiderviz
The sites visualizes insider trading of US companies by both insiders and members of congress. Any insider trade that has been reported to the SEC can be found mapped onto the stock graph.

OCCRP Aleph
OCCRP Aleph is an investigative data platform that helps reporters follow the money. Search across data and documents from previous investigations, official sources, and scraped databases. Aleph is more than just a document search engine: it also imports structured data from spreadsheets and databases, enabling journalists to explore detailed data about persons of interest, companies, financial transactions, and more. Reporters and researchers can upload their own files to private investigations, extract text, sketch a diagram to summarize their investigative findings, and cross-reference persons of interest and companies.

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
News on corruption and organized crime by a global network of investigative journalists across six continents

The Journalist’s Resource: Regional Federal Reserve Banks: The Ultimate Guide
Regional Fed banks regularly produce national and local research that can help contextualize stories, and bank economists are often willing to talk with journalists.

Datahub.io
There are thousands of datasets from financial market data and population growth to cryptocurrency prices. If you don’t find what you are looking for ask the Data Concierge for a free quote to find the data for you.

Open Corporates
Database of global companies.

Offshore Leaks Database
From the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


For more training videos, subscribe to the Toolbox’s YouTube channel.


Financial Secrecy Index
Tax Justice Network site tracks companies registered in Delawar or the island of Nevis in the Caribbean.

IRE 2022 Tipsheet: Reporting on Businesses That Want Nothing to Do with You

ICFJ: Follow the Money – A Digital Guide for Tracking Corruption

Companies House
Database of companies in the UK.

Declarator.org
A searchable database that gathers declarations from various agencies.

UN Comtrade Database
Tracks exports and imports by country and product.

MSN?s Investment Portal Site
Research public companies in the United States.

CorporateInformation.com
A free site with profiles from Wright Investor Services. You’ll need to register but very little info is required.

Business.com Company Search

Stock Market Yellow Pages
A search engine of company descriptions from Market Guide, Forbes, Hoover’s, Yahoo, etc.

CBS Marketwatch.com Company Snapshots from Hoover’s

CNBC on MSN Money: Insider Trading
Lists the companies that have had the most insider trading — transactions by corporate insiders or major shareholders — in the past 30 days. You can then click on the company symbols to find out which individuals have been trading and how much they’ve bought or sold.

Moody’s
Several great business research tools. You can find bond ratings in your area. Also be sure to check each agency’s “watchlist.”

Standard and Poor’s
Another site for finding bond ratings

ICann.org: Securing Domain Names
Updates on domain name assigning process.

Planet Feedback.com
A consumer complaint site.

SpamCop.net
Report businesses and people who submit SPAM e-mails.

The Economist’s Country Guides
This site offers background on 60 countries. Check out profiles, financial statistics, news updates and suggested Internet resources for each country.

Forbes People Tracker
Forbes magazine has a database of industry leaders.

GIJN Training Videos: How to Investigate Companies

Company Registrations.com

Stanford University’s Securities Class-Action Clearinghouse
Stanford Law’s index of class-action lawsuits against corporations.

Worldwide Economic Statistics

Open Sanctions
An international database of persons and companies of political, criminal, or economic interest. The project combines the most relevant sanctions lists, databases of politically exposed persons, and other information about persons in the public interest into a single, easy-to-use dataset. The data and the code used to make it are distributed for free. Cross-check databases for conflicts of interests and signs of illicit activity. Screen potential customers and partners in international dealings. Track political conflicts and compare world-wide sanctions policies. Integrate due diligence data into existing data products.

GreyList Trace
A private firm specializing in tracking assets traces “proceeds of fraud and corruption to hidden bank accounts in an ethical and legal manner.”


INVESTIGATING PRIVATE COMPANIES AND STARTUPS
Unlike public companies, where you can look up tax filings easily in the EDGAR database, private companies and startups can be difficult to track. Here are a few tools and tips that can help:

FormDs.com
Track investments into startups, growing businesses, hedge funds, and private equity firms. We do this by sorting, filtering and extracting critical information from the hundreds of SEC filings (called “Form Ds”) filed each day. The site processes SEC filings on a real-time basis and often learns about new investments before newspapers and online publications. You can search for people, company names, specific industries, or focus on regions or cities.

PACER
If the company has been sued, many times it must file financial disclosures in court. This is a good way to find them. Check civil and criminal court records at all levels.

Pitchbook
Paid site with a free trial. Unlock comprehensive private and public capital market data with our award-winning software.

Crunchbase
Use this fee-based search tool to find information on private, venture-backed companies.

Dynamic Small Business Search

National Fraud Information Center
Track public and private business frauds by industry.

Better Business Bureau
Look through complaints against public and private companies. Could be a good back door for investigating a private company.

AM Best
Ratings and financial data on insurance companies.

National Credit Union Administration
Ratings and financial data on insurance companies.

US Patent and Trademark Office
Track what private and public companies are applying for.

EPA: Toxic Release Inventory Data
Even private companies get investigated. Find data here.

OSHA
Government agency keeps safety and hazard information on private and public companies.

Standard Directory of Advertisers
This book, published annually, tracks corporate advertising and marketing budgets. Good for researching public and private companies.

Reynolds Center for Business Journalism: Guide to Investigating Public and Private Companies

Reynolds Center for Business Journalism: Beginner’s Guide to Corporate 10-Q Filings

Corporate Watch: Guide to Investigating Companies

E-Investigator: Starting a Corporate Investigation
Not specific to journalists but links to many databases and tools for pulling records as well as some good steps to take. Includes public vs. private corporations.


Other places to look when backgrounding private companies:
Besides looking federal agencies and regulatory organizations, here are some other tips to investigate private companies.

  • Secretary of State’s Office has records on every business incorporated in your state. You can search by company name, new corporations, etc. It lists business execs, expired licenses etc. Try your state’s Attorney General’s office as well.
  • Trade associations often compile data on public and private companies.

For more training videos, subscribe to the Toolbox’s YouTube channel.


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