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Commerce Subject Guide: International Business

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for Commerce.

Recommended Websites -- International Business

On this page:


Company Profiles & Financials

Business Conditions (country & market reports)

International Business - Directories

Europages: The European Business to Business Search Engine
A database of thousands of companies in 36 countries, with address and email links. Searchable by product or service, company name or business sector.

globalEDGE Company Directories and Trade Leads
Part of the globalEDGE mega site for international business by Michigan State University, these sections link to many global, regional and country-wide trade directories.

Kompass: The B to B Company Search Engine
A very large, worldwide database of over 2 million companies can be searched by company or trade name, product or service, or by various industry codes. Brief company descriptions, product lists, contact information, including email and web links where available, are provided for free.

Open Corporates
Provides information from, and links to, official company registries around the world, making it the largest open database of companies.

Solusource (formerly Thomas Global Register)
A directory of 700,000 industrial manufacturers and distributors from around the world. Search by product/service or company name and limit by country. Provides contact information, number of employees, year established and types of products/services provided. Global Yellow Pages Directories
This gateway site links to online business directories from all over the world.

World is a directory of franchise opportunities worldwide, browsable by company name, industry, average investment required, location and type. Besides contact information, this database provides a description of the business, distribution and financial requirements, support and training, contract terms, and expansion plans. The site also provides news releases and guides to franchising.

For more directories see also Nexis Uni – Company Profiles and Financials below.

International Business - Company Profiles & Financials

Nexis Uni:  Select Nexis Uni from the A-Z List of Databases
In Nexis Uni, click on the "Company Info" tab, then select “Company Profiles” for access to a large number of directories and databases with brief company profiles including financial information. Can be searched together or separately. Some of the key sources include: Worldscope International (accounting data is standardized across countries to facilitate comparison), Hoover’s Co. & Industry Reports, Standard & Poor’s, International Company Reports (for non-U.S. companies).

SEC Filings:
Securities & Exchange Commissions require all publicly traded companies to file reports on their financial condition, results of operations and other information that might be significant to investors. Note: Many international companies trade on U.S. stock exchanges, so data may be found on U.S., Canadian and other international companies, especially Fortune 500, Forbes 500, S&P 500, & Financial World 1,000 companies. (SEC filings from 1993 on are also available as a direct link in the Nexis Uni database under the "Company Info" tab.)

    This is the official database of the filings to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission by all companies trading on a U.S. stock exchange. They are searchable by company name, ticker symbol, SIC and location. Includes 10K reports (annual financial information), prospectuses, annual and quarterly reports, etc. 10K reports from 1987 to the present. Others vary.
    The official database of the filings to Canadian securities commissions, from 1997 to the present. Includes company profiles, annual reports, financial statements and more.

Annual Reports:
Corporate annual reports provide a snapshot of a company, its financial state and future plans. Most publicly-traded companies will provide a link to their most recent annual report on their web site. Nexis Uni provides historical annual reports for some companies. Note that 10K reports provide much of the information found in annual reports. Select “Company Info” then “SEC Filings”. Select “Annual Reports” for reports from mostly U.S. companies from 1995 on, or select 10K reports and other sections found in annual reports. EDGAR and SEDAR (see above) can also be searched for reports from 1987 and 1997 to the present. Other collections: Several websites link to corporate annual reports online:

    Provides links to the latest U.S. public company annual reports and 10K reports available online in html or pdf format. Searchable by company name, industry, sector, stock exchange or ticker symbol.
  • CAROL: Company Annual Reports On-line
    Links to the financial pages and annual reports of listed companies in Europe and the U.S. Free, but registration is required. Annual reports can be searched by company name, sector, region and stock exchange.
    An international collection of corporate non-financial reports (covering corporate social responsibility, sustainability, environmental and social issues). Includes current reports and an archive of reports from 1990 on. Free, but registration is required.
  • IRIN Annual Report Resource Center.
    Investor Relations Information Network web site links to current and several years of historical annual reports from U.S. public companies. Searchable by keyword, company name and symbol, stock exchange and symbol.

Company and Industry Rankings. By globalEDGE, Michigan State University.
Links to many ranking sources at the country, industry and company level (e.g. Business Week Global 1000, Fortune Global 500, UNCTAD Largest Transnational Corporations, AD Age Leading Advertisers, etc.

For more Canadian company financial data sources see Marketing Hits - Corporate Analysis

International Business - Business Conditions (country and market reports, country overviews, etc.)

Country Commercial Guides by the U.S. Commercial Service.
The CCGs provide market conditions, regulations, business customs, etc. for 125 countries. 

Doing Business. By The World Bank Group. (NOTE: Discontinued after 2020 due to data irregularities involving certain countries.)
This annual flagship publication of the World Bank provides snapshots of the business environment in each of over 190 economies, focusing on the regulatory costs of business and investment such as for starting a business, hiring and firing workers, enforcing contracts, getting credit, closing a business, etc.

globalEDGE Global Resource Directory. By Michigan State University.
This is a large international business gateway site, linking to key online resources for current information on the business climate worldwide. See "Multi-Country", "Statistical Data Sources", "Security Risk", etc.

Deloitte Taxation & Investment Guides and Country Highlights.
Has regulations for setting up a business, information on the investment climate, labour information (taxes, wages, benefits, etc.)

Nexis Uni - Country Risk reports and news. Select Nexis Uni from the A-Z List of Databases. Click on "Country Info", enter country, then enter to see all sources, or select from Country Risk Overview, Political Risk Overview, Economic Overview (covers different industries), or recent news stories. Others can be found by clicking on "Menu", then Category: "Company & Financial", then "Analyst Reports".

For more information on country economies, trade regulations, etc. see also:
Marketing Hits - Other - Exporting

Economics Subject Guide: International Economics, Trade & Development section and International Economic Statistics section.