The Law Library Staff prepares "Research Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) for the convenience of our users to provide access to a variety of sources addressing particular points of law. These are general legal information sources, and are not to be construed as a substitute for personal legal advice from an attorney. Please seek legal counsel to help you determine the applicability of any of the information in these resources to your specific situation. The Law Library makes no recommendation as to whether you should purchase any services offered by the websites contained in this FAQ.

See also our Research FAQ on Public Records.

I. General Tips

Competitive intelligence can take many forms. You may want to uncover find information for litigation, competition, contracts, mergers & acquisitions, business & client development, headhunting, market analysis, industry studies, or other purposes. Depending on what type of information you need, here are a few general places to look for corporate competitive intelligence.

A. Court Cases

B. Social Media

C. Web Sites

D. Employee Complaints

E. Maps & Aerial Views

II. Business Directories

A. Free Internet Resources

B. Fee-Based Services

III. Profiles, Financials and Annual Reports

A. Free Internet Resources

B. Fee-Based Services

IV. Researching Private Companies

A. Free Internet Resources

B. Fee-Based Services

V. Researching Non-Profits and Charities

A. Free Internet Resources

VI. Trade and Industry Publications

Trade and industry publications publish articles about businesses when companies acquire assets, buy and sell other companies, change leadership, introduce new products, or disclose financial information. Executives also give interviews, and business leaders and managers often write articles about their company innovations and successes. A few good sources for these types of publications are listed below.

A. Free Internet Resources

B. Fee-Based Services

VII. Specific Types of Information

A. State and Local Government Filings

B. Other Agency Information

C. Agency Decisions and Orders

D. SEC Filings (Public Companies)

E. EPA Compliance

F. OSHA Inspections

G. Contracts

H. Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

I. Banks and Bank Holding Companies

J. Insurance Companies

K. Credit Unions

L. Stock Quotes and Information

M. Ratings

1. Free Internet Resources

2. Fee-Based Services

N. Mergers & Acquisitions

1. Free Internet Resources

B. Fee-Based Services

O. Industry Codes

P. Campaign Contributions & Lobbyists

Q. CEO and Executive Salaries

R. CEO Biographies

S. News

1. Free Internet Resources

2. Fee-Based Services

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Created on: June 27, 2006 -