Before you start searching for information on a company, you need to determine if the company is Public or Private. Typically, there is much more information, including financial information, available on public companies.
What is a public company?
A company is public if it has shares that are traded on a stock exchange such as the Toronto Stock Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange. Companies are required to file annual reports and other documents with regulatory bodies such as the Ontario Securities Commission or the Securities & Exchange Commission.
What is a private company?
A company is private if it is closely-held (typically family owned or through private equity). It is not possible for the general public to buy shares. In most jurisdictions (e.g., Canada or the United States), private companies do not need to file annual reports or disclose financial information to the public.
How can I tell if a company is public or private?
You can use the Company search feature in LexisNexis. The Company Snapshot indicates the company type (Public or Private).