Key starting points

Books on understanding company accounts and annual reports

Official Company Registers www.rba.co.uk/sources/registers.htm
This page lists the official registers or registries, organised by country, with which some forms of companies are required to register and file. A few of the services also provide financials and annual reports if the company is required to file them.

Company registration around the world www.commercial-register.sg.ch/home/worldwide.html
A list of official company registers around the world maintained by the Commercial Register Office of the Canton St. Gallen.

Worldwide Registries www.companieshouse.gov.uk/links/introduction.shtml#reg
A list of official company registers by country provided by Companies House.

Finance Yahoo uk.finance.yahoo.com
This is the URL for the UK version of Finance Yahoo. Links to other Finance Yahoos across the world are listed towards the bottom of the page.

International resources

Bureau van Dijk www.bvdinfo.com
The full BvD collection of priced services covers information on companies around the globe. BvD's products include ORBIS, AMADEUS, FAME, BANKSCOPE and MINT. They also produce the mergers and acquisitions database ZEPHYR. There is a free company search function on their MINT portal - www.mintbusinessinfo.com Priced service with free company directory search.

CorporateInformation www.corporateinformation.com
Extensive research reports on approximately 31,000 publicly traded companies in over 55 countries. Up to 10 years of sales, earnings and price history, some of which is free of charge. There are also free top 100 lists of companies ranked by market capitalisation, sales, operating profit margin, 52 week price change and 3 year sales growth.

Dialog www.dialog.com
Collection of business, scientific, technical and biomedical databases with a US bias.

Financial Times www.ft.com
Basic background information and selected key financials for quoted companies. Some information is free but access to the full service is available by subscription only.

Hoover's www.hoovers.com
Hoover's provides summary of activities, key current financials, key people, links to the company web site, share prices, and top competitors. The service also provides industry overviews. Some basic information is free but detailed reports are priced.

LexisNexis www.lexisnexis.com
Financial information on companies world-wide from a variety of sources and publishers. Subscription service.

Perfect Information www.perfectinfo.com
Products include Perfect Filings, a global database comprising over 11 million company filings. Content includes global annual and interim reports, US annuals and paper filings, SEC filings, shareholder filings, global bond prospectuses, and company news.
Subscription service

Skyminder www.skyminder.com
Credit and financial information on companies world-wide from a variety of sources. Subscription and pay as you go options.

Thomson Reuters thomsonreuters.com
Thomson Reuters offer a range of financial products and services. Subscription service.

By country

Europe

Bureau van Dijk www.bvdinfo.com
Offers a range of country specifuc databases and the pan-Eurooean AMADEUS. There is a free company search function on their MINT portal - www.mintbusinessinfo.com Priced service with free company directory search.

UK

Companies House www.companies-house.gov.uk
The official UK body to which UK companies have to send their accounts. You can order company documents online. This site also gives free access to the Disqualified Directors database and Companies Name and Address Index.

Company Check www.companycheck.co.uk
Provides Companies House documents free of charge and sells credit reports. The Company Check free information uses Companies House data and includes name, registered address and number, telephone number, activity, status and a list of directors. It also provides free of charge graphs of cash at bank, net worth, total current liabilities and total current assests (free registration required) and financial data as a table. PDFs of annual accounts filed at Companies House can be downloaded free of charge but other documents are priced at £2 each. Clicking on a director's name takes you to a summary of that person's current and past directorships. Credit reports and information on mortgages, charges and CCJs on both companies and directors is priced.

Corpfin CompanyQuery www.companyquery.com
CompanyQuery covers all UK limited companies registered at Companies House. The database holds information on approximately 2.6 million companies and data is updated daily. Information cane be downloaded into Microsoft Excel and facsimiles of documents are available on a pay-as-you-go basis or as part of an annual subscription.

Dun & Bradstreet UK www.dnb.com
For the UK site select United Kingdom from the "Select your country" list. Provides links to Dun and Bradstreet's priced services.

Equifax www.equifax.co.uk
Online credit reports.

UK Data www.ukdata.com
UK Data provides pay as you go access to company credit reports and Companies House accounts on all UK and International Ltd Companies. It also offers free alert monitoring of all UK and Irish Ltd companies for changes to their credit scores, filing of accounts, and any county court judgments.

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France

Infogreffe - Trade and Companies Register - Commercial Court Registry www.infogreffe.fr/infogreffe/index.jsp
Information on over 3,200,000 French companies. Basic company information free of charge. Priced service for detailed information and accounts. In French.

Italy

Cerved www.cerved.com
Providers of value-added business information and distributor of official data filed with Italy's Chambers of Commerce. This is a primary source of information about Italian companies. Information provided includes credit reports, company profiles, summary financial statements (balance sheet, profit & loss accounts and ratios), copy of the official accounts as images. More than 4 million Italian companies are covered, of which 600,000 are public and private limited share companies and limited liability companies (Spa & Srl). Payment can be made by credit card or pre-paid Reteaffari contract. Priced service. Available in Italian and English.

Comas Business information - Online credit report - Debt collection www.infocomas.com
Credit reports and business information on Italian companies. The Italian Company Credit Report includes balance sheet items and ratios, risk assessment, bankruptcy evaluation, and expresses the maximum recommended credit limit. The Balance Sheets service provides reclassified balance sheets of Italian companies (such as SRL (LTD) and SPA (PLC)) that contain the main information from official balance sheets filed at the Chambers of Commerce. Debt recovery servicesand company marketing lists are also available. Services available pay as you go or as pre-paid subscription

Latvia

Lursoft www.lursoft.lv
Provides information about all enterprises, public organizations and foreign company agencies registered within the territory of Latvia including their managers, shareholders fixed capital and annual accounts. The information is based on original documents of the Register of Enterprises (RE). In Latvian and English. Basic company information free of charge. Priced service for more detailed information including accounts.

Norway

Brønnøysund Register Centre www.brreg.no
The Brønnøysund Register Centre is a government body under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, and consists of several different national EDP registers. These registers contain information and key data on: liabilities and titles in mortgaged movable property; more than 280,000 business enterprises; more than 1,300,000 annual accounts and auditor's reports of limited companies; bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations; approximately 200,000 marriage settlements. In Norwegian and English. Priced service.

Portugal

Equifax Ibérica www.equifax.es
Covers Portuguese as well as Spanish companies. Priced service.

Infoline Spain www.infoline.es
Infoline specialises in Spanish and Portuguese companies and has a collection that goes back to 1968. Infoline provides annual reports and other documents of public and private companies. The documents are black and white scanned copies of the originals, stored on CD-ROMs. Requested documents are printed and immediately sent via courier or regular post, or in electronic format via e-mail in PDF format. Orders can be placed via email or telephone. Priced pay as you go service.

Romania

Creditinfo Romania www.creditinfo.ro
Information on over 600,000 Romanian companies, including shareholders, company address, telephone, company activities, financials, registration number. You can search the database free of charge and you can also view company name, address, registration number and company type. Additional information is priced and varies depending on the type of report. Priced service with credit card pay as you go option.

Spain

Equifax Ibérica www.equifax.es
Priced service.

Infoline Spain www.infoline.es
Infoline specialises in Spanish and Portuguese companies and has a collection that goes back to 1968. It includes more than 5.5 Million documents from around 80,000 companies from 60 countries. Since 1990, Infoline provides annual reports and other documents of public and private companies. The documents are black and white scanned copies of the originals, stored on CD-ROMs. Requested documents are printed and immediately sent via courier or regular post, or in electronic format via e-mail in PDF format. Orders can be placed via email or telephone. Priced pay as you go service.

Africa

African Financials www.africanfinancials.com
African Financials is a free Annual Reports portal focusing on investment in Africa. If you need an annual report on an African listed company this is a good place to start. There are 1100 reports and you can browse by sector, year or country. There are also links to CEO blogs and recently added documents. The IPO section lists rumoured, expected, recent, current, archived, cancelled, and postponed IPOs. Some of the IPO documents are available via the Download section.

Asia

China

China Company Research Services www.ccrs.info
China Company Research Services (CCRS) provides detailed information on Chinese companies. The data is locally sourced by Chinese researchers and then edited and assessed by experienced Western company information analysts. CCRS is able to research and report on any company in China to the depth required, for example from simple Registration Searches (to confirm that a company is legally incorporated) to detailed and in-depth profiles. Information can include corporate details, export licence details, business operations, history, strategic/political factors, International connections, financial status, reputation, rating, overall assessment. There are three standard report formats - Full, Overview, Credit - or you can pick and mix from 25 separate modules. There are sample reports on the web site that give you an idea of the formats and structure. Prices vary, but for pay as you go there is a minimum charge of £100 per company.

Japan

EDINET info.edinet-fsa.go.jp
EDINET (Electronic Disclosure for Investors' NETwork) is Japan's electronic filing system for disclosure documents under the Securities and Exchange Law of Japan. It is similar to the EDGAR system used by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The site is in Japanese.

Mizuho Securities www.mizuho-sc.com/english/ebond/index.html
For anyone researching Japanese markets and companies, Japan based Mizuho Securities has an excellent collection of information and links to English language resources on Japanese finance, economy, politics and law. This includes a comprehensive list of links to the English language web sites of Japanese financial institutions and listed companies.

Corporate Direct www.c-direct.ne.jp/en/de/de-index.html
Provides access to information and annual reports from Japanese companies. Companies can be browsed alphabetically by name or by industry sector. You can view the site in either English or Japanese.

The Americas

US

Annual Reports www.annualreports.com
A free service providing the latest US company annual reports as PDFs or hardcopy and links to the relevant section of the company's web site.

Dun & Bradstreet www.dnb.com
Priced D&B reports on US companies.  Corporate customers can use their existing account to pay for reports. There are also "Pay-as-you-go" reports (payment by credit card).

KnowX www.knowx.com
Provides access to services such as Dun and Bradstreet, and Experian. It also enables you to search the company databases of most of states of the US. These include Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Click on the KnowX Standard tab and follow the link "Corporate Records", which is under "Businesses". You can then search on company name and a state or all states. It lists, free of charge, the companies it has found and the state in which they are incorporated. Further information is available for a fee and payment is by credit card.

Public Register Annual Report Service www.annualreportservice.com
PRARS provides online access to over 2,300 annual reports of US listed companies. There is an alphabetical index which provides links to the company home page, a direct link to the section of the company site that contains the annual report or SEC filings, and a link to the company's SEC filings (up to 5 years) on the Edgar Online Site.

SEC EDGAR Database www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm
The official archive of SEC filings. Since May 1996 all SEC listed companies are required to file electronically.

Alternatives to the official EDGAR site

SEC Info www.secinfo.com
SEC Info is an interface to the official SEC filings. Very quick and easy to use. Free service.

Canada

SEDAR www.sedar.com
System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval. The electronic filing system for the disclosure documents of public companies and mutual funds across Canada.

Equifax Canada www.equifax.ca
Available in English and French. Priced service.

Brazil

Equifax Brasil www.equifax.com.br
Available in Portuguese. Priced service.

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