It is important to know if your company is public, private, or a subsidiary of a larger company. Use a directory to determine this.
Public companies are the easiest to research because they are required to provide detailed information in an annual report and CSA filings. For further research also check analysts' reports , news stories, books and case studies.
Private Companies are not required to release any information and are therefore more challenging to research. Brief information can be found in directories, news stories, and sometimes books.
Information on International Companies varies. If a company trades on the U.S. exchanges it must file annual reports (20-F) with the SEC. Try directories, databases, newspapers and magazines.
Public companies are required to file documents (regulatory filings) with the appropriate securities regulator. This allows investors to make informed decisions with accurate information.
In Canada, SEDAR (System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval) is used for electronically filing securities-related information with the provincial securities commissions. The database provides access to public company and mutual fund information in the public domain.
For more information on the types of documents public companies must file in Canada, visit the TSX's Filing Guide.
In the United States, EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering and Retrieval system) performs the same service as SEDAR.
*It is important to be aware that in the United States an annual report to shareholders and a 10-K are two separate documents.
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