Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
In the US, private companies are not required to release their financials. Therefore, most of the time you won't be able to get detailed financial statements on a private firm. Here are some strategies on researching a private company:
- Company websites and social media channels: your company's vs. your competitors'
- Shopping sites: why buy from them (price, quality, service)?
- Company profile databases: find revenue data (self-reported or estimates) and other limited information (depending on the size of the private firm) from the sources suggested below.
- Industry/market research reports: trends, competition, main players.
- Use industry benchmarks as proxy (e.g., you probably won't be able to obtain financial statements on your competitors that are private firms, but industry benchmark data might shed some light).
- Consumer profiles: demographics and psychographics
- Search for news stories on the company (using library databases or Google). This is especially important when the company is local and/or small. The company might have been covered in newspapers, trade publications, TV segments, or blogs.
List of Top Private Companies
Database of failed startup stories, including location, industry, time period, founders/team, funding, and failure reason.
Failed startup stories, including industry, time period, location, founder, funding, and reasons for failure.
Key Resources for Private Company Researdh
RMA eStatement Studies
Provides financial ratio benchmarks data (norms and ratios) and industry default probablity data. This is the online version of the RMA annual statement studies.
In-depth reports on US industries.
Crunchbase (limited free data)
Company directory that covers startups and other private companies. Also offers free or discounted access to their full data through their Academic Research Access Program
(faculty and graduate students only).
Available from the Multnomah County Library with a free library card.
Basic information on public and private companies with "as reported" financials (if available).
Provides business and financial data on major, non-publicly traded corporations. * PSU doesn't subscribe to it so you have to purchase your own report."
Crowdsourced company data and news alerts.
Ranked Portland/Oregon Businesses
Portland Business Journal
Provides access to Portland Business Journal and Book of Lists. Also includes other city business journals.