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Using Public Records for Factual Research

Resources for research about people, businesses and more

Public Companies

Public companies offer stock to the public, and must meet certain disclosure requirements set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  SEC filings are a rich source of information about a public company.  The filings include names of key professionals within the company, large investors, and more.  To learn about public company research, see:

Private Companies

Private companies, unlike public companies, are not legally required to provide information about their business.  Some basic information is typically required by the Secretary of State where the business is located.  If the company has a website, look at the "About", or similar section of the website.  Also, try searching:

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations and charities disclose certain information to maintain their tax exempt status.  Take a look at the nonprofit's website to learn more about the organization, and also take a look at:

Property Ownership Records

Records of land ownership, or deeds, verify property owned by an individual.  Many deeds are available online.   You can search property deeds through the county where the land is located.  Search for the county by name, and add terms like "real property, "deeds", etc.  To get started, here are links to a few states: