The federal government regulates and investigates company activities. Some of this data is available to the public.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration investications (e.g., square footage of a plant, number of employees in the plant, types of machines used)
- Environmental Protection Agency (e.g., plant inspection reports, filings for permits)
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (has files on some products, firms and recalls).
You can use the U.S. Government Manual to locate agency contact information (use link below).
More strategies to locate information on private companies:
- The state's office of economic development works to foster good business/government relations and attract companies to the state. They are knowledgeable about in-state companies and may be able to give info such as construction, expansion plans, or major employment changes. Public information varies by state. They may also be able to suggest a contact inside or outside the company.
- Companies must file various data in the state they are registered or incorporated, and where they are headquartered and in each state they operate. Try the state's home page to find out what information they give access to such as company filings or industry information.
- The Office of the Secretary of State is where companies usually register and provide information about their operations such as articles of incorporation, a type of annual report, corporate name changes, location of operations, etc. Information available will vary in each state. Use the link below for the Washington Secretary of State.
- Local government reports. Municipal and county governments keep track of what companies do in their area. Examples are tax assessors, pollution control boards, county clerk which has records of property owned.