Answered By: Bobray Bordelon
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2023     Views: 82

  • Orbis. *: Financial information on 241 million companies globally in 224 countries including private companies.  Also available through WRDS.**  For the USA, use Dun & Bradstreet individual business (flat) file, 1969 - present. (Mergent).   See How to Construct Nationally Representative Firm Level Data from the Orbis Global Database: New Facts and Aggregate Implications. NBER Working Paper No. 21558. ORBIS is survivor biased.  The current database contains header data and companies are dropped after roughly 10 years if not active.
  • ORBIS Historical (point in time snapshots of ORBIS).  Ownership files go back to 2007.   Each delivery of data does include all the years. Descriptive data is not cumulative or historical.  It is a snapshot of each period.  Our oldest is 2020.  That means all header data so could not be used for historical industry or geographic. Detailed cash flow and interim data is not cumulative or historical.  It is a snapshot of each period.  Our oldest is 2020. Global format including histories are cumulative files with data back to 1997 with the exception of finance and industry that is not cumulative and current only.  Coverage for each country begins at different points in time. Each instance is approximately 250 GB highly compressed.  You should have at least 3TB of space to work with each snapshot.  University of Maryland has an excellent description of the data along with helpful hints for interpreting the records and selecting variables.

  • Dun & Bradstreet individual business (flat) file, 1969 - 2021. (Mergent).  Contains establishment level data for the USA.  1981 and 1984 were not produced.  Data is also available through the Mergent Data Explr (registration is required).

  • Dun & Bradstreet Historical Global Archive.  Files include sales, SIC codes, and number of employees at the establishment level. Note that compressed the files are 2.9 TB and uncompressed almost 39 TB.  Consists of 5 parts:

    • WorldBase U.S. Unlinked: 2012+.  Consists of U.S. based business records that do not have ownership relations that link them together in a family tree structure.
    • WorldBase Global Unlinked: Sept. 2009+. Consists of non-U.S. based business records that do not have ownership relations that link them together in a family tree structure.
    • WorldBase Linkage: Sept. 2009+. Consists of international business records that contain ownership relationships that link them together in a family tree structure. Also contains traditional corporate linkage, which represents ownership greater than 50% and can exist for commercial entities, governments and non-profit organizations regardless of size. Linkage applies to active status records only, out of business records are not linked.
    • WorldBase Business. May 2018+. Consists of additional company names and location information for global business records, such as Former Business Name and National Ids.
    • WorldBase Delete: June 2012+. Consists of records that have been deleted from the D&B WorldBase database. Provides insight as to why the DUN’s number was removed
  • Data Axle (BusinessUSA): (1997-2022): Contains information on approximately 59 million businesses in the USA. Includes private companies and branches. Latest version available through JerseyClicksAlso available through WRDS.  

  • Bloomberg, in Firestone (A Floor), has financial information on over 400 private companies and subsidiaries if they issue debt.
    • Type the name of the company you want and hit the HELP key
    • (Bloomberg assigns its own numbered ticker symbol.)
    • The screen will indicate if there are matches for your company.
    • Choose your company and then type ISSD for detailed financials. ISSD is the same as DESC for a company with stock. 
  • NEXIS Uni: Includes SEC Filings & many local and national directories.
  • Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies. Princeton's holdings are located under various call numbers in Firestone. From 1994-2007, under call number HG4057.A575. For 1981: (Oversize) HG4057.A52 1981q; 1984: HG4057.A52 and HG4057.A53; 1985: HG4057.A2 W37; 1987-1988: HG4057.A522, HG4057.A532, HG4057.A533; 2003+ also available electronically.


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