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MUI 440 - Entrepreneurship in the Music Industry

This guide will help students research their business plans.

Doing research on a company

The availability of information often depends on a company's ownership -- whether a company is publicly traded, privately held, or a subsidiary of another firm. This video explains the difference:

A public company has shares of stock that represent an ownership interest and are traded openly on a stock exchange like NASDAQ or NYSE. The U.S. requires public companies to report their financial performance and governance structure to the Securities and Exchange Commission annually. That makes information on many public companies easy to find.

Help using & citing JMU Libraries databases

A private company is a company that is not traded on any stock exchange. Private companies as a general rule do not have to file any documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, finding information on private companies can be challenging.

Help using & citing JMU Libraries databases

A subsidiary is a company that is owned or controlled by another company, which could be called the parent or holding company. Subsidiaries are separate entities from their parent companies, but their financials are reported on the parent's consolidated financial statements (Investopedia, 2023). It often can be difficult to find data specific to a subsidiary. 

How can I learn more about the different types of corporate legal structures?

The Encyclopedia of Small Business can help you understand the differences between different structures (C Corporation, Partnership, LLC, S Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, Cooperative).

The Small Business Start-Up Kit is aimed at entrepreneurs who are trying to choose a legal structure for their company, select a location, write an effective business plan, and more

How can I find an organizational chart for a company I'm researching?

Organizational charts can be considered proprietary information, so they might be difficult to find for small firms or privately-held companies. To see examples from large public companies or startups, try The Official Board or Crunchbase. 

Other strategies for finding charts: try asking a similar firm if they'd be wiling to share theirs, or Google strategically and look through LOTS of results. Copy and paste this search: ("organizational chart" OR "org chart") [your industry] ext:pdf. Change [your industry} to the one you want to find. Here is an example search for org charts posted by libraries.  

Learn more about Organizational Charts and how to structure them from the Encyclopedia of Management. (2019).