Is the company publicly-traded or privately-held? This sets the expectation for how much information is available and where to look.
Does the company exist as a subsidiary or is it owned by another company (parent company)? If it is a subsidiary, it is often helpful to research the parent company as well.
What is the real name of the company? Example: GE versus General Electric. Be aware of this when searching.
If publicly-traded, what is the ticker symbol of the company? Some resources are searchable by ticker symbol.
What industry or industries is your company, product or service classified under? Identify the NAICS or SIC code(s) as some resources are searchable by industry code.
Industry classification codes allow researchers and government agencies to classify businesses by the type of product or service they offer. Many library databases and some reference sources are searchable by classication code. Two common classification codes include: