These databases prioritize information on public companies; if you are looking for information on a private company, scroll down the page to the box with private company database links.
While several of the databases above (D&B Hoovers, S&P and Mergent) will have some information on private companies, the databases listed in this box specialize in that kind of information.
"The SEC’s EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval) database provides free public access to corporate information. The system allows you to research a company’s activities, registration statements, prospectuses, and periodic reports, which include financial statements. EDGAR also provides access to correspondence about corporate filings reviewed by the SEC staff since August 1, 2004."