Business-related sites

www.seekingalpha.com: Transcripts of earnings conference calls for most public companies. The transcripts can be invaluable if you’re covering several earnings in one day.

www.annualreportservice.com: A free site that provides annual reports for public companies. You need to register to access this site, but it does have access to thousands of annual reports.

www.fis.dowjones.com/products/pe.html: Provides information about alternative asset and private equity investments. If you’re writing about private companies with venture capital investments, you may want to look at this site.

www.bigbook.com: Online directory that lets you look up the mailing address and phone number of any business in the country. Can also search to find what’s near an address.

www.bizweb.com: Breaks down companies by industry, from antiques to the Web. This site has listings for more than 46,000 companies in more than 200 categories.

www.bbb.org: The Better Business Bureau. Check out any business in the nation at this site by clicking on the “Check out a Company” icon near the top left of the home page.

www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home: Provides news releases from companies and other sources by industry, geography and subject. Also has an events calendar for major industry conferences.

www.ceres.org/page.aspx?pid=705: The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, which tries to encourage companies to adhere to an environmental code when conducting business. Also encourages investors and money managers to invest in such companies.,

www.corptech.com: Has profiles of more than 90,000 U.S. technology companies, their products and the executives who run them. It contains detailed profiles on public and private manufacturers and developers of technology products including smaller, privately held companies. Seventeen hightech industries are covered from factory automation to biotech, computers to Pharmaceuticals and defense to environmental

www.edgar-online.com: Searches SEC filings by a person’s name or displays all people associated with a specific company name. Requires subscription.

www.hoovers.com/free: Nice background information on all public and many private companies. Includes competitors.

www.mergerstat.com/newsite: Website that tracks mergers and acquisitions activity around the globe. The home page tracks deal flow for the current year to the previous year on a year-to-date basis.

www.prnewswire.com: Exactly what it sounds like — press releases on the Internet. As a reporter, you can sign up to receive releases from only the industries and companies you want.

www.researchmag.com/Pages/default.aspx: Corporate profiles and fact sheets are available at this site, as well as reports on analysts and industry studies.

www.searchsystems.net: Provides more than 10,000 links to public record databases around the world to help you locate businesses, people and information. There is no cost to use this website, but some of the public records databases do charge a fee to access.

www.switchboard.com: Find home addresses and phone numbers for company executives and other sources. There are other search engines like this available on the Web, but Switchboard.com is perhaps the most comprehensive.

www.tollfree.att.net/index.html: Another online phone book that allows you to search for companies by name or by category, such as all florists or restaurants in a city.

www.thomasnet.com: Easy to use searchable database of thousands of companies and the products they manufacture. If you know a product but don’t know who makes it, this is the place to go.

www.netronline.com/public_records: Public records online. The best site to use when trying to find someone’s house. Has databases for every state. In some states, the search will also give you photos of the house.

biz.yahoo.com/i: Yahoo! company and fund index. Quick and easy reference tool that can take you to information about public companies.,

finance.yahoo.com: Home page for finance news on Yahoo! One of its best features is the symbol lookup option, which allows you to find the stock ticker of a public company. (A similar feature is also on the Bloomberg site.)

dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy: Another good website that breaks down searching for business information by categories, from ethics and responsibility to transportation to business schools.

www.inta.org/index.php?option=com_trademarkchecklist&func=display&catid=123&getcontent=1&Itemid=133: The International Trademark Association’s checklist site. Everything from Al steak sauce to Zippo cigarette lighters.