Company profiles offer selective information about companies. Generally, profiles cover publicly traded companies and provide the following information:
They are very useful if you want a quick overview of a company and if you want to understand its larger context.
You can research company histories in articles and books. If your company is publicly traded you can also look at its historical annual reports. To find books in the library catalogue, search for the company's name as a subject:
Legal research can give you insight into a company's legal situation, as well as the legal environment of a particular industry.
Patent and trademark issues can be important in certain industries. Patents are also a source of competitive information about a company's activites and products.