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Company and Industry Information

This research guide provides you with starting points for finding information on Australian and international companies and industries.

Types of companies

Public listed companies are those that trade stocks or securities on an exchange (e.g. the ASX). Listed public companies are required to disclose information about their operations and performance, therefore a lot of information is available on the Australian Stock Exchange, the annual reports database and company websites.

Private or proprietary or unlisted companies are not always required by law to disclose information for public inspection, therefore they can be harder to research. Resources to research private companies include some databases, news sources and company websites. In Australia, large unlisted companies are required to lodge financial information for public inspection.

A Subsidiary company is one that is owned by another company. Financial information on a subsidiary is sometimes not available and it is necessary to read the reports of the parent company.

Non-profit organisations can fall into several categories including associations and not-for-profit unlisted public companies. For information on a non-profit organisation, look at the organisation's website and news sources.

Government bodies: IBISWorld has company profiles for over 200 Australian government bodies.

Charitable, Not-for-profit (NFP), and Non-Governmental organisation (NGO)


Not-for-profit organisation

Familiarise yourself with The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) definition of Not-for-profit organisation (NFP):  

Not-for-profit organisations are also known as Non-profit organisations. There are 2 types of NFPs: charities and NFPs that are not charities.

Non-Governmental organisation

The definition of Non-Governmental organisation (NGO) can be obtained from:

Familiarise yourself with the treatment of charitable organisations by the State Revenue Office (SRO) of Victoria:

Learn more about a sector:

Use LibrarySearch to search for journal articles using keywords and/or phrases, e.g. charitable organisations Australia 

You can also use the following resources to search on an industry:

Learn more about an organisation:

Find an organisation in a sector:

You could also use a Wikipedia category list to find charities and NGOs. Example category lists: 

Wikipedia - Charities based in Australia

Wikipedia - Non-profit organisations based in Australia

Community issues can be used as search terms to find relevant organisations.  Here are some examples of search terms: 

  • Homelessness/Refuge  
  • Food waste/rescue organisations 
  • Financial and Developmental contributions 
  • Financial Loans for entrepreneurs in developing countries 
  • Refugee/Asylum Seeker organisations

Applicable Australian legislation

Visit ACNC Legislation for an overview.


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