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Fact Finding: Locating & Researching Persons, Companies, and Property: Free Sites

This guide offers paid and free resources for locating contact information, financials, and other information about individuals and business entities.

About This Page

This page offers links to resources that are freely available on the web or which are available for free to public library card holders (usually accessible remotely). Databases from the six largest counties/library systems in each state have been included in this guide. The links to public library resources will identify the subscribing library using the abbreviations below. The remaining tabs in this guide list a mix of free and paid resources but may be worth a look in case your organization also maintains a subscription to one or more of these resources.

View instructions for how to get a library card and who is eligible for one can be found using the links in the chart below. Many libraries offer cards to anyone living in that state or to those living in nearby cities and counties even if they are located in another state. Some libraries also make cards available to those outside the immediate service area for a fee.

MARYLAND VIRGINIA WASHINGTON, DC

Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL)

Arlington County Public Library  (ACPL)

DC Public Library (DCPL)

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) Chesterfield County Public Library  (CCPL)  
Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) Fairfax County Public Library (FPL)  
Howard County Library System (HCLS) Henrico County Public Library (HCPL)  
Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL)  
Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCML) Prince William Public Library (PWPL)  

Individual Contact Information, Biographies & Vital Records

 

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
AACPL Anne Arundel County Public Library
BCPL Baltimore County Public Library
FCPL Frederick County Public Libraries
HCLS Howard County Library System
MCPL Montgomery County Public Libraries
PGCML Prince George's County Memorial Library

Under Construction

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
ACPL Arlington County Public Library  
CCPL Chesterfield County Public Library
FPL Fairfax County Public Library
HCPL Henrico County Public Library
LCPL Loudoun County Public Library 
PWPL Prince William Public Library

 

Employment Information, Presentations & Papers

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
AACPL Anne Arundel County Public Library
MCPL Montgomery County Public Library

 

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME 
PWPL Prince William Public Library

 

Civil & Criminal Filings & Cases

News & Media Presence (People & Companies)

NOTE: some social media sites require you to create an account before you can search for individual or company profiles. See the Restraints on Usage page for guidance. 

 

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY
AACPL Anne Arundel County Public Library
BCPL Baltimore County Public Library
HCLS Howard County Library System
MCPL Montgomery County Public Libraries
PGCML Prince George's County Memorial Library System

 

Under Construction

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME 
ACPL Arlington County Public Library  
FPL Fairfax County Public Library
HCPL Henrico County Public Library 
LCPL Loudoun County Public Library 
PWPL Prince William Public Library

 

DCPL =  DC Public Library

Researching Property

Also see additional links on the Researching Property tab.

Under Construction

About Company Research

The amount of information available for a particular company depends on a number of factors. Information is more widely available for public companies (those traded on a stock exchange) as these business entities must file detailed reports about their operations to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Generally, the larger the company then the more information will be available for it including financial statements, employment and market share numbers and other more specialized information. Locating information about privately held companies can be much more difficult, especially for very small companies or closely held business entities that may be operated by a sole proprietor or a small number of owers/employees. For some of the smallest companies, you may not be able to locate much more than directory/contact information and the name and contact information for the owner or principle officer. 
 

Information about public companies is much more likely to be available from free web resources while private company information (other than basic directory information from the Secretary of State) will usually be found only in proprietary paid databases. The resources on this page are broken down by type of information sought and notes are made on those resources that offer at least some coverage of privately held businesses. 

Company Profiles, Directories & Employees

See news resources listed in the News & Media Presence box for additional search options.

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
AACPL Anne Arundel County Public Library
BCPL Baltimore County Public Library
FCPL Frederick County Public Libraries
HCLS Howard County Library System
MCPL Montgomery County Public Libraries
PGCML Prince George's County Memorial Library System

 

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
ACPL Arlington County Public Library  
CCPL Chesterfield County Public Library
FPL Fairfax County Public Library
HCPL Henrico County Public Library
LCPL Loudoun County Public Library 
PWPL Prince William Public Library

Corporate Financials, Property, Licenses & UCC Filings

ABBREVIATION

LIBRARY NAME

AACPL

Anne Arundel County Public Library

BCPL

Baltimore County Public Library

FCPL

Frederick County Public Libraries

HCLS

Howard County Library System

MCPL

Montgomery County Public Libraries

PGCML

Prince George's County Memorial Library

 

ABBREVIATION LIBRARY NAME
ACPL Arlington County Public Library  
CCPL Chesterfield County Public Library
FPL Fairfax County Public Library
HCPL Henrico County Public Library
LCPL Loudoun County Public Library 
PWPL Prince William Public Library

Business licenses in Virginia are awarded by individual counties and municipalities. It is up to each jurisdiction to determine what businesses require a license and whether or not those license databases will be made available online for searching.

Corporate Structure & Industry Market Share

ABBREVIATION

LIBRARY NAME

AACPL

Anne Arundel County Public Library

BCPL

Baltimore County Public Library

FCPL

Frederick County Public Libraries

HCLS

Howard County Library System

MCPL

Montgomery County Public Libraries

PGCML

Prince George's County Memorial Library

 

Under Construction

ABBREVIATION

LIBRARY NAME

 FPL

Fairfax County Public Library

Corporate Court Filings, Agency Actions & Reputation Information

See the Civil & Criminal Filings & Cases box for additional resources.

ABBREVIATION

LIBRARY NAME

AACPL

Anne Arundel County Public Library

HCLS

Howard County Library System

ABBREVIATION

LIBRARY NAME

ACPL

Arlington County Public Library  

PWPL

Prince William Public Library