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Legal Research Guide

Legal Information

  • FindLaw Consumer Protection - "Contains valuable resources pertaining to the many legal issues facing consumers. Here, you'll find useful resources on consumer protection issues such as identity theft, sales contracts, credit discrimination, fraud and more. Learn about how to manage your credit score, how to read the fine print on a gift card, the importance of choosing a secure email password and more consumer protection issues."
  • FindLaw Small Business Center - "Provides information and resources for small business owners, and help for entrepreneurs seeking to get a business idea off the ground. Here you can get information on choosing and forming the right legal structure for your business, legal tips on day-to-day business operations, an overview of employment law issues, and much more."
  • Legal Information Institute - Not-for-profit group from the Cornell University Law School working to promote open access to law, worldwide, for free by publishing law online, creating materials to help people understand law, and making it easier for people to find the law.


Comprehensive Sites

  • Essential Links - Taxes - Lists major tax sites, places to go for tax information, commercial tax sites, and international taxes.
  • USTaxCenter - A consumer-oriented source with answers to general tax questions and links to many other tax related sites.
  • Legalbitstream - "Tax law research website that provides searchable databases of United States federal inome tax and estate tax law. Databases include complete and timely updated Internal Revenue Service documents and caselaw opinions from all federal courts that issue federal tax law guidance. Caselaw and IRS documents (i) contain formatting substantially similar to the original source materials, (ii) include all tables, images, appendices, and exhibits, and (iii) include formatting which permits all text, tables and graphics to print without cropping at the right page margin, which make Legalbitstream stand out among other services."
  • Tax, Accounting and Payroll Sites Directory - Includes pointers to general tax sites and accounting sites.
  • WorldWideWeb Tax - This site aims to serve as the most comprehensive online source for a broad range of tax information. While the site does offer a for-fee e-file service, it also features a wealth of free information, including IRS forms, IRS instructions, IRS publications, IRS tables, IRS rate schedules, IRS charts, and IRS worksheets. Also included are FAQs, tips and strategies, state tax information, and a glossary of tax terms.

Specific Sites

Company Information

  • Annual Reports at Yahoo - This free service by Yahoo Finance provides you with quick access to annual reports and other information on over 3,500 companies.
  • Business Filings Databases - Updated - This is a compilation of all the state locations for sources of information on corporate and business filings.
  • Corporate Watch - Web site dedicated to observe transnational corporations at the local, national, and international levels and to provide readers with information to investigate and analyze corporate activity.
  • Forbes lists - On this site you can find the various lists that Forbes compiles including the lists for the top domestic companies, best small companies, and world's largest companies.
  • Fortune 500 - Fortune Magazine's annual list of the top 500 U.S. companies ranked by revenues.
  • Hoovers Online - Includes links to company web sites as well as company profiles for privately held firms and publicly traded companies. [For HSU only, Hoover's Company Record covers more than 40,000 public and non-public companies in addition to providing in-depth industry and company information.]
  • The Inc. 5000 List - Inc. Magazine’s list of the country’s fastest growing private companies.
  • Public Register's Annual Report Service - Free annual reports of public companies trading on the NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTC and TSX exchanges. See also their green alternative, The Public Register Online, the largest free directory of over 5,000 online annual reports or 10-K presenations available on the web.
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange - EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system) - "All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Here you'll find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database."

Industry Data

  • County Business Patterns - Government reports organized by industry code that provide statistical data.
  • Current Industrial Reports - Government reports about specific industries and sub-industries. Provides statistics and detailed tables regarding sales and production.
  • ThomasNet - ThomasNet is powered by Thomas Register of Manufacturers. Register for free to search 155,000 U.S. and Canadian companies to find industrial products and services; Thomas Global which is an up-to-date directory of worldwide industrial Information from over 700,000 suppliers in 11 languages from 28 countries. Other information; Industrial market trends.
  • Yahoo - Industry - Has pointers to news articles about many different industries.


  • Accounting Terminology Guide - The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) General Committee on Public Relations prepared this glossary as an educational tool for journalists who report on and interpret financial information.
  • AICPA Online - This site is maintained by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and provides a searchable collection of accounting information. Particularly useful are the links to CPA Links, which lists numerous general sites of interest to CPAs; the Students section, which offers information about the profession and research tips; the Educators section, where you can find information on curriculum-related programs and services; and Resume Match, a useful area for the job seeker. The search engine is rather limited and it is best to read the instructions provided in order to formulate a good search of the site.
  • RAW - Rutgers Accounting Web - Includes accounting resources on the web, listings of accountants, accounting standards by FASB and GASB, international accounting information, etc.
  • Pro2Net - A comprehensive online resource for professionals in accounting, financial services, human resources, insurance, and law. A "Resource Library" features tax and financial listings from state, federal, and international institutions, as well as selected fulltext news articles. There is also a link to "Find an Accountant" that includes more than 100,000 U.S. accounting firms, and is searchable by person's name, firm name, city, state, or industry focus. The "Career Center" allows you to search by firm or location, and students may find the browsable list of professional resumes useful.
  • Tax and Accounting Sites Directory - A comprehensive index of web-based tax and accounting resources. The directory is designed to be a starting point for people who are searching for tax and accounting information, products, and services.
  • Yahoo's Accounting Listings - Nice general listing of accounting information. It includes pointers to companies, courses, as well as specific accounting sites.


  • Marketing Virtual Library - Annotated guide to marketing resources. Areas covered include advertising, starting and running a business, careers and employment, consumer issues, legal information, electronic commerce, public relations, and selling and sales management. Additionally database, direct, international, and Internet marketing are covered as well as market research.
  • Ad*Access - The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University.
  • Ad Council: Campaigns That Have Made a Difference - This site highlights Ad Council public service advertising campaigns (PSAs) from 1942 to the present. Includes descriptions of campaigns for wars (such as "Loose Lips Sink Ships" and Rosie the Riveter), forest fire prevention (Smokey Bear), child abuse prevention, domestic violence awareness, and more. Provides images of print ads and video clips of TV commercials.
  • National Retail Federation - This site's mission is "to advance the interests of the retail industry through advocacy, communications and education."

Small Business

Large & General Sites

  • Business USA - New site from the Federal Government - "A product of collective thoughts and inputs from the following agencies who have pledged their commitment to making this site a one-stop shop for everything related to business in the USA." Agencies include Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, and more.
  • Doing Business on the Internet - Library of Congress Internet Resource Page which lists general sources for doing business on the Internet. Internet business directories, Internet service and consultants for business.
  • Edward Lowe Foundation - Their mission is to champion the entrepreneurial spirit by providing information, research, and educational experiences which support small business people. They have a searchable full-text small business database which can be browsed by category or by subject.
  • FindLaw Small Business Center - One of the most comprehensive legal resources on the Internet providing information and resources for small business owners and help for entrepreneurs seeking to get a business idea off the ground. Get information on choosing and forming the right legal structure for your business, legal tips, an overview of employment law issues, and more.
  • Idea Cafe - Idea Cafe creator Francie Ward aims for a "fun approach to serious business" in this colorful small business resource site. Advice and articles on financing a business, starting a business, running a business, using new technologies, and communicating effectively with employees and clients are provided.
  • Office of Women's Business Ownership - Prepared by the Small Business Administration to help women entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses.
  • Sample Business Plans - Every good business starts with a plan--more specifically, a business plan. If you're thinking of starting a business, but don't know the difference between an executive summary and a start-up summary, you'll want to take the crash course this very helpful site provides. Peruse over 500 sample business plans to get a general idea of what your pitch should include, then move on to the extensive tutorial section to help craft your own. Pointers, suggestions, dos and don'ts are all included. You'll also find tutorials for marketing plans, lessons on cash v profits, and a couple dozen helpful links. A fantastic resource and a definite bookmark for the entrepreneurial minded.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration - SBA.gov provides a wide variety of information of interest to not only the prospective small business owner, but to people who already are operating a small business. You can find pointers to sources of financing, business plan samples and forms, managing a small business, and business opportunities.
  • Women-Owned Business - Yahoo! Directory of various web-based sources of information for and about women in business.
  • Yahoo's Small Business - Nice pointers to many sites of interest to people setting up small business.

State Information

  • California Business Programs - From the California Secretary of State, this site lists all the information needed to start a business in California. It includes information on statutorily required filings, trademarks, service marks, UCC financing statements, and Notary Public Commissions.

Local Information

  • Humboldt Economic Index - Produced by the Economics Department at HSU, this site contains both current and historic data on various indicators of economic activity in Humboldt, e.g., median home prices, unemployment rate, etc.
  • Northcoast Small Business Development Center - This site is dedicated to helping both current and prospective small business owners learn about how to set up a business in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. For personal assistance and for quick one stop answers to your business related questions, use BizNet.
  • Redwood Region Economic Development Commission - This site lists various ways to find information on how to do business in Humboldt County.

International Business

  • Country Commercial Guides - These guides are prepared annually by United States embassies together with other government agencies and include information on the economic trends and outlook, political environment, market for U.S products, trade regulations, investment climate, trade financing and travel in the CCG. An appendix containing the country's main economic indicators is also included in the report.
  • DoingBusiness - Doing Business is a site prepared by the World Bank which measures regulatory costs of doing business in over 175 countries. There is also information on starting a business; hiring and firing workers; enforcing a contract; getting credit; closing a business; and economy characteristics.
  • Economic Commission For Latin America and the Caribbean - This is the web site for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It is the public record of its work, including press releases, interviews, speeches, op-ed pieces, and statements of the Secretary-General, as well as PDF versions of nearly all its publications in both English and Spanish. Some of the publications available at this site include the Statistical YearbookEconomic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Foreign Investment in Latin America.
  • The Forbes List of the World's Biggest Public Companies - Forbes magazine's list list of the top ranking international companies. Companies can be searched by name, country, or industry type. Company listings contain contact information and website addresses, and of course, the numbers: basic revenue, assets, market value, and stock price and earnings information.
  • globalEDGE - Created by the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, this website "provides international business and trade information on over 200 countries, the 50 U.S. states, as well as nearly two dozen industry sectors, and many of the world’s trade blocs."
  • International Monetary Fund - This site contains significant amounts of information about the organization, international monetary cooperation, and member countries. There are links to IMF research and statistics, sections on how the IMF gets and lends its money, as well as monthly and quarterly statistics on IMF financial transactions.
  • Trade Data Online - "Provides the ability to generate customized reports on Canada's and U.S. trade in goods with over 200 countries." Search by product or industry. The data is provided by Statistics Canada and by the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • ViewsWire - This database is produced by the Economic Intelligent Unit Economist Group and provides information about multinational business. It includes rankings of countries for "e-business readiness" as well as data on the political, economic, and business environment in 187 countries. Free, but registration is required to access the content.
  • WTO & GATT Research - This guide from the New York University Law Library "presents the essential sources for researching the former GATT system and the current system under the Uruguay Round agreements and the World Trade Organization."

Databases for business research

General Business Information

Large Sites & General Guides

  • Business Reference Services - This site has been prepared by the Business Reference Services of the Library of Congress and includes information about LC's business collection as well as a nice listing of business related internet sites.
  • ForecastCenter.com - This site is an excellent resource for anyone seeking information about future trends. It is maintained by Irving Leveson (former executive with the Hudson Institute and Hudson Strategy Group. Access to much of the information is free, but you need to register to gain access to most of the information. There are also links to numerous reliable and current sources on futures groups, conferences, government and professional sites, business and labor organizations and foundations.
  • GPO Access Business and Economy Page - This site has been created by the U.S. Government and is intended to provide information from the government on frequently asked question; business and economic regulations; publications; and a listing of additional federal business and economic resources.
  • Resources on the Internet for Business Journalists - A compilation of links, arranged by topic, to sites that may be useful to business researchers. Topics include business news publications, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the economy, law and regulation, public records, healthcare, insurance, and public opinion. Most sites are available for free. From a journalism professor.

Business Ethics

  • Business Ethics - Comprehensive web site about business ethics which includes Articles & Publications; Case Studies; examples of Corporate Codes of Ethics - including Enron's; Professional Organizations & Associations; Resources & Centers; and Additional Ethics Resources.



Large Sites and General Guides

  • Financial Data Finder at Ohio State
  • BanxQuote - Site provides mortgages, loans, credit cards, and CD rates in all 50 states. In addition, you can receive daily market quotes and rates on Banking, Auto, Home, and Consumer Finance.
  • Bloomberg Personal Finance News & Articles
  • Roubini Global Economics - Developed by Nouriel Roubini (economics and international business professor at Stern School of Business, New York University), this site provides detailed information on current macroeconomic and financial policy topics. It is updated daily. There is also an extensive list of links to academic research which is organized by subject.


Large Sites and General Guides

  • Bloomberg - Business & Financial News - One of the best sources for information on ongoing activity within the world's financial markets, including equity indexes; stock, bond, and commodity prices; currency exchange; interest rates; and mutual funds.
  • Daily Stocks - Another excellent place to begin your search for information on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Enter a company and you are linked to quotes, charts, news, SEC Filings, research Rpts, earnings estimates, magazine articles, fundamentals.
  • Investopedia.com - A complete, unbiased, and easy to understand educational guide to investing and personal finance. The site includes a comprehensive investing dictionary on the web as well as tutorials and articles covering just about every area of the market.
  • InvestorGuide.com - InvestorGuide is a full service investment portal and includes news wires of investment news from reputable sources such as CNNfn, Washington Post, Forbes, and MSNBC.
  • Morningstar - Morningstar includes information about publicly traded mutual funds and stocks.
  • SocialFunds.com - SocialFunds.com has over 10,000 pages of strategic content to help you make informed investment decisions regarding socially responsible investing.
  • Yahoo!Finance - An excellent place to begin looking for information on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.


  • Bob Brinker's Marketimer - Bob Brinker, moderator of the widely syndicated radio show MoneyTalk, maintains a very nice list of web links covering banks, bonds, financial news and information, mutual funds, online trading, stock exchanges, etc.
  • QuoteCom - Provides stock prices, charts, news and world stock information.


  • Investing in Bonds - This site is produced by The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and lets you track corporate bonds, as well as Treasuries and municipal bonds.
  • Treasury Direct - TreasuryDirect is the first and only financial services website that lets you buy and redeem securities directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form. From this site product information and research across the entire line of Treasury Securities, from Series EE Savings Bonds to Treasury Notes is available. TreasuryDirect accounts offer Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), and Series I and EE Savings Bonds in electronic form in one convenient account. From the Tools bar, you can find a savings bond calculator which will price Series EE, E, I bonds, and Savings Notes.

Mutual Funds

  • Investment Company Institute - This is the national association of U.S. investment companies, including mutual funds, closed-end funds, ETFs, and UITs.
  • MutualFundsnet.com - Mutualfundsnet is an industry directory specific to mutual funds and related information. They identify, review, and regularly update product sponsors and distributors, jobs, news, and regulatory and resources relevant to the mutual fund industry.
  • Yahoo!Finance – Mutual Funds Center - General site where you can find current and historical prices; charts; company profiles of various mutual funds; fund screeners; lists of top performers; investor education.

Economic Information on the Web

Electronic Teaching Resources

  • Books, Textbooks and Online Courses - This listing is supported by the American Economics Association.
  • CyberEconomics - A complete, online textbook for introductory economics prepared by Robert E. Schenck, Professor of Economics at St. Joseph's College, Renesselaer, IN. It provides basic information on micro and macro economics.

Large Sites and General Guides

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics - This site has pointers to all the major economic indicators for the U.S economy and the states and regions.
  • EconData Online - This site keeps you informed on today's most crucial economics data. Steve Hackett and Bud Culbertson (Humboldt State University) provide commentary, analysis, and current and historical data. Some of the topics covered include Economic Fundamentals, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, World Economy, how to calculate the CPI, GDP, etc.
  • Economagic.com: Economic Time Series Page - This site has over 400,000 datafiles with charts and excel spreadsheets for each. It is possible to search by topic or by source.
  • Economic History Services - EH.Net provides resources and promotes communication among scholars in economic history and related fields. It is organized into four broad categories: Services, Lists, Organizations, and Calendar. Additionally, there is a feature in the Services section called "Ask the Professor", where faculty answer questions asked about some aspect of economic history. An archive of the questions and answers is maintained. Useful for those seeking information about economic history.
  • Economic Indicators - This site is produced by the Economic Policy Institute and provides analyses of the labor market, GDP, income & poverty, and health insurance coverage.
  • Economic Policy Institute - The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute (think tank) engaged in research, analysis, and advocacy. Its mission statement is “to provide high quality research and education in order to promote a prosperous, fair, and sustainable economy”. It has five main areas of research – living standards and labor market; government and the economy; trade and globalization; education; and sustainable economics. Statistical data as well as position papers written by the institute are also available. Frequently labeled “liberal” or “progressive” when quoted in the news media, EOI is especially well known for its research on issues related to working people and labor markets.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco - This site has information about the 12th federal reserve district, which covers nine western states--Alaska, Arizona, California,Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington--and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It includes information about the fed, news and events in the district, economic research and data, publications, educational resources, community development, consumer information, banking information, and services for financial institutions.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research - The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is a private, nonprofit research organization devoted "to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works." Primarily through research conducted for NBER by hundreds of university professors. Some of this research is freely available online, including the database of NBER Working Papers abstracts, but access to the full text of the Working Papers, which are the most important and widely known NBER publications, requires a subscription. This site is a valuable resrouce for data related to business cycles. There are also links to other sources, including government and individual scholars' sites.
  • Resources for Economists on the Internet - This site is sponsored by the American Economic Association. It lists more than 2,000 resources in 97 sections and sub-sections available on the Internet of interest to academic and practicing economists, and those interested in economics. Almost all resources are also described.
  • U.S. Census - This site contains demographic, economic and, social statistical data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • WebEc - This site lists and describes material that could be of interest to mainly academic economists and is at least in part freely available on the Internet. Together with Resources for Economist on the Internet, they are the WWW Virtual Library on Economics.
  • White House: Jobs & The Economy - This White House site provides easy access to current Federal economic indicators, including: Employment, Income, International, Money Output, Prices, Production, and Transportation. Site provides links to information produced by a number of Federal agencies.

International Information

  • Economic Commission For Latin America and the Caribbean - This is the web site for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It is the public record of its work, including press releases, interviews, speeches, op-ed pieces, and statements of the Secretary-General, as well as PDF versions of nearly all its publications in both English and Spanish. Some of the publications available at this site include the Statistical YearbookEconomic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean,Foreign Investment in Latin America, and the Caribbean, Social Panorama of Latin America.
  • International Economics Network - A directory of resources devoted to international economics and its related disciplines. It does not include original content but links to economics sites organized by topic area. Main topical sections include International Economics, International Politics, News & Commentary, International ICT (Information and Communications Development), and Research Papers. Each section includes a directory of links with annotations.
  • International Monetary Fund - This site contains significant amounts of information about the organization, international monetary cooperation, and member countries. There are links to IMF research and statistics, sections on how the IMF gets and lends its money, as well as monthly and quarterly statistics on IMF financial transactions.

State Information

  • California Department of Finance - This site has the California state budget, monthly finance bulletins, financial and economic data, fiscal information for state agencies, demographic information for the state.
  • California State Homepage - Additional information about the state's business can be found here.
  • Long-Term Socio-Economic Forecasts by County - This site is produced by the California Department of Transportation and contains biennial socio-economic forecasts, with history and long-term projections, for all counties in California. Includes statistics on wage and salary job creation, population growth, migration, industrial production, and other factors. Forecasts available back to 2000 for some counties; 2002 for others.

Local Information

  • Humboldt Economic Index - This site contains both current and historic data on various indicators of economic activity in Humboldt, e.g., median home prices, unemployment rate, etc.
  • Prosperity - The North Coast Strategy - This site has been adopted by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors as Humboldt County's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The resulting document is the result of contributions made by local residents and business who attended planning meetings, Industry Cluster meetings, and/or wrote letters and concept papers on economic and community development in Humboldt County. In addition to viewing this document on the web, a print copy will be available for review in the Humboldt Room.

Banking and Regulation

Business Directories

  • Dun & Bradstreet - Includes News & Views and Business Trends section containing recent articles, press releases and survey results. You can also search millions of U.S. companies and receive Business Background Reports for a fee.
  • Switchboard - Find people, businesses, web sites, maps and if you register you can get free email and/or a web site.
  • Yahoo Commercial Directory - Lists a variety of business directories.