D&B (formerly the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation) produces many kinds of company reports, but the most popular among legal researchers are the Business Information Reports (BIRs) on individual companies and the Family Linkages Reports on corporate affiliations.
Business Information Reports: BIRs provide extensive information on companies -- including debt rating, liabilities, payment history, officers, shareholders, and a lot of additional information often not available elsewhere.
You can buy BIRs and other reports from the D&B Web site (www.dnb.com). D&B reports are also available from other vendors including Accurint, KnowX.com, Lexis (D&B;D&BRPT), SkyMinder and Westlaw.
Note: D&B doesn't do reports for all companies. If necessary, you can ask D&B to do up a report, which takes about two weeks. There are considerable additional charges if you want a report done up in a rush.
Note: If a D&B report says it will not rate the company because of its "unbalanced" assessment of the company's financial statement, it means the company is either (a) highly leveraged or (b) has a negative net worth.
Family Linkages Reports: D&B uses its extensive company data to produce very good reports on corporate affiliations. While many business relationships are not disclosed anywhere, I believe the Family Linkages Reports are the best reports available.
Family Linkages Reports are available from the same vendors discussed above in the "Business Information Reports" section. These Reports can be costly, so check with the vendor about the price before purchasing.