This page lists some general starting places for public company background information.
For private company information, you will probably have to rely more on articles.
For Company Background Information
Company Dossier from Nexis Uni/LexisNexis - Find company info by specific name or by using search criteria.
Once you get a company "snapshot," note the many options in the left column, each offering a specific kind of information for that company.
For 10-K and other reports that have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, choose SEC filings in the left column.
MarketLine Company Profiles Authority - Go toBusiness Source Elite and choose the "Company Profiles" tab from the blue bar across the top of the screen. These profiles of individual companies include sections such as key facts, history, revenue analysis, SWOT analysis, and more.
Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage - Lots of data and analysis! Use the search box at the top or choose the Companies option in the blue bar for more options.
ValueLine Investment Survey - Current financial info and an investment analyst's report. Choose "Browse Research" from the initial screen.  Use the search box just above the "Saved Screens" box: