Shareholders & Management
Corporations are legal entities governed by local, state, and/or national governments.
In most countries there are several kinds of corporations, including public, limited partnership, private, and government.
Public corporations sell stock publicly, and are governed by rules of disclosure; the activist can obtain a public corporation's annual reports, and lists of major shareholders. For example, U.S. public corporations are required to file many documents, including quarterly and annual reports, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which maintains a database of these documents on the Internet at http://www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm/
Privately-held corporations are required to disclose very little, but much can still be learned about a private corporation by searching news databases and industry directories. Government corporations (such as China's Citifor and Gabon's SNBG) are quasi-public institutions which may or may not be accessible to the activist researcher.
There are several methods for determining whether a corporation is publicly or privately held. The Directory of Corporate Affiliations will tell you this for thousands of corporations around the world.
Compact Disclosure. (CD-ROM database available in many libraries; not as up-to-date, but easier to use, than the SEC's EDGAR database. Disclosure also includes lists of every corporations' major shareholders).
Shareholder resolutions The Northwest Corporate Accountability Project goves step-by step information on how to file shareholder resolutions at http://www.scn.org/earth/wum/
U.S. SEC EDGAR Database http://www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm/ (On-line access to the forms which publicly-traded corporations are required to file, disclosing shareholders, management, financial, and other data. The SEC's daily News Digest summarizes documents filed, including the Form 8-K, which reveal significant corporate events, such as lawsuits and large acquisitions of corporate stock).
Yahoo Finance http://finance.yahoo.com/