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In the US, public companies -- companies that have issued common stock -- are required to release detailed business information, which is available publicly. Private companies are not under the same requirements to release information, which can make it much harder to do a successful business background check on a private company. This is when you can turn to a service like Manta.com, with access to millions of private company profiles online. Manta.com uses four different leading publishers of business information, making the chances really strong that if you're looking for a specific comapny profile, Manta.com will have it available online.