Worldwide company data

Our database of the month, Orbis, is the place to find key financials, ownership structure, competitors, etc. Orbis is a very popular database at CBS Library because you can analyze, pull data and compare companies from across the world.


Use Orbis, our database of the month, to find key financials, ownership structure, competitors, etc. Orbis a very popular database at CBS Library because you can analyze, pull data and compare companies from across the world.

What does Orbis contain?

Orbis covers 212 countries and contains information about almost 300 million companies of which approx. 730,000 are Danish.

More than 70,000 of the companies in Orbis are publicly listed, and these companies are usually easier to find information about. Small companies are often not subject to the same documentation requirements. This means that you cannot expect to find detailed financial data on all companies in the database.

Screen shot from Orbis

Source: Orbis


When should I use Orbis?

There are several reasons for using Orbis. Maybe you want to make a risk assessment or just extract addresses for mailing lists. Maybe you want to compare 10 companies in a Pivot analysis or examine who owns whom. Around the world, both researchers and companies use the database for many different purposes.

At CBS Library, we often help students with these queries:

  • Find information about a specific company. It can be anything from finding an address, exploring who is on the board of directors, what subsidiaries a company has, its turnover, liquidity, market value or the number of employees, etc.
  • Find companies in a particular industry
  • Identify a company’s potential competitors.

How to find company information

Finding a particular company in Orbis is relatively easy. Simply search the company name in the search box on the start page (marked in yellow).

However, when you want to find companies within a specific industry it gets a bit trickier.
If you want to find companies in a particular industry, choose Industry (marked in yellow). The industry feature lets you choose Industry classifications. A set of codes that describe different industries. NACE and NAISC, a European and an American code system, are two different code systems. These systems are authoritative lists that describe all industries, also called nomenclatures. All companies are described using these codes and you can take advantage of this when you are looking for companies in the same industry.

Screen shot from Orbis

Source: Orbis

An example: when you look up Just Eat, you can see all the codes that describe Just Eat’s activities e.g. NACE code 5610 for restaurants and mobile food service activities.
Knowing this, you can search for that code specifically and find other companies that have this code as well. This way, you can find potential competitors to Just Eat or simply get an overview of who operates in the industry.

Often a search will provide quite a few hits. In this case, there are more than 6 million companies with the code 5610!

Consider narrowing down the search by adding other parameters.

You can narrow the search to a geographical location if you are only interested in a single market. Or limit by turnover or number of employees to avoid very small companies.
Explore the options and select from the overview (ill. above).

Screen shot from Orbis

Source: Orbis

Is it possible to analyze and export data?

Once you have found the selection of companies you want to research, use Orbis' analysis features or export data to Excel. When exporting you decide which information you want to export.

How to get started

Orbis is available through CBS Library's list of databases (in the alphabetical list below or in the subject category Company information)
Link to CBS Library databases

The examples above are from the "old" interface. Orbis has introduced a new version and you can try out by clicking the "Try New Orbis" banner inside the database.
As a CBS student or employee, you have access to Orbis wherever you are. Other CBS Library users can use Orbis from the computers at CBS Library Solbjerg Plads.

Can I get help?

Orbis has a thorough manual located in the Help button. CBS Library has made a LibGuide about company information and part of it is about Orbis.
Link to LibGuide about Company Information
Link to LibGuide on Nomenclatures (in Danish)

The page was last edited by: CBS Library // 02/07/2019