There are many companies that provide information on corporations. These information brokers have databases with all types of information on corporations. You can find a corporation's credit rating at any of these companies. The best known of these financial information brokers are Moody's, Standard and Poor's, Dun and Bradstreet, Bloomberg L.P., A.m. Best, Reuters and Morningstar, Inc.
These companies are in the business of selling the information they have in their databases. Their customers either buy individual reports on the companies they are interested in on a one-time basis, or they subscribe to the data and get access to the entire database to build their own reports. Some even subscribe to newsletters and reports provided by analysts that work for these companies.
A company may also establish an account and voluntarily submit information in order to build a profile that interested parties can access. This is one of the services Dun and Bradstreet offers. A corporation obtains a DUNS number and provides its financials and other information, like executive profiles and a list of creditors and perhaps a list of customers. Dun and Bradstreet then creates a profile with this information. They periodically check with the creditors and other sources of third-party information on the corporation, then create reports about that corporation. For example, they have what they call paydex; this measures how well the company pays its bills. If the company is slow in paying bills, this shows in the paydex score. The same is true if they pay in a timely fashion. Dun and Bradstreet is used more by small companies trying to build credit with lenders rather than companies want to attract investors.
Moody's investors' services provide research and analysis on public and private sector entities. They also provide credit ratings on these entities. The credit ratings include debt offerings, as well as overall entity ratings. For example, bonds can be rated anywhere from AAA to junk status. Customers can subscribe to Moody's database, can have custom reports prepared, or just observe their public ratings. For example, a corporation may want Moody's to rate their bonds that are offered to the public. The corporation will pay for the service and this rating becomes public information.
All of these companies have subscription services where information is purchased. Analysts prepare reports of all types on stocks, bonds or any type of investment providing overall ratings of corporations, government agencies and trusts. Interested parties can find corporate credit ratings on any type of entity simply by inquiring with one or more of these companies to find the information needed.