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APA for Business Sources

Citing Business Resources

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides many citation examples, but does not cover every resource. Some of the sources you use for business may fall within this area. In these cases, we have to work within the rules provided in the manual to determine how to cite a source.

If we deconstruct a citation into its basic components, there are four elements you need to include when creating citations: who, when, what, and where; basically this translates to: author, date, title, and how/where to locate the item.

These elements are generally formatted in a certain order: Who. (When). What. Where. If you are missing one of these elements, check out this useful table/template from the APA Style Blog: APA Missing Pieces

See below for examples of APA citations for specific business resources.

Business Sources: from Library Databases

Annual reports from SEDAR or EDGAR

lululemon athletica inc. (2012). Annual report. Retrieved from

Business Source Complete

MarketLine. (2012, May 29). Facebook Inc.: Company profile. Retrieved from

IHS Global Insights. (2013, April 3). Canada: Country intelligence report. Retrieved from


Hoover's Inc. (2013). Twitter, Inc. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from

Passport GMID


Euromonitor International. (2012, March 13). Canada Dry Motts Inc in soft drinks (Canada). Retrieved from

Euromonitor International. (2011, June 1). Wine in Canada: ISIC 1552. Retrieved from


Sustainalytics. (2013). Cineplex Inc.: Company report. Retrieved June 13, 2013, from


World Market Intelligence. (2014, December 19). WestJet Airlines Ltd. (WJA): Company Profile and SWOT. Retrieved from

Business Sources: Web

From the web:

Annual reports from company website

lululemon athletica inc. (2012). Annual report. Retrieved from

SME Benchmarking Tool

Industry Canada. (2013). Data reference year 2010, Canada, % of total revenue, NAICS 5111, newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers. Retrieved from


Statistics Canada. (2012). North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012, definitions, 541515 Video game design and development services. Retrieved from



General template for online sources:

Author, A. (date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://...

Using a company website?

Company. (date). Title of document. Retrieved from http://...

No Author?

The title moves to the author position.

Title. (Date). Source. Retrieved from http://


Co-founder Dorsey returns to Twitter. (2011, April 14). Design Week. Retrieved from

No Date?

When there is no date you use (n.d.) instead.


Sustainalytics. (n.d.). Dollarama Inc.: Company report. Retrieved from  

Personal Communications

Do not include personal communications in the reference list. Cite them in text only.

Two or more works with same author, same year

Smith, A.A. & Smith, C.D. (2007a). Title of article, Title of periodical, Volume number, pp-pp.

Smith, A.A. & Smith, C.D. (2007b). Title of article, Title of periodical, Volume number, pp-pp.

WestJet. (n.d.-a). About us. Retrieved from

WestJet. (n.d.-b). Caring for our environment. Retrieved from

WestJet. (n.d.-c). Our traffic statistics. Retrieved from

Figures: Charts, Maps, Graphs, Photographs, Drawings or Illustrations

Reference whatever source the image, graph, figure etc. comes from, whether that is a journal article, book, report, or website.



DOI = Digital Object Identifier. DOIs are unique numbers/codes assigned to individual articles. Look for DOIs on the first page of an article, or in the record from whichever database you are using. APA requires that if there is a DOI assigned to an article, you must use it in the reference.

If there is no DOI assigned to an article, use the homepage of the journal publisher instead. You may have to do a quick Google search to locate the homepage.

Do not give the URL of the database where you found the journal, or the URL to the individual article, as those links are generally not stable and may break over time. 

If you don't have a DOI, you can try looking it up in this free DOI Lookup

Which URL do I use?

From the APA Style Blog, a post on how to decide when to use a home page URL, or the direct URL to the full document:

What to use-- the full document URL or home page URL?

Retrieval date statements

According to APA (2009), "do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g., Wikis)" (p.192).


A few things to keep in mind about appendices:

  • If there is only one appendix, it should be labeled Appendix, centered at the top of the page
  • If there is more than one appendix, each one should be labeled with a capital letter and also centered
    • Appendix A, Appendix B, etc
  • Each appendix should start on a new page
  • An appendix can include figures and graphs
    • If only one appendix any figures should be should be labeled as Figure A1 and tables should be labeled as Table A1
    • If multiple appendices figures and tables should include the letter of the appendix that the figure or table appears in as demonstrated above (Figure B1, Table B1, Table C1, etc.)
  • All figures and tables that appear in an appendix must be cited within the appendix and numbered in the order that they are referred to in your paper
  • If the only thing in your appendix is a table, the title of the appendix serves as the table number and title
  • If you have multiple tables each table should have its own appendix
    • If not, each table must then be numbered

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