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PESTLE Analysis

Legal factors may affect both the internal and external environment of a company. The legal and regulatory environment can affect the policies and procedures of an industry, and can control employment, safety and regulations. Legal factors can include:

  • Anti-trust laws
  • Discrimination & employment law
  • Copyright, trademarks, patents, intellectual property law
  • Health and safety regulations, laws, workplace safety
  • Data protection rules & regulation
  • Consumer protection
  • Industry specific regulations
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Environmental regulations
  • Legal cases, lawsuits, class actions-impacts, costs, public perceptions

To find information on the legal factors, investigate the following resources (see also the Political factors).


      • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services

Health & Human Services

      • HHS was created to protect the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the uniformed service of the PHS, is led by the Surgeon General who is responsible for addressing matters concerning public health

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

      • Created to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

10-K/EDGAR Database (Securities and Exchange Commission)

  • Look at the Form 10-K, 10-Q for the company you are researching. Spending on R&D and technology can often be found in the MD&A (Management Discussion and Analysis) section or in the Financials section.

Anti-trust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

      • Search public documents and case filings involving companies.

Hein Online

      • HeinOnline provides a searchable format and full-image access to a large and growing collection of legal journals from the time of their inception to a few years before present.

Nexis Uni

  • (Replaced Lexis Nexis Academic) PESTEL factor information is provided for countries. At the landing page, select Publication and enter "United States" and date > 07/01/2016, for example, in the search box. Begin typing PRS Group Political in the Publication box and then select PRS Group Political Risk Service that appears below the box and click Search.
  • Select News instead of Publication to search for articles on companies, industries, and individual PESTEL factors. 
  • Open the Business section and select Company Dossier to search for information on a specific company.  The company report will include its brands and competitors, with links to current news articles, court cases, and intellectual property.

Business Source Complete

  • Business Source Complete provides coverage in business disciplines including marketing, management, management information systems, production and operations management, accounting, finance and economics. It includes full text for more than 3600 journals, including 1900 peer-reviewed titles. Also included are full-text case studies, company and industry profiles, country reports, executive and analyst interviews, market research reports and SWOT analyses.
  • Search tip: Look for the Browse menu on the right side of the page and select  [Country Reports]. Enter the name of a country in the All Countries search box. The results list may include:
    • Country Reviews from CountryWatch (which include social and environmental overviews)
    • Country Profiles from MarketLine (which include In-depth PESTLE Insights)
    • Country Risk Reports from Business Monitor International (BMI). 


  •, from Dow Jones, includes access to a wide range of information from newspapers, newswires, industry publications, websites, company reports, and more. The broad range of content provides both local insight and global perspective on business issues and current events – especially with regard to research requiring current information on companies, industries, and financial markets.
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