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Researching Companies & Markets

The Business & IP Centre holds our extensive collection of market research reports, trade directories, business journals, annual reports and company literature, providing the latest information about markets, companies and products from around the world.

We can give you access to information to help you

  • Enter new markets in the UK and overseas
  • Identify and research competitors and customers
  • Comply with the latest regulations affecting your industry
  • Research the latest data, trends and forecasts for your industry sector
  • Find up-to-date financial information on businesses around the world
  • Analyse the latest business news affecting your company

Business & IP Centre Information Resources

We have:

  • Over 30 subscription databases providing access to the latest business advice, market research, company financial data, business news, business statistics and intellectual property information.
  • The largest publicly accessible collection of market research reports in the UK. There are over 3,000 current reports covering consumer and industrial markets from the UK and overseas. All current reports are held on open access in the Business & IP Centre.
  • Over 2,000 current international, country and industry specific trade directories. All current directories are held on open access in the Business & IP Centre.
  • An extensive collection of business and trade journals from the UK and overseas. The Business & IP Centre holds a small collection of current business journals, e.g. The Economist and Forbes, and service industry journals, e.g. Marketing Week, The Banker and Retail Week. Some current journals for agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, mineral extraction and manufacturing industries can be found in the Social Science and Science reading rooms. .
  • The British Library has a large collection of annual reports from both UK and overseas companies. More information about this collection can be found here and you can contact the Business & IP Reference Team to check our holdings.
  • The trade literature collection comprises catalogues, brochures and technical information sheets from over 12,000 companies dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

Finding Aids

  • Industry Guides – we have produced over 25 guides on different industries ranging from aerospace to organic food. These list sources of business information held with the Library and link to organisations and websites providing business information.
  • Explore the British Library – the main catalogue of the British Library listing almost 57 million items. Use the "On Business open access shelves" filter to find items in the Business & IP Centre.
  • Workshops – the British Library runs a number or workshops to help you find the information sources you need


If you need help finding business and intellectual property information please contact the Business & IP Centre team

Business and Intellectual Property enquiries
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7454
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7453

E-mail: Ask the Business & IP Reference Team