London Business Industry Guide

London landmarks, King's Cross underground station and a red London bus

Here you will find sources of information such as general research (statistics, trends, and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within London and wider in the United Kingdom, also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Greater London  RSP006 
Central London  LAP065 
East London  LAP066 
West London  LAP067 
North London  LAP069 
South London  LAP068 

Statistics and Demographics on the Internet 

This is a statistical collection of resources that are focussed on London that can be accessed mainly from the internet or a few hard copy books that can be ordered in the Reading Rooms of the British Library. 

British Library Statistical Links 

British Library dedicated web page providing links to the websites of governments and international organisations (as well as statistics resources available in the Reading Rooms). Mainly links to UK data or information with some coverage of London. 

Cultural Leisure, Sport and Social Participation

Taking Part is an overview of engagement in cultural and sporting activities, including visits to museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites by adults living in London.

Greater London Authority (GLA) – London Datastore

Statistics, data and information about London such as house prices, road accidents, population, migration, ethnicity and crime rates available via the GLA’s official datastore.

Greater London Authority – GLA Intelligence

Provides statistics, figures, insight and analysis on London’s people, economy, as a city and its future. Produced by the GLA's Intelligence Unit, it will be of interest to anyone who would like to research information about London. 

London – The Information Capital

Hundreds of maps, graphic and data on London. Book (not currently held in the British Library) and website by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti. 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1846148477

London Poverty Profile

An independent statistics organisation that uses the latest official data to reveal patterns of poverty across the capital. 

Office of National Statistics 

General statistics for the UK, and in most places for London, are categorised by themes, subject areas, topics and sub-topics. Breakdowns by region for family spending data.

Regional Trends

Regional Trends has official statistics for areas for helping with planning, housing, transport, demographics, social, industrial and economic statistics, covering aspects of life in the regions.

Transport for London – Open Data

Travel information and figures London Underground figures on entry and exit from tube stations. For example, this can be good for estimating potential footfall at business sites close to stations. 

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

eMarketer logo

  • Digital Travel Sales UK
  • Trust Declining in Mobile
  • Wallet Apps for UK Smartphone Owners
  • UK Digital Grocery Sales 2015-2020
  • UK Digital Audio Listeners 2014-2021

IBISWorld logo

  • Library, Museums and Cultural Activities
  • Airports in the UK
  • Hotels in the UK
  • Railway and Underground Railway Construction in the UK
  • Consumers

Mintel logo

  • Consumer Trends
  • Health & Wellness 
  • Domestic Tourism 
  • Coffee Shops 
  • Demographics and Lifestyles 

Local Data Online logo

Local Data Online

Retail location data and insight for 2,700 UK Locations, 450 business types and thousands of companies. Include footfall, market analysis, profiling, and risk analysis for high streets, town centres, shopping centres, retails parks and out of town stores. Information is available for London. Footfall information is available from this publisher.

GlobalData logo

Reports on various UK town centres and outer-towns retailing information. There are reports that cover the London region and are good for consumer information, insight and British Lifestyles information. 

Please note that many articles about London (from business journals and newspapers) are available from our electronic sources: eMarketer, Business Source Complete (EBSCO), Factiva, ABI Inform Global etc.

Printed Market Research Reports

Hundreds of up-to-date hard copy research reports are available on open access in the Business & IP Centre covering a broad range of industries and markets from all over the world, including London. Includes content from the following publishers: Business Monitor International; Datamonitor; Espicom; Freedonia; Oxford Business Group and Pyramid.

Please search Explore the British Library for more details.

The London Report (Knight Frank 2019) 
Briefing by Knight Frank on the London Super-Property Market, covering areas such as London rates and taxes.  

The London effect, special report (Mintel 2010) General Reference Collection YC.2015.b.2220  [also Available onsite via electronic sources] Market report on London’s economy, people, regional business, happiness factor, visits to London, relocation, events and attractions etc.

London’s place in the UK economy (Corporation of London 2012/2013) [(B) MKT 330.9421 Bus] Research by London School of Economics covering London’s competitive, economic and business position. Alternatively, other research is listed in the City of London Corporation website.

The communications market report: English regions, nations and regions (Office of Communications Annual) [General Reference Collection ZC.9.b.8457]
Mobile, media, broadband and telecommunications information for England with some information for London.

City Travel Briefing: London (Euromonitor Passport) [Available onsite via electronic sources] Global Briefing 2018. 

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


The Business & IP Centre holds over 1,300 current business, export, industry specific and trade association directories. Please search Explore the British Library for more details

London Business Directory (Business Junction 2013) [(B) DIR 338.7025421 Bus]
Pan-London printed supplier directory which lists company details, business description and logos of 500 of the capital’s best companies, representing the full range of sectors, areas, sizes and specialities. 

London Guides (London Convention Bureau)
Available from publisher online via see link below. Guide to planning events in London. 

London Business Directory and Yearbook (Ten Alps Publishing 2012) [General Reference Collection ZK.9.b.36531]
Contains some statistics on London Business Top 200 companies by sector and business listings for companies and suppliers by product or classification.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (London Chambers of Commerce 2014/2015) [(B) DIR 338.7025421]
The Directory is used to target new markets, suppliers and to generate new business. All entries include full postal address, telephone and fax numbers. Many entries include company email address and website. Please note that named contacts are not provided. It is used by members to target new markets, suppliers and to generate new business. 

Office Space Across the Global (Cushman and Wakefield 2014) [(B) DIR 333.33875 Bus]
Guide for office space requirements with information on issues such as leasing, rates, building and office directory. 

The little Black Book of London (Time Out Magazine 2011) [(B) DIR 914.210025 Bus] 
Guide to London living with shops, services and contacts for every aspect of London Life.

Time Out London. Shops & services (Time Out Magazine 2009) [(B) DIR 381.1025421 Business]
Guide to shops and services from multicultural street markets to deluxe department stores, fashion designers, furniture shop and second-hand bookstores. 

Travel Trade London (Visit London 2008) [(B) Dir 338.3220688 Bus]
Hard copy directory of hotels, restaurants, amusements and tourist attractions in London. Alternatively, the newest edition is kept online on London and Partners website

Business Organisations and Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.


Information on the London art scene, art directory, related resources such as art pricing and an international art network. Impartial information, advice, events, projects and knowledge for visual artists and craftspeople: by artists, for artists, free. 

Capital Enterprise

A local enterprise support organisation can offer support in developing your idea for a business ideas or help you get your business established or grow. Capital Enterprise offers a directory of providers of business advice to new businesses and entrepreneurs in London. 

CBI London

Lobbying and campaigning for UK business policy with a section dedicated to London which covers market leading economic surveys, forecasts and influential Thought Leadership research reports.

City of London 

Key facts, figures, business research reports and guides for start-ups, and for investing in business for the City and the Square Mile.

City Business Library

Offers library and information services especially in financial, trade, business advice, free access to databases of business information and a wide range of free-of-charge business skills training and development events. It also publishes a series of fact sheets, including one on starting your own business, further information and resources.

Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade supports London businesses that want to trade and invest overseas. London International Trade Team available to businesses based within the 33 London boroughs that are interested in exporting overseas and for professional and impartial advice, support and assistance. DIT offers help to grow your business in international markets.


The central government portal offers general support and advice on setting up a business, as well as guidance on how to access Government services and resources. For business information about starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you are self-employed or a sole trader.

London Chamber of Commerce

Offers professional, independent, affordable services that focus on supporting businesses in London. Membership is corporate and members have access to over 200 networking events a year, marketing and business opportunities, tenders, free business, legal and HR advice, a range of exclusive or discounted business services and a Members' Lounge that provides free meeting space. See our Cobra report onsite for local London Chambers of Commerce.

London Councils

A think-tank and lobbying organisation that promotes the interests of London's 33 Councils. It also runs a number of pan-London services. Their directory is a good resource for locating key London borough contacts, facts covering transport, children and young people, crime, fashion, transport, housing, economic development etc. 

London & Partners

London & Partners is an official promotional organisation showcasing London as one of the best cities to visit, invest and study in. Some downloadable reports, annual reviews, and foreign language information are available. 


Covers business news and advice, economic, political analysis and entrepreneur interviews. Also other general information about London as a business location. 

Tech Nation

Tech Nation, in Shoreditch, is a centre of innovation and the location of choice for tech and digital companies and investors. They bring new companies and investors to London, and provide support to companies seeking to expand internationally. 

West London Alliance

The West London Alliance (WLA) is a partnership of six West London councils - Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. The WLA aims to promote the interests of West London residents and businesses; improve and develop public services; and to reduce their costs through collaboration. 

Selection of Markets in London 

The National Market Traders Federation

NMTF represents the interests of market traders in the UK where you can search for London Markets by keyword or phrase using the search facility below, or by region using the interactive map. 

Borough Market

Artisan and retail fruit, food and vegetable market. 

Billingsgate Market

Whole food and fish market.

Camden Market

Popular open-air market area with stalls, shops, pubs and restaurants.

Greenwich Market

Covered market known for original artwork, crafts, antiques and food.

London Stock Exchange

Financial Markets that put UK and international companies in touch with the world’s pools of investment capital. 

New Spitalfields

An eclectic range of markets, shops and restaurants. 


Famous for antiques, fashion, books, music etc. 

Walthamstow Market

Longest street market in Europe.

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by keinepanik under a Creative Commons license