Business & IP Centre

Readers at desks in the Business & IP Centre

The Business & IP Centre is on the first floor at St Pancras and has a wealth of information and resources to help you in your research. We have one of the best collections of business and intellectual property information in the world. The collections can help you start, run and grow your business, protect your ideas and research your markets.  

In the Business & IP Centre you can:

  • Get free access to high-quality business databases and journals for UK and global markets
  • Search worldwide IP databases to determine whether a new product idea or brand can be protected
  • Network with other entrepreneurs and meet with industry experts and mentors
  • Receive help to scale-up an existing business with the Innovating for Growth programme.

Our collections can help you with:

  • General business advice, e.g. how to write a business plan
  • Researching funding sources
  • Researching markets, companies and products
  • Business news
  • Intellectual property: patents, trade marks, registered designs and copyright.


If you need help, ask our Reference Specialists at the Enquiry Desk. They can:

  • Guide you to the most appropriate material for your research
  • Advise you on how to access and use our printed and electronic collections most effectively
  • Help you to use our catalogues and answer your bibliographic enquiries
  • Suggest other libraries, archives and institutions that you might find useful in your research, or guide you to relevant websites and free online resources
  • Direct you to our workshops and events and one-to-one advice sessions for entrepreneurs and inventors.

If your enquiry requires more specialist help than we can provide we will forward your enquiry to the appropriate person in the British Library or suggest alternative sources.

If you are unable to visit you can contact the Business & IP Reference Team directly, use our Quick Chat service, or get in touch via Twitter.

Free resources in the Centre 

  • Over £5m worth of online market reports from top publishers Mintel, Frost & Sullivan, Euromonitor and more
  • Company data for over 144 million UK and global companies
  • Start-up books and business directories
  • 700,000 historical annual reports
  • Over 60 million patents

Help guides

We have handpicked the best information for understanding intellectual property and for researching key industries. These guides highlight useful databases, publications and websites.

Read our articles for top tips and advice on starting and growing your business and protecting your intellectual property.