Business & IP Centre

Readers at desks in the Business & IP Centre

Find us on Floor 1 in St Pancras.

The Business & IP Centre and Reading Room has one of the best collections of business and intellectual property information in the world, and gives you the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, meet with industry experts and mentors and receive help to develop an existing business with the Get Ready for Business Growth programme.

Who is the Business and IP Centre for?

We help support small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors – in fact, anyone with a business idea. The information accessible here, together with the resources available in our online Business and IP Centre, can help people start, run and grow their business, protect their ideas and research their markets. The Centre in St Pancras is just one of a National Network of Business and IP Centres at libraries across the UK, providing inspiration and support to business people wherever they are, offering access to free resources, training and events. 

How the Business and IP Centre can help you

Free access to high quality business databases

Some of the free business databases we offer access to include British Standards Online, eMarketer, GlobalData, Kompass Worldwide and Orbis.

Searchable Worldwide IP databases

We can help you determine whether a new product idea or brand can be patented, by searching national and international intellectual property databases for old patents such as Espacenet and Patentscope.

General business advice and news

From how to write a business plan to practical advice on developing and growing your business, as well as business news publications, get all the information you need at the Business and IP Centre.

Free resources in the Centre

Online market reports

Access high quality data, analysis and market research from leading publishers such as Mintel, Frost & Sullivan and Euromonitor.

Company data

We hold company data on over 144 million companies in the UK and worldwide.

Start-up books and business directories

Browse the business Library’s range of books to help start-ups develop their businesses with inspiration and insights, as well as access to offline and online business directories.

Historical annual reports

Over 700,000 company past annual reports provide a rich source of information about the financial performance and organisational structure of businesses.

Over 60 million patents

Users of the Business and IP Centre rate intellectual property as the most valuable part of the service we offer. Over 60 million patents can be searched via our databases and reports.

Accessing the Business and IP Centre

Anyone can use our Business and IP Centre. To use our Reading Room you’ll need a Reader Pass.

Get your Reader Pass.

Reference enquiries

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 collection and resources most effectively
  • Help you to use our catalogues and answer your bibliographic questions
  • 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 on intellectual property and business information..

If your enquiry requires more specialist help than we can provide we will forward your enquiry to the appropriate person in the 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.