Central library: business resources

Information about starting and developing your business.

Business startup

We have guides and general reference works to help you start up your own business.

These include Croner’s resources on:

  • employment law
  • being self-employed

Companies products and markets

We have a range of general company directories and specific trade directories, both national and local.

These include:

  • Kompass UK
  • Dun and Bradstreet's Business Register for Avon, Somerset and Dorset

Consumer advice

We have Which? consumer reports on a range of products, in print and online.

You should pre-book to use the online version. To book your slot, ring us on 0117 903 7250.

Intellectual property clinics

Intellectual property rights can protect individuals and small businesses developing innovative products from copyists and imitators.

Lewis Hands, ideas21 member and principal attorney at Handsome IP, is running free intellectual property clinics in Central library.

All clinics are free, and take place by arrangement.

Online business resources

We subscribe to several online resources you can use in the library or at home.

Cobra: business and employment information

This resource covers starting up, running or supporting the development of small firms.

To log in from home:

  • enter your Bristol library card number into the library membership 
    no. box
  • select Submit

The old ANP library card series is no longer in use for this resource, see staff for a replacement card.

Use Cobra.

Mint: business and financial information

This resource gives information on:

  • UK industry profiles
  • active UK companies
  • unincorporated businesses

It also has a news database with regional and trade press and national news.

You can only access this resource from a computer in the Learning Centre, at Central Library.

Use Mint


We have a range of resources you can use to trace historical and more recent patents. These include:

  • volumes of abstracts of British patents from 1853 to 1932
  • a historical file of abstracts from 1617 to 1855
  • abstracts of world and European patents