How to look for records of... Businesses
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
Most business records are kept in local archives, if they survive. You can use our catalogue to search for records of businesses held in local archives or look up the contact details for a business repository using Find an archive.
There are three types of incorporated companies: registered companies, chartered companies and statutory companies.
Not all businesses are incorporated as some businesses are not companies.
Business records can include the following:
- dates of incorporation and dissolution
- annual reports, accounts and correspondence files on staff and clients
Many local libraries and archives have copies of trade directories from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries which can be useful when trying to trace a business’ exact location or existence. These do not tend to have any information about individuals.