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Where can I find the contact details of a business?

A-Z How to Find Information > Business > Companies

How do I start?

  • Conference roomMany people just enter the business name into an Internet general search engine. This might help you if the business has its own web site but many will not be found this way
  • You will probably need to search a business directory. At Business and Economics on WebLinks there are general online directories that you can search by business name across the whole country and there is also BT's Phonebook, which you can search by name but you have to enter a town or county too
  • If the business is actually a registered UK company or partnership, you will at least be able to find its official registered office address at the Companies House site, even if its trading address and telephone number are not findable elsewhere. You would be able to write to the company at that address
  • The Companies House web site does not give telephone numbers and a company's registered office address is not necessarily the same as its 'trading address' (the one it actually works from), so it may not even have a phone number for that address
  • However, in some cases the official registered office address is the same as a company's trading address, so it can be worth searching BT's Phonebook for the company at the registered office location in case it is in fact listed there
  • A next step could be to check whether the business is listed on the web site of the relevant trade association for that type of business. Links to many trade association sites are listed at the Trade Association Forum
  • You may need to consult a printed business directory. Some libraries have the national general directories 'Kompass United Kingdom Register', 'Key British Enterprises' and 'Kelly's Industrial Directory' and some specialist business directories covering a particular trade or service, for example the 'Retail Directory'. Search the library catalogue to find which libraries stock these books.
  • Bedford Central, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard libraries also have printed business directories covering the local area, the 'D and B Business Register Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire' and the 'Luton and South Bedfordshire Business File'
  • If you prefer to browse through printed telephone directories rather than to search them online, you can find full sets of white and yellow pages for the UK at Bedford Central, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard libraries. Other Bedfordshire libraries hold the local phone directories for their areas

I still can't find the contact details. What next?

  • Check that you have the business's full name and the exact spelling. Many businesses use unusual spelling
  • If the name was on packaging, it might be a 'trading name' (the name a business trades under or the brand name of a product) rather than a 'business name'
  • If you saw the name in a letter, or in a letter heading, look down at the bottom of the page to see if there is a different name there. A different name. A trading name might be used in the letter heading, but the official registered company name and address must also be stated on letters or on any other publicly used stationery
  • If you think the name you have might in fact be a 'trade name' rather than a 'business name', look in volume 3 of the  'Kompass - United Kingdom Register'. This volume lists trade names and their related businesses. Also, if there is a specialist printed directory or web site covering the same area as that covered by the business it may include a trade names section
  • Maybe the business you are looking for is a subsidiary or associate of another business. You can look businesses up in the directory 'Who Owns Whom' and find their parent companies
  • Maybe the business you are looking for has changed its name or even ceased altogether. You could search the Companies House web site information after clicking the 'Dissolved names' and 'Previous names' options on the search page
  • You can contact us, giving us whatever details you have about the business, and we will search for it for you

Page last updated: 7th August 2020