Many free directories on the Internet are really only useful if you are looking for individual or a small number of companies. If you require a database that can provide you with data in a format that is suitable for mailing list applications (labels, mail merge etc.) you will usually have to pay for the service. Links to some of these are in the Direct Marketing section.

Key starting points

FITA Global Trade Portal www.fita.org
Select Really Useful Links in the left hand menu, and then on Business Directories and Trade Information. Directories are organised by country/region and industry.

Telephone Directories on the Web www.teldir.com
Select your country from the regions. Both business and residential directories are listed together with brief descriptions and language. A star rating is given to each one (note that the Infobel directory is usually always at the top with 4 stars!).

International resources

Bureau van Dijk www.bvdinfo.com
There is free Mint company search on the right hand side of the home page giving basic information on all companies covered by the BvD collection of priced services. The information provided free of charge includes company name, location, size, sector, number of shareholders, number of subsidiaries and web site.

Expo21XX www.expo21xx.com
A directory that mimics a trade exhibition in its design. There are "fairs" for industry sectors: textiles, automation, fluid power, motors and motion, maritime, yachting and water sports, finance and insurance, logistics and transportation, and office supplies. Each "fair" is subdivided into halls, and each company in the hall has a "stand" with a brief description and a flag showing the country in which it is based. The amount of additional information on the companies varies depending on their subscription level. There are currently over 1,300,000 "exhibitors".

Faust Information - National & International Directories and Mailing Lists www.faust-information.com
Distributor of international address data CD ROMs, phonebooks and Yellow Pages. Products include residential listings, business (yellow) pages, mailing lists, listings by country and importers. Importers products include the well known International Importers Directory, and industry listings ranging from the agricultural sector to woodworking equipment. Prices vary depending on the level of detail and type of directory. Priced service.

Kompass www.kompass.com
Directory covering covering 3 million companies in over 60 countries. You can search free of charge but only some of the information is free.

Process Industries Supplier Directory www.processregister.com
This is a supplier directory for process industries and includes news, links, forums and an event calendar. You can browse and search for suppliers of 8000 products by category, product or company name. Information on each company includes a "profile", full address, contact name, telephone and fax numbers and a list of products that they produce or supply.

solusource www.solusource.com
A directory of manufacturers and distributors from 28 countries, classified by 11,000 products and services categories. Search by product/service, company name or browse the categories. Free of charge.

Zibb.com - Strictly Business www.zibb.com
Zibb.com unifies over 900 of Reed Business titles into a single portal. Search by keyword or browse through the categories. The results can be refined by using the options on the left hand side of your results page.

By country

Europe

Europages www.europages.com
Details of 2.3 million companies from 35 countries. Search by company name, product or business sector. Your results can be further refined by country, company type (for example manufacturer, wholesaler) and number of employees.

Wer liefert was? www.wlw.de
B2B directory of firms and their products in Belgium, Germany, Croatia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia. You can search by product, service or company name and display company name, web site, email address, postal address, contact name and telephone number. All sections are searchable in German or English and there are additional languages for some of the other countries (see the chart at http://www.wlw.com/com/index_wlw_en.html)

UK

Applegate UK and Ireland Directories www.applegate.co.uk
Applegate offers a collection of B2B directories for business services, chemical, oil and gas, construction. electronics, engineering, food and agribusiness, IT for industry, packaging and transport, plastics and rubber, recruitment services and textiles and clothing. The site can be searched or browsed in several different ways and the information available for each company varies but can include company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, web address, email address, contact names e.g. marketing, sales and managing directors, details of products and services, year established, turnover, and number of employees. The Top People for each directory are selected by the title of their position and linked to the companies that currently employ them.

Companies House www.companies-house.gov.uk
The official UK body to which UK companies have to send their accounts. This site gives free access to the Companies Name and Address Index under the Webcheck link. Documents such as annual accounts are priced.

Crawfords Directory of City Connections www.crawfordsonline.co.uk
Crawford's is a database concentrating on the relationships between Major UK Companies and their Professional Advisers. It covers companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange, listed Investment and Venture Capital Trusts or listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The free Quick Search options are limited to searching by Company Name and/or type of Professional Adviser and to viewing company name, telephone and web information. The complete database is available by either purchasing the annual directory Waterlow's Stock Exchange Yearbook 2010 incorporating Crawford's Directory of City Connections or by subscribing as a Member to the web site.

Digital Library of Historical Directories www.historicaldirectories.org
Historical Directories is produced and owned by the University of Leicester. It is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales from 1750 to 1919, and includes reproductions of comparatively rare books, and sources research into local and genealogical history. The project aims to provide at least one directory for each geographical area for the 1850s, 1890s and the 1910s. Pre-1850s, there is a small selection of directories published between 1750 up to 1849. Since the project is based at the University of Leicester, special in-depth coverage is given to Leicestershire. There is also substantial coverage of London and Wales. Once you have a directory "open" you can search for keywords within that. You can then view the pages that contain your search terms, which are highlighted, and print off interesting pages.

Kellysearch www.kellysearch.co.uk
B2B directory of UK companies from Reed Business Information.

Scottish Law Online www.scottishlaw.org.uk
A listing of legal sites and sources of information in the Scotland, the UK and world-wide. Includes a link to a Scottish Law Firm Directory.

Trade Association Forum (TAF) www.taforum.org
Includes a searchable directory of UK trade associations. Information on each association includes address, telephone and fax numbers, main contact, and a link to the association's Web site.

West Midlands Collaborative Commerce Marketplace www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/DesktopDefault.aspx
A free West Midlands on-line business directory and networking resource for West Midlands SMEs. Information available includes details of regional business, events and news. The local company directory is searchable by product, service, type of company and location.

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Austria

Compnet.at www.compnet.at
Directory of 220,000 Austrian companies. Search, in German, by product and name (free). The free option displays company name and town and a link to the Web page, e-mail address, address, telephone and fax numbers, products. The priced service gives access to further information and financials.

Branchenbuch | Yalwa Branchenverzeichnis Österreich www.yalwa.at
The Yalwa business directory is an extensive database of Austrian companies. The database is free of charge and searchable by company name, product, location, keyword or type of company/business service

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Denmark

Kraks Forlag AS www.krak.dk
Search options include company name, product, trademark and location. Information on the companies includes address, telephone and fax numbers, web site, contact email address, number of employees, year established, key personnel, export ratio, bankers, products and trademarks. In Danish.

Finland

National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland www.prh.fi
Official company register for Finnish companies. As well as information on registering a company, there is a Trade Register of Finnish companies that can be searched via the BIS Search. BIS includes organisations on the Trade Register, Register of Foundations, VAT register, Prepayment Register, Employer Register or the Client Register of the Tax Administration. Free of charge and available in Finnish, English and Swedish.

France

Infogreffe - Trade and Companies Register - Commercial Court Registry www.infogreffe.fr/infogreffe/index.jsp
Official register of French companies. Basic company and contact information free of charge. Priced service for detailed information and accounts.

Germany

Business Deutschland www.businessdeutschland.de
Extensive database of German companies searchable by product, company name, Bundesland, zip code, area code and trade group. Contact details include company name, address, telephone, fax number, email address and web URL. Available in German and English.

Greece

Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry www.acci.gr
The site includes a searchable database of members. The basic search consists of company name and/or activity code. The advanced search includes options for company name, legal status, location, STKOD (field of activity), products, export countries, company nationality.

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Iceland

Iceland Export Directory. The Official Guide to Quality Products and Services in Iceland. www.icelandexport.is/english/
Contact details of internationally trading Icelandic companies. Search by keyword or by browsing the industry categories. Company information varies but can include name, description, year of foundation, number of employees, description of the business, alternative names, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, contact names, trademarks export categories.

Latvia

Lursoft www.lursoft.lv
Provides information about all enterprises, public organizations and foreign company agencies registered within the territory of Latvia including their managers, shareholders fixed capital and annual accounts. The information is based on original documents of the Register of Enterprises (RE). In Latvian and English. Basic company information free of charge. Priced service for more detailed information including accounts.

Netherlands

Kamer van Koophandel : Trade Register www.kvk.nl
In the Netherlands registration in the trade register is compulsory for almost every company. Searching the trade register is free, but there is a charge for the business extracts, accounts and other information products. In Dutch and English.

Dutch yellow pages www.markt.nl/dyp/index-en.html
Directory of web sites, available in Dutch or English. Commercial organisations arranged by category or can be keyword searched.

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Norway

Brønnøysund Register Centre www.brreg.no
The Brønnøysund Register Centre is a government body under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, and consists of several different national EDP registers. These registers contain information and key data on: liabilities and titles in mortgaged movable property; more than 280,000 business enterprises; more than 1,300,000 annual accounts and auditor's reports of limited companies; bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations; approximately 200,000 marriage settlements. The English pages have only basic information so for the full range of services you need to use the Norwegian pages. To search the databases you need to go to http://w2.brreg.no/enhet/sok/. Free information, which is in Norwegian, includes registered number, name, address, telephone, fax, email address, legal form, activity and directors.

Poland

TeleAdreson Polish company directory www.teleadreson.com.pl
Contact details for approximately one million Polish companies. Searchable by various criteria including keyword, NACE, SIC code, legal status and ownership. Information available on each company includes name, address, contact names, email addresses, phone and fax numbers, number of employees, turnover, year of foundation, industry codes and description of activity.

Portugal

Business in Portugal www.portugaloffer.com
This site claims to be "the most exclusive business club in Portugal..." and the companies "have been subjected to very careful scrutiny". You can browse the sectors or search on any combination of company name, keywords, region, business area, number of employees and turnover. Available in English.

GuiaNet: Portuguese Business On the Internet www.guianet.pt
Browse by sector, or keyword search by company name or sector. Available in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

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Slovenia

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia www.gzs.si
There is a searchable database of members at http://www.gzs.si/register_eng/ You can search the database by name, NACE code or keyword, region and size. The amount of detail for each entry varies but the standard format usually includes name, address, telephone number, activity, directors, number of employees and sales.

Sloexport Slovenia export business directory www.sloexport.si
The SLO-EXPORT Directory is a database of major Slovenian companies including major service companies, trade, banks, insurance, transport and communication, engineering and consulting, and tourism. The data on each company includes the usual contact details, e-mail and web address if available, directors, and type of company. Additional notes, information on products exported and imported are also given.

PIRS www.slo-knjiga.si/
Claims to be the biggest and most complete Business Directory of Republic of Slovenia covering businesses, sole proprietors, institutions and other business establishments.

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Spain

Central Mercantile Registry. Legal Information of companies, statistics and company names www.rmc.es
Subscription required. In English, French, German and Spanish.

Switzerland

Central Business Names Index on the Internet www.zefix.admin.ch
Based on the Central Register administered by the Federal Commercial Registry Office. Contains approximately 320,000 active and cancelled Swiss business names and names of associations and foundations. There are also about 40,000 branch offices of inland and foreign companies. Information available includes current registered business name, former names, legal form, legal domicile (political municipality).

OSEC Swiss Export Directory www.osec.ch
Extensive directory of Swiss companies. Search by product or service, company name, trademark. Available in English, German, French and Spanish

Swiss Firms www.swissfirms.ch
Database from the the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry covering 9000 companies. Search by company name and state. The advanced search includes search options for industry sector and activities.

Ukraine

Business Ukraine biznes-ukraina.ua
Business Ukraine has a useful collection of directories of companies, products and services in Ukraine as well as links to postal codes and transport timetables. There is also a list of Directories of the world on-line (http://biznes-ukraina.ua/extra.phtml?ttt=1&l=en) that is mostly yellow pages for countries around the world. The market reviews look interesting but the articles are subscription only. There are Russian, Ukrainian and English language options for many of the sections but you may have to resort to Google's translation service for some areas of the site.

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Oceania

Australia

Australian Business Register www.abr.gov.au
The Australian Business Register is a publicly available, online database that contains some of the information that is provided by businesses when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The information that is publicly available includes Australian Business Number (ABN), ABN Status and date of effect, legal name, trading name(s), entity type, State or Territory and postcode of the main business location, associated Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) or Australian Registered Scheme Number (if applicable), goods and services tax (GST) and deductible gift recipient (DGR) details and dates of effect.

ASIC National Names Index www.search.asic.gov.au/gns001.html
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has a company search facility that offers basic information on a company or business name. The free information that is available is the same as that in the Australian Business Register but additional data including financials, if available, can be purchased through commercial brokers that are linked from the ASIC site.

The Americas

US

Knowx www.knowx.com
Only available to US users. Services include a Business Yellow Pages covering 20 million US companies, a name availability database, and an owners and officers database. There is also an option that enables you to search the company databases of most states of the US. These include Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Follow the link "Corporate Records", which is under "Ultimate Business Finder". You can then search on company name and a state or all states. It lists, free of charge, the companies it has found and the state in which they are incorporated or registered. Further information is available for a fee. Payment is by credit card.

ThomasNet www.thomasnet.com
Database of over 650,000 industrial suppliers that can be searched by product, company name or brand name. If you register (free of charge) you can save searches, company details, subscribe to newsletters and alerts, and customize news feeds. You can receive newsletters by email or select a category from the Industrial News Room and receive news as an RSS feed or add it to My Yahoo.

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Telephone Directories

Key Starting Points

Telephone Directories on the Web www.infobel.com/teldir/

UK

BT UK Phone Directory www.bt.com
(Follow the link Find a number). BT's directory or residential and business numbers. To search, you have to enter part of a name and an "area" (town or county). Initials and street name are optional. You cannot enter a telephone number and retrieve a name and address. If you are looking for businesses, unlike Electronic Yellow Pages (see below) you cannot search by business type. The service does not include Directory Enquiry only or ex-directory numbers.

Scoot www.scoot.co.uk
Scoot lets you search by business type and location or by company name and location.

UK Electronic Yellow Pages www.yell.com
BT's UK Yellow Pages. Search by company name and location, or by business type and location. For business type there is an A-Z of categories. Details displayed are name, address, postal code and telephone number. Results are displayed 10 at a time in random order.

Thomsonlocal www.thomsonlocal.com
Access to over 2 million businesses that appear in the UK local Thomson directories. You can search by company name, type of business or location. 

192.com www.192.com
This site offers access to the UK Electoral Roll, Directory Enquiries, Business Directory, UK street maps and aerial photographs. Some information us

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US

Switchboard: The Internet Directory - Yellow Pages - White Pages - Phonebook www.switchboard.com 
This is the site to use if you do not know the person's or company's location. Most other US telephone directories require a city or state as well as the name.

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Domain Name Registries

All Whois allwhois.com
World-wide coverage.

Nominet www.nic.uk
Registry for UK Internet domain names

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