• The Library offers an exceptional free business information, advice and planning service. Our experienced and trained advisors are on hand to support you whether you want to start a business, develop your business ideas or need help with intellectual property issues. To access some services, you must be a library member.
• Start a business. If you're a budding entrepreneur, our advisors can help you develop your ideas into a viable business proposition. Resources, templates, workshops and training videos are available for all types of new businesses, with many resources available online.
• Grow a business. We can help you to grow and expand an existing business through practical support and advice covering everything from suppliers and funding to export trade and employment schemes.
• Run a business. We can help you with everything you need to know to run a successful business including employment law, business paperwork, tax issues and advice on legislation.
Business events, seminars and workshops
• Throughout the year, we offer a programme of free events, seminars and workshops to help you build a successful business. These cover a wide range of topics, for example women in business and tax, many delivered with specialist partners.
• We also offer a huge range of specialist resources to help you, such as free access to current market research data from Mintel and Keynote, and subscription databases such as COBRA , Creditsafe, Mint and Kompass. We also have also plenty of information on imports and exports, plus business planning tools and templates.
Intellectual property (IP) advice
• Protecting your creativity and inventions is vital, whether you are a budding inventor or songwriter. The Library of Birmingham is a unique centre offering free IP advice. We can show you how to get protection using patents, trademarks, copyright and design registration.
• We also offer a free one-hour IP consultation with a trained Advisor, plus a free short consultation with a local Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) lawyer. Booking essential.
• Reliable IP resources are available including specialist databases, for example to help you with patent or trade mark research.
• Free workshops and seminars on IP, including sessions in partnership with CIPA, are held regularly – Go to What's Happening and filter by Business.
• Not sure if your IP is protected? We offer IP health checks (charges apply). Go to What's Happening and filter by Business. Or ask in the Library for details.
• Use our service with confidence. We are a member of PATLIB (Patent Information Libraries), a European network of trusted IP centres, and a member of the British Library’s Business and IP Centres Network.
• For any business to thrive, knowing your market is vital. We offer free access to business information databases including:
o Mailing lists to help you with marketing or source goods or services.
o Company searches – company accounts, director details, credit checks and other financial information on all UK limited companies and some non-limited businesses.
• Using business databases can be complex and if you prefer we can undertake research for you (charges apply).
The Library welcomes young people with business ideas who need help to get started. Our friendly Advisors can tell you about business start up loans, introduce you to business networks, help you develop a business plan or find business premises and much more. Ask in the Library.