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An Introduction to Business Databases


09/15/2021 | Business

Whether you need data on steel pricing trends, annual revenues for Fortune 1000 companies, or sales data for your competitors within Marion County, you have a wealth of digital resources available for free at the Indianapolis Public Library.


We offer our patrons access to online databases that focus on everything from business to genealogy, and languages to science. Most databases can be accessed from outside the Library, if you have a current IndyPL library card.


How to Access Online Business Databases

To use an online database provided by the Indianapolis Public Library, go to the Library’s Research & Learn page. Scroll down to the section labeled “Filter Resources by Category” and click on either “Business & Nonprofit” or “Magazines & Newspapers” as shown in the screenshot below underlined in red.

Research Page Business & Newspapers Category Screenshot

Click on the database of your choice. Note you will be prompted to enter your IndyPL library card number to access a database.


For entrepreneurs and business owners, or anyone interested in business topics, here are some of the business databases available through the Indianapolis Public Library. If you would like assistance in working with any of the databases, our business librarians are available to help. Please contact us at 317-275-4100.

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Featured Business Databases

Small Business Reference Center
This database offers exclusive full-text results for hundreds of business periodicals, full-text reference books and business videos. This resource also offers access to complete business plans, state-specific resources and much more.

Legal Forms Database
This database provides an extensive collection of authentic, professional legal documents. The forms are available in multiple formats, such as Word documents and PDFs, and can be downloaded or printed for immediate use. The legal forms can be searched by general terms or specific keywords, and Indiana-specific forms are available. This database also includes templates for many different kinds of business letters and worksheets, including competitor analysis, startup costs, target market analysis, and more.

Morningstar Investment Research Center
Morningstar has been and continues to be one of the premiere names in investment research. More than just a massive financial data set, this resource also offers a wide variety of tools and options to learn more about all aspects of investing, and is appropriate for everyone from novice investors to experienced investors. There are tutorial videos, analyst reports, market outlook reports, and financial data for researching specific companies. Virtual education courses cover topics such as funds, bonds, ETFs, and building a portfolio. Utilize the database to access independent data and analysis on stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded products; plan for college costs; and access retirement financial planning tools.

Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC)
Do you have the next million dollar invention? Is your business really starting to take off and you want to trademark your business name before somebody else takes it? Do you have an idea for a product, but you need to find out if anybody has already come up with that same idea? Then you need to use our patent and trademark resources. The Indianapolis Public Library is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center. We receive materials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These resources include help guides, videos, search software, and the full text of United States patents. We also have special, dedicated computers available to the public to help you do your patent searches. For more information please read the blog post Patents & Trademarks.

Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly Reference USA)
This is one of the most popular databases used by business patrons: it contains directories of both businesses and adult consumers in the US and Canada. The business database includes extensive information on over 60 million current US businesses and over 300 million historical businesses. Consumer data covers over 300 million US individuals. Data Axle also has sections on new businesses, healthcare providers, and even job postings. Searches may be conducted based on type of business, location, revenues, and many other combinations of data. Data Axle is highly useful for researching potential business customers and competitors, and creating custom lists of sales prospects.

Plunkett Research Online
If you are researching a specific industry or company, Plunkett provides detailed data including industry analytics and company financials. Plunkett also provides industry-specific glossaries, overview videos for individual industries, video tutorials on how to research using Plunkett, and a tool for generating custom data reports.

Legal Information Reference Center
This database offers access to ebooks for small businesses, including Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business, Incorporate Your Business, Profit from Your Idea, and more.

Gale Reference e-Books
This database offers 30 business-specific, full-text eBooks, including Business Plans Handbook, and Small Business Sourcebook.

Wall Street Journal Online (1889-2004) and (1984-Present)
Access articles from the Wall Street Journal from 1889 through today.

More Business Resources from IndyPL

Our business librarians are available to assist with your questions. Please contact us at 317-275-4100.