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Business directory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An example page from Pigot's 1839 directory of businesses in the counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex in England.
An example page from a directory for the city of Macon, 1866

A business directory is a website or printed listing of information which lists businesses within niche based categories. Businesses can be categorized by niche, location, activity, or size. Business may be compiled either manually or through an automated online search software. Online yellow pages are a type of business directory, as is the traditional phone book.[citation needed]

The details provided in a business directory may vary. They may include the business name, addresses, telephone numbers, location, contact information, type of service or products the business provides, the number of employees, the served region and any professional associations.[citation needed]

Some directories include a section for user reviews, comments, and feedback. Business directories in the past would take a printed format but have recently been upgraded to websites due to the advent of the internet.[1]

Many business directories offer complimentary listings in addition to the premium options. There are many business directories and some of these have moved over to the internet and away from printed format. Whilst not being search engines, business directories often have a search function, enabling users to search businesses by Zip Code, country, state, area or city.[citation needed]


Previous business directories may have been called 'dictionaries', guides or handbooks.

Historians have linked the development of trade directories such as Kelly's trade directory, Bradshaw's railway timetables and guides and Mitchell's Press Directories to the growth of 'rational, scientific inquiry' and statistics in the nineteenth century.[2]


Business directories can be in either hard copy or in digital format. Ease of use and distribution means that many trade directories have a digital version.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ hours, Insolvency Enquiry; Business, please contact the Department for; Energy; on 020 7215 1000, Industrial Strategy Press Office. "Online small business directory shut down by court". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2019-03-20. {{cite web}}: |last2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Brake, Laurel (2015). "Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Press Directories: The National Gallery of the British Press". Victorian Periodicals Review. 48 (4): 569–590. doi:10.1353/vpr.2015.0055.

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