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Michael, Research Librarian
Category: Research
Satisfied Customers: 3050
Experience:  I am a Research Librarian with many years of experience.
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I would like a free or public domain list/database/search

Customer Question

I would like a free or public domain list/database/search engine which would give me businesses nearby or in a zip code. The google places API is just registered retail businesses, the us census has roll up info for a zip code but does not seem to have the contributing entities. Dun and Bradstreet probably has the info behind paid an license restricted access. Ideally i can search by NAICS/SIC code
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Research
Expert:  Michael replied 11 months ago.

Good afternoon,

As to a free database, some recommendations I can offer as being a business librarian for over 20 years I have been asked this question quite often.

1. I would first check to see if your local public library has a subscription to a database such as "Reference USA". This free database allows you to search by NAICS/SIC and you can conduct an advanced search to find business listings in your area. Often this database can be used at home.

More info on this database can be reviewed here:

I would also see if the public library has access to "Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies"

2. "" is another database that allows you to search via SIC:

3. A new service that offers a wealth of information:

Many databases also allow a free 7 day trial so worth trying out sites such as "" to use for a week and then gather the information you need or decide to subscribe.

I hope the information provided is found helpful as please let me know of any additional questions/concerns you might have. Also if you could please take a moment to rate my assistance so that I can receive credit for helping you today.

Librarian Michael

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Those are some interesting options, being free for a week or while in a library/home doesn't fit my use case . I was hoping for free data to use from open queries or by taking a snapshot database and ingesting it.When I searched in MANTA it did have some desirable data on drill down like NAICS codes however the company seems to be geared towards making a business visible on the internet and not offering their back end data.Sorry - your answers did not fit my needs. Is there a fair way to close the request? I don't think what I want exists.
Expert:  Michael replied 11 months ago.

I would still look at Reference USA as there is a wealth of information and it allows you to search by NAICS/SIC. The companies can also be searched by area as well as industry etc. Give it a look as all information is free and can be downloaded for use later.

Please contact customer service to go ahead and close the question if you still feel the info was not what you were looking for.

Librarian Michael

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Michael I followed your advice to contact customer service since my definition of "free public domain" doesn't match up with suggested free for a trial period or paid but free if you can sit in an a library when you need access.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
it has been about a week and no reply from customer service
Expert:  Michael replied 11 months ago.

With the access to Reference USA, access is obtained via your public library but using this database can be done at your home as no need to step into a library at all (although I would suggest visiting as they will have business info that can be found helpful in your research). I use Reference USA often from my public library and can access from working from home 24/7. I would still recommend looking at this database as it is the best in my opinion of a "free public domain" database that offers company information that can be searched by advanced methods.

You can also save and download your information on your computer or flash drive.

I hope this suggestion helps in your research. If still not satisfied, please contact customer services again.

Take care,

Librarian Michael

Expert:  Michael replied 11 months ago.

Under "How do I access"