The European Business Register was first launched in September 1998 with the aim of providing reliable information about European companies. It has recently been expanded and its database now contains information regarding about fourteen million companies in twelve European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK). That number should continue to rise in the future as the system can easily be extended to encompass other national databases. It is also easy to access, using a standard World Wide Web browser, and may be customized to fulfil particular local and national needs, including different language requirements. Furthermore, the software package is cheap enough to be afforded even by small organizations that wish to conduct small-scale surveys. The EBR represents a valuable source of information for and about businesses, promoting both competition and collaboration between them. It is to be hoped that the European consumer will feel the benefit of both.