Records of businesses usually list names, addresses, company owners and shareholders, and financial information. Life insurance, pension (for some railroad companies in the U.S.), bank, and under-taker records may include biographical information.
For some vocations, trades, or businesses there are occupational records or commercial directories that may be helpful in compiling a family history. See "Directories" and "Occupations" in this outline for further details.
Business and commerce records are often kept by the company or may be in archives or libraries in the area where the company is located. The Internet also contains searchable databases of business records. One example is the New York Emigrant Savings Bank. This database has information on many Jewish emigrants including name, place of birth, residence (most lived in New York City), occupation, names of relatives, and immigration information. You can find this database at:
The Family History Library has some business-related records. Because of their limited value, these type of records should be searched after other sources such as civil and vital records, Jewish records, and obituaries have been searched.