An intriguing range of businesses have occupied Heriot Row over the last 200 years. Some are combined with homes. The brass plates of advocates stand out along the street. In past times doctors too practised from home.

Businesses listed in Edinburgh's 1947-8 street directory included ICI; lawyers Miller Pairman and Murray, Simpson and Marwick, and Urquharts; the Psychic College and Library; and the architects Gordon and Dey. The Oban and District Gas Company, the Scottish Kennel Club, the Registrar of Friendly Societies Office, the Arbiter in Trustee, Post Office and Railway Savings Bank Disputes, Midlothian and Peebles Mental Hospital, Queen Victoria Memorial School and the Scottish Naval and Military Veteran's Residence were also listed as businesses but some if not all of these addresses were for mail, not for activity on the spot.

The 1973-4 directory gives a similar picture. Some additions were the Caledonian Terminal and Dunmore Investment companies, the Austrian Consulate for Scotland, the Electrical Contractors Association of Scotland and the Royal College of Nursing.

In 2014, a 'brass plate' walk along the street reveals that most former offices have gone back to being homes again. Lawyers remain, as ever, prominent, but professions and house uses have diversified.

The street houses several guesthouses and the headquarters of the Scottish Women's Rural Institute.

Brass plates are no longer a reliable measure of the professions behind the doors. Business people choose to live in the street for its amenity and the quick links to station and airport. From IT to media to management to floristry to tourist guiding to acedemic study, the street brims with activity. 

In 2010, a 'brass plate' walk along the street reveals that most former offices have gone back to being homes again