Beggars Banquet started life as a small chain of independent record shops in West London and in 1977, spurred by the prevailing DIY aesthetics of punk, the Beggars Banquet imprint was launched with the first band on the label The Lurkers releasing their classic 'Shadow ' / 'Love Story' 7' single. Later in the decade and into the early '80s, hits with Tubeway Army and Gary Numan spelled a successful time for the label. They since released music by Biffy Clyro, Buffalo Tom, The Charlatans, The Cult, The Go-Betweens, Luna, The National, St. Vincent and Tindersticks. In 2008, Beggars Banquet ceased actively signing acts and now only releases back catalogue reissues.
The label became the start point for what is now The Beggars Group, an umbrella group of iconic indie record labels. It is the largest and most influential independent group of labels in Europe with 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade Records and XL Recordings now the four main labels that help form the group.