The nickel-dependent urease enzyme is responsible for the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. A number of bacteria produce urease (ureolytic bacteria) and are associated with various infectious diseases and ammonia emissions from agriculture. We report the first comprehensive comparison of the inhibition of urease activity by compounds analysed under the same conditions. Thus, 71 commercially available compounds were screened for their anti-ureolytic properties against both the ureolytic bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae and purified jack bean urease. Of the tested compounds, 30 showed more than 25% inhibition of the ureolytic activity of Klebsiella pneumoniae or jack bean urease, and among these, carbon disulfide, N-phenylmaleimide, diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid, sodium pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate, 1,2,4-butanetricarboxylic acid, tannic acid, and gallic acid have not previously been reported to possess anti-ureolytic properties. The diverse effects of metal ion chelators on ureolysis were investigated using a cellular nickel uptake assay. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and dimethylglyoxime (DMG) clearly reduced the nickel import and ureolytic activity of cells, oxalic acid stimulated nickel import but reduced the ureolytic activity of cells, 1,2,4-butanetricarboxylic acid strongly stimulated nickel import and slightly increased the ureolytic activity of cells, while L-cysteine had no effect on nickel import but efficiently reduced the ureolytic activity of cells.