This guide will help you get started with COBRA, the business database.

You can print or download this COBRA helpsheet [639 KB].

The Complete Business Reference Adviser. A continually expanding business database with information about starting and running a small business. Access to around 4,000 factsheets, market reports, contacts, funding resources and help and support

You can access it in any West Sussex library and 24/7 from your computer, tablet or smartphone once you are a member.

How to use COBRA

Go to eInformation: Online Reference Library and click A-Z of electronic resources.

Screen shot of West Sussex Libraries eInformation page

Scroll down and click on COBRA

Screenshot of COBRA link on A-Z of electronic resources

If you are accessing COBRA from your own device you will first need to enter your Library Card Membership Number in the Subscriber Login box at the top right of the COBRA homepage.

Screenshot of COBRA login page

If you are looking for information about a particular type of business you can type your keyword(s) into the Search box at the top right of the COBRA homepage. Click on the green Go button to search.

Screenshot of COBRA search bar

If you don’t have a particular business idea in mind you can browse the Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) database that can accessed from the column on the left had side of the homepage.

Screenshot of search results

Each BOP report has a wealth of detail including guidance on key skills, markets, issues of licensing, insurance and relevant legislation, together with links to key organisation websites. Click on the red title of a BOP to view it. All COBRA reports can be printed, saved or emailed.

The other key database within COBRA is the Business Information Factsheets (BIF). These are reports that cover the basics of starting and running a business, such as opening a business bank account, introduction to PAYE and charging and accounting for VAT. Access them from the column on the left hand side of the COBRA homepage. Click on the red title of a BIF to view it.

Screenshot of Business Information Factsheets

COBRA has a wide range of additional information, such as Local Area Profiles, Sectors guides, a large Business Legal Library and more!

Other ways we can help you find the information that you need:

Contact the Library Service

Local Clubs and Societies

Family History

Local History


Homework and Research

This guide has been produced by West Sussex County Council Library Service © 2020.

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