Business and Company Information

During the Coronavirus disruption COBRA, the online small business information database, is offering remote access to library members. 

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Business and company services are mainly located at Central Library and staff will be happy to help you with your enquiries. 

You can also contact us using the Online Enquiry Form.

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 Business Management Information

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COBRA - Online Small Business Information Database

During the Coronavirus disruption COBRA, the online small business information database, is offering remote access to library members. 

Click here to visit the COBRA website and use your library card number to log in (including the initial B) where it asks for your ticket number. If you then type "coronavirus" into the search box, you will see guides about some industry specific information, government support and information about the business interruption loans.

COBRA is a continually expanding business encyclopaedia covering all aspects of starting and running a business.

COBRA gives you quick and easy access to exactly the information you need if you are running your own business, considering self-employment or looking for a career change.

COBRA contains thousands of factsheets that are packed with useful information about setting up, running and growing a business. With detailed guides on about 600 small business trades and professions plus practical how to guides, market summaries and information about trade events, business support and funding.

It is free to use although printing charges will apply. This service is only available at Milton Keynes Central Library. Ask a member of staff in the Reference Library to log you on.

If you don't have time to come to Central Library in person, requests for searches can be made by telephone (01908 254050) or email us at Central Library.

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Company Information

  • Invest MK - local business information and practical help.
  • The Gazette - official public record of UK limited companies.
  • MisterWhat - comprehensive business directory of UK companies. Search by keyword or location.
  • Kompass Directory - including UK and overseas companies. Search by company name or industry.
  • Applegate Directory - including UK and Ireland. Search by company name, product or industry.
  • Hoovers UK - worldwide company information.
  • Investor Network offers the latest worldwide industry and company news and information.

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Doing Business Abroad

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Market Research

Online Databases

  • COBRA - offers guides to trends and opportunities in over 60 market sectors, local area profiles and business opportunity profiles.


Businesses Operating in the UK’s Towns and Cities

Basic information like business name and contact details:

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Main market report publishers:

Useful research websites:

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MK Business Information


Local Business Organisations

Milton Keynes has a variety of organisations which can provide you with business information or advice, including:

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Newspapers and Magazines

Online newspaper and magazine databases:

  • Times Digital Archive 1785-2014 - Search the full text of the Times newspaper from the first issue in 1785 to 1985. You will need to enter the number on your library card to access the database.
  • PressReader - Digital access to over 7000 newspapers and popular publications from the UK and all around the world. This service offers newspapers in 60 languages and is available within libraries and remotely from home with your library card number.
  • Access to Research - Within libraries you can access academic and scientific journals.

(For full details and access information, please visit the eLibrary page.)

Information about local and family history newspapers can be found on the Reference and Research web page.

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Small Business Startup

Setting up your own Business

If you are planning to start your own business or are already running a small business, the Business Library can help you.

  • Cobra is an online business tool covering all aspects of starting and running a business.

Useful Startup Websites:

  • The government’s GOV.UK portal provides a rich source of information on the practicality of starting a new business and their HM Revenue & Customs pages cover tax and national insurance requirements.
  • Federation of Small Businesses - Advice, contacts and news for small businesses.
  • Prince’s Trust - Help for 18-30 year olds, including grants, loans, business support and advice.
  • Small Business Gateway - Advice on starting a new business, researching business ideas and plans, finances, sales and marketing. Case studies.
  • Eu Small Business Portal - For information about starting and running a SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprise) in the EU.
  • Visit the Council Business pages for any further support and advice.
  • GROW -  Offers monthly online marketing masterclass that teaches the 9 fundamental areas of online marketing you HAVE to know to be successful online.
  • WENTA - A 'one-stop-shop' for business support, with everything from start-up advice, mentoring and training to workspace, meeting rooms and virtual offices.

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Last Updated: 20 October 2021