Whether starting a business or growing an existing business, our town staff is here to help you along the way.
Grow Your Business in Bristol
Thinking about a new location? Expanding a current location? The best place to start is the Bristol Town Office. Contact the Land Use Department to discuss your idea, zoning and the permitting process. We're here to answer your questions.
Learn more about the organizations and initiatives available to help businesses grow here.
This organization of businesses in the Newfound Lake Region work together to encourage people to buy local. Newfound Independence produces a local business map in collaboration with a local artists and hosts a local business directory on its website, ilovenewfound.com.
Grafton Regional Development Corporation
The GRDC offers business assistance, business loans and access to business incubators to launch your next project. Since 2013, the GRDC has offered more than 100 workshops to help sharpen business skills.
Grafton Small Business Development Center
Part of the larger Small Business Development Center, the Grafton SMDC offers business advising and online courses.
The NH Business Finance Authority provides credit and financing for a wide variety of businesses.
Business Startup Roadmap
This handy guide gives business owners the necessary steps to opening and expanding a business in Bristol. Whether you’re new to business or have been a business owner for many years, this Roadmap is designed to help you.
Start A Business in Bristol
Planning, licensing, zoning, and other logistical tasks can be intimidating. Our team at the town office wants to do everything we can to walk you through the startup process. Setting up a meeting with the Planning Board will help us get a general overview of your plans and what steps you’ll need to cover to accomplish them.
Setting up a meeting is easy. Just fill out this contact form and explain a bit about your plans. Someone will be in touch to help you with things like; incorporating, finding a location, approving any building plans, and more.
The Startup Roadmap
Our Business Startup Roadmap gives you some information to get you started and prepare you for the process ahead.
Step 1: Plan your business
Every business has a lot of moving parts. It’s important to get your ideas about those parts out of your head and into a tangible format. You don’t need to write a 20 page version. This lean canvas model is perfect to help you get started.
Step 2: Fund your business
While you’ve probably already defined how your business makes money, getting the equipment or materials to do that is a large cost. You’ll need to raise the capital needed to launch your business. Thankfully, there are more financial pathways available today than ever before to get you there.
Learn more about financing your business
Step 3: Structure your business
Choose a legal structure for your business and file the appropriate permitting and licensing for your industry. Consulting an attorney or a search for industry standards should help you figure out what you need. Once you've decided on a structure, you can register your business with the NH Secretary of State's Office.
Step 4: Locate your business
Most businesses will need a place to sell their wares or perform their services. When choosing a location in Bristol, review Bristol’s zoning districts to determine if what you’re planning is an allowed use in that area. If not, ask about filing a special exception. Here is an outline of the allowed uses within each district in Bristol.
Step 5: Build your business
Will you be making changes to outside lighting, parking, and signage? Will the project include major renovations? If yes, talk to the Land Use Office about any required permits. Before you develop your plans, you may want to meet with the Land Use Office. Our staff can talk to you about the steps needed to get all required permits and get your business up and running.
Step 6: Name your business
Alina Wheeler defines a good name as “timeless and tireless”. Cleverness can be fun (and definitely isn’t discouraged) but at the end of the day your business’ name is the container that holds your entire brand’s value. It needs to be as functional as it is memorable. Naming your business should take weeks if not months. It requires strategy at least as much as it requires creativity.
Step 7: Banking/Accounting
You will likely want your accounts prepared by a professional. Bristol's local business owners are a great source for accounting referrals. Bristol also has two local banks with great personnel who are available to provide financial insight on lending, lines of credit and business banking.
Step 8: Connect with community
Finally, don’t forget to engage with the local business community, and here in Bristol you'll find a few. We may be cutting edge but we aren’t cut throat. We believe your success is our own success. It’s one of the great pleasures of running a business in Bristol.
No matter what the project or business proposal, the Town of Bristol and our land use boards are here to provide guidance along the way. If you have questions about the application and permitting process, contact us.
Move a Business to Bristol
One of the first steps a business owner must take is finding a suitable location to operate the company. Bristol has a wide range of commercial properties available, from retail and office space to manufacturing and industrial.
Before you sign, we strongly recommend meeting with the Town Land Use Department to review the property’s zoning.
Contact the Land Use Department
Want to know more about Bristol’s zoning? View a list of zoning districts here.
Commercial Property in Bristol
Connect with one of our local real estate agents to find the property that’s right for you.
Coldwell Banker Old Mill Properties
Newfound Rental Properties - Coldwell Banker's rental division
Granite Group Realty Services
Old Mill Properties
Lake Area Properties - Granite Group Realty’s rental & property management division
Financial Incentives in Bristol
Business Opportunities in Bristol
Bristol has tax incentive programs to help business growth and spur investment. Please contact the Town Administrator for more information. Contact the Town Administrator for more information about any of the following programs.
Economic Revitalization Zones
Bristol has four Economic Revitalization Zones, which were created by the state to offer tax credits to businesses that invest in infrastructure and create jobs in these areas.
Community Revitalization Program
This state program allows businesses to apply for tax relief if they develop in designated historic or downtown areas.
Learn more here!
Seeking Start-up Funds?
If you're interested in investing in businesses already in Bristol or helping an entrepreneur get their business started here, contact Anne Duncan-Cooley at the Grafton Regional Development Corp (GRDC) to learn about your options. There are also a number of investor and crowd-funding resources available online today:
Mainvest: A crowdfunding tool focused primarily on supporting local ventures. Check it out to raise capital for yours or support a neighbor.
Angel Investment Network: A connection platform for businesses and angel investors of all categories to share ideas, resources and knowledge.
GRDC: Revolving Loan Fund: A gap funding opportunity for businesses expanding in or planning to move to Grafton County.
GRDC: Microloan Program: A small loan program providing small businesses in Grafton County funding for startup inventory and equipment.
IFundWomen: A funding marketplace connecting women-owned businesses to all the people who want to support them with access to capital, plus business coaching services.