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.
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.