Starting a new business

Support and advice

If you are starting a new business in Bristol, you have access to a wide range of new business support services:

  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website for help with business finance, cash flow, credit and investment needs.
  • GOV.UK also provides information, advice and support needed to start, maintain and grow a business.
  • BRAVE Enterprise is an independent Bristol-based, not for profit organisation that offers advice, training and consultancy services.
  • Business West represents and works with over 18,000 businesses across the region, delivering a range of support and events
  • Enterprising West of England can help you with start-ups, getting investment ready, scaling up your business and working efficiently
  • The Federation of Small Businesses runs a number of events in Bristol and members can get information such as factsheets on starting and running a business
  • The West of England Growth Hub has access to a network of business knowledge and skills partners

Licences and permits

You may need a licence or permit to run your business. Read our A to Z of the types of licence available to find out who to contact for further information.

Planning permission

You might need planning permission or building regulations approval for your business. Check our planning and building regulations for more information.

Health and safety

Your business will have a legal duty to provide a safe and healthy place of work for your staff, customers, visitors and contractors. More advice about this on our health and safety page.

Food businesses

When starting a new food business it is essential to obtain information on food safety regulations. We can help you with information on registering your food business, approved food business, food safety inspections and food safety training.

Selling to the council

Bristol City Council is one of the largest organisations in the area, so you might want to think about offering services to us. Find out more on our tenders and contracts page.

Business rates

Business rates are charged on commercial properties. Small businesses can get a discount called 'rate relief'.

Find out more on our business rates page or small business rate relief page.

Business waste and recycling

Businesses should either arrange a collection of their rubbish from their premises using a commercial contractor or they can take their business waste to council Transfer Stations. Business waste page.

Employing people

Get information on recruitment, retaining and training staff on our employment advice page. The GOV.UK website offers advice on employing staff for the first time.

Tax and National Insurance

The HMRC online learning course for people starting their own business can help with questions about tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses.

Other help and ideas

Building a Better Bristol are exploring the creation of new mechanisms to develop investment finance with the local community.

The Invest in Bristol and Bath team provides a 'red carpet' reception service for companies wishing to develop or locate in Bristol.

Related links