Starting a Business

A Guide for Starting a Business in Derry

With the right steps and some great resources, starting a business can be clean and painless. If you are looking to start a business in Derry, there are certain requirements that you will have to meet depending on the type of business. This guide will start at the beginning, with contacting the state, all the way through zoning and enforcement at the local level.

  • Step 1 - Form Your Business Entity
    • To form a valid business in the state of New Hampshire, you will need to contact the State of New Hampshire Corporate Division for the proper paperwork. Visit them in Concord or use their QuickStart Online Business Service Center to get started. Here you can check for available names, create a business online, file an annual report/annual fee, obtain or verify a certificate, along with other services.
  • Step 2 - Establish a Location
    • Once the business if formed, you will need to locate a spot to anchor your business. Depending on the type of business and the location, the Town will require certain forms to be filled out and reviews to be completed before approval can be granted. Call the Planning Department to get more information on the following steps:
    1. Change of Use Form - Fill out the 4 pages and return with a $25 filing fee, a copy of the plot plan, parking/traffic flow plan, and a short business plan. Once this has been reviewed you will receive a notice outlining concerns or comments and the request for a Site Plan review by the Derry Planning Board if deemed necessary.
      1. Zoning Variance - If your location isn't approved for the type of use requested, the Zoning Board will have to approve a Variance or Special Exception. A Variance Application form must be submitted to the board to start this process. Currently this form is only available in hard copy at the Derry Municipal Center.
    2. Technical Review Committee - If your business includes the building of subdivisions, lot line adjustments, voluntary mergers, new non-residential development, and changes in use and/or expansions of existing non-residential building sites, you will need to submit a TRC application for the Technical Review Committee. The TRC will review the application and provide any comments of concern.
    3. Site Plan Application - Once any concerns from the TRC have been resolved, an Application to the Planning Board must be submitted to the Planning Department. Fee's associated with this application will vary dependent on the type of items being submitted, but are all listed within the application. The Planning Board will then review the application during a public hearing and either deny (allowing for revision and re-submittal) or conditionally approve.
    4. Pre-Construction Meeting - When the plan is signed by the Planning Board and recorded, a pre-construction meeting with DPW will have to be scheduled to discuss the scope of the construction project. This will also cover respective responsibilities of the municipality and developer; construction schedule and sequence; coordination with state agences and utility companies; the chain of communication, and emergency contact information.
    5. Site Construction - As the site is being constructed inspections will have to be scheduled with the Building, Fire, DPW and Health Departments for permits. When all inspections are complete and finalized and each department has signed off, the Planning Dept. will issue the Certificate of Occupancy.
    6. Sign Permit - Each sign on the premises must have a sign permit. Each form will require a $35 administration charge.