Last Updated: June 3, 2024, 8:58 am by TRUiC Team

How to Start a Corporation in New Hampshire

In order to start a New Hampshire corporation, you will need to choose a registered agent and file the Articles of Incorporation with the NH Department of State. 

After your registration is complete, you will need to hold an organization meeting in order to draft your corporate bylaws and appoint your initial director(s).

We’ll show you how to start a corporation in New Hampshire yourself.

Or, simply use a professional service:

four point six out of five Northwest  ($29 + state fee)

Learn how to start a corporation in New Hampshire

Forming a Corporation in New Hampshire is Easy

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Step 1Name Your New Hampshire Corporation
Step 2Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3Hold an Organizational Meeting
Step 4File the Articles of Incorporation
Step 5Get an EIN

For a look at corporation formation in every state, check out our other How to Start a Corporation guides.

Not sure if a corporation is right for you? Check out our LLC vs. Corporation guide to help you make your decision.

Step 1: Name Your New Hampshire Corporation

Choosing a business name is the first step in starting a corporation. 

1. New Hampshire naming guidelines:

A New Hampshire corporate name:

  • Must contain the words "Corporation," "Incorporated," or “Company”. The abbreviation “Corp”, “Inc”, or “Co” can be used instead.  
  • Must be distinguishable from any existing business in your state. This includes reserved names and foreign corporations that have the right to operate within New Hampshire. 
  • Cannot imply that the corporation was organized for any non-permitted purpose or one that is not outlined in its Articles of Incorporation.
  • Cannot include words that could confuse your corporation with a government or state agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Cannot include the words "farmers' market" unless the corporation meets the definition of a farmers' market.

Read the New Hampshire state statute regarding corporation naming guidelines for more information.

 2. Is my corporation name available in New Hampshire?

Your New Hampshire corporation name must be unique and distinguishable from other business names in New Hampshire. Use the New Hampshire Department of State’s Quick Start website to determine if your desired business name is available.

3. Is the URL available?

Before registering your New Hampshire corporation, you’ll need to check if a good URL is available for your business name. It’s important to secure your URL right away.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a New Hampshire Registered Agent

You must appoint a New Hampshire registered agent when registering your corporation with the New Hampshire Department of State. 

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive service of process, government correspondence, and compliance documents on behalf of a business.

Your registered agent can be an individual, business entity, or professional registered agent service. Any member of the corporation or individual can serve as your New Hampshire registered agent as long as the person:

  • is 18 years or older
  • has a physical address in the state where business activity is conducted
  • is available (in person) during normal business hours
How to Start an LLC Tip Icon

Recommended: Northwest offers one year of free registered agent services with their corporation formation package ($29 + State Fees).

Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting

Before you officially file the Articles of Incorporation in Step 4, you will need to hold an organizational meeting to complete the following tasks:

  • Fill out and execute the Articles of Incorporation
  • Create and approve bylaws
  • Select your initial director(s)
  • Determine your share structure
  • Execute an Incorporator’s Statement

Create and Approve Corporate Bylaws

Bylaws are the rules that determine how your organization will be governed and run. For detailed instructions on creating your bylaws, read our corporate bylaws guide.

Appoint Initial Directors

You must appoint at least one director who will oversee your New Hampshire corporation until the first shareholder meeting.

A corporate director is in charge of the adoption, amendment, and repeal of operational bylaws as well as the election, supervision, and removal of officers.

After forming the corporation, the incorporator(s) — or initial director(s), if named on the formation documents — should call an organizational meeting. During this initial meeting, either the incorporator(s) will elect the board of directors or the initial director(s) will appoint the officers. 

Choose a Share Structure and Strategy

A share of stock is the unit of ownership of a corporation. Each share of stock represents a percentage of ownership of the company. For example, if a corporation issues one share of stock the shareholder (stock owner) would then own 100% of the corporation. 

Shares can be structured into classes. Each class, termed a share class, holds different rights and privileges. You can have multiple classes and each class can hold any number of shares.

How to Start an LLC Tip Icon

Authorized Shares: the number of shares the corporation is allowed to issue.
Issued Shares: the total number of shares actually issued to shareholders.
Share Class: a group of shares that has a unique set of rights and privileges.

In New Hampshire, the Articles of Incorporation form allows you to indicate if the corporation will issue more than one authorized share type.

Create and Execute an Incorporator’s Statement

The incorporator(s) should sign an Incorporator’s Statement with complete names and addresses of each initial director and store it in the corporate records book. 

This document names the initial director(s) that will serve until the board of directors is elected during the first shareholder meeting. It should be stored with the rest of your corporate records.

Step 4: File the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation

You will need to file the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation to set up a corporation in New Hampshire. You can file the form by mail, in person, or online with the New Hampshire Department of State. The filing cost is $100

This document will cover the basics of your corporation, including:

  • Corporate name, street address, and statement of purpose
  • Corporate registered agent name and street address
  • The number of authorized shares the corporation is allowed to issue
  • Corporate officer(s) and director(s) name(s) and address(es)
  • Incorporator(s) name(s) and address(es)

In New Hampshire, the Articles of Incorporation form allows you to indicate if the corporation will issue more than one authorized share type. A share type is also known as a share class (defined in Step 3 above).

File the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation

Option 1: File Online With New Hampshire QuickStart

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File the Articles of Incorporation by Mail or In Person

Download Form

Filing Cost: $100

Mailing Address:
Corporation Division
NH Dept. of State
107 N. Main St., Rm. 204
Concord, NH 03301-4989

Office Address:
State House Annex
3rd Floor, Rm. 317
25 Capitol St.
Concord, NH 03301

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your New Hampshire Corporation

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the federal government to identify a business entity. It is essentially a Social Security number for the company. An EIN is needed:

  • To open a bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

Running Your Corporation

It is very important to adhere to the formalities of running a corporation. Read our How to Run a Corporation guide to learn more.

Taxes, Annual Reports, & Licensing

New Hampshire State Corporation Tax Requirements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:

New Hampshire Sales Tax

New Hampshire is one of five states that does not have a sales tax on goods and services.

New Hampshire Employer Taxes

If you hire employees, you will need to register for New Hampshire employer taxes through the New Hampshire Employer Security website. This includes Employee Withholding Tax, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Disability Insurance.

New Hampshire Corporation Licenses and Permits

To operate your corporation in New Hampshire, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Learn more in our New Hampshire Business License guide.

File the New Hampshire Corporate Annual Report

You must file your first New Hampshire Corporate Annual Report between January 1 and April 1 of the year following incorporation. You must then file every other year thereafter by April 1.

You can file online using the New Hampshire QuickStart website, or you can log in to the QuickStart website and print a copy of the report to send by mail. The filing fee is $100.

Corporate Dissolution & New Hampshire Good Standing

How to Get a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your New Hampshire corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained.

You can order a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing by mail, in person, or online using New Hampshire QuickStart. There is no specific order form, but New Hampshire provides detailed instructions on how to make requests.

To request one online, log in to the New Hampshire QuickStart website, select “Certificate of Good Standing” under the “Business Services” section, and follow the prompts. The fee is $5 plus an additional $2 if requesting online.

Request a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing

OPTION 1: Request a Certificate Online With New Hampshire QuickStart

Request Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: Request a Certificate by Mail or In Person

Download Instructions

Fee: $5 (plus $2 if requesting online)

Mailing Address:
Corporation Division
NH Sec. of State
107 North Main Street, Room 204
Concord, NH 03301

Office Address:
25 Capitol Street, 3rd Floor
Concord, NH 03301

How to Dissolve a Corporation in New Hampshire

If at any point you would like to permanently stop doing business, or close your business, it is important to officially dissolve your corporation. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities, penalties, or even legal trouble.

There are five main steps to close your New Hampshire corporation:

  • Stop doing business
  • Hold a board meeting, vote on dissolution, and record the meeting in the corporation minutes
  • File the Articles of Dissolution with the New Hampshire Department of State
  • Close your federal and state business tax accounts with the IRS and New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
  • Close your business bank accounts

File Dissolution Documents

Articles of Dissolution
You must file the Articles of Dissolution form with the New Hampshire Department of State to dissolve your corporation. You can mail the form or submit it in person. The filing fee is $35.

Is a Corporation Right For You?

An LLC provides limited liability protection without corporate complexity.
Find out if an LLC is the right structure for you.

LLC vs. Corporation | Form an LLC

Steps After Forming a Corporation

After forming a corporation, you’ll want to protect your personal and business assets and build credit.

Taking these steps will set your business up for success:

Form a Corporation with Northwest for $29 Plus State Fees

New Hampshire Corporation FAQ

It costs $100 to file the Articles of Incorporation with the New Hampshire Department of State and get registered. 

You will also need to find a registered agent, which can be free or incur a monthly fee depending on who assumes this role (e.g., yourself, a registered agent service, etc.).

For more information, we recommend having a look at our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article.

An LLC is more affordable, faster to form, and retains more autonomy when it comes to how it can operate on a day-to-day basis.

On the other hand, a corporation can issue shares (as well as dividends) and is better suited to finding silent investors. 

For more information, we recommend having a look at our LLC vs Corporation article. 

According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website, your Articles of Incorporation should be processed in around three to five business days.

Expedited services are also available in person for an additional $25 fee. 

Note: Depending on the number of filings received and the time of year, you may have to wait longer to set up your New Hampshire corporation. 

Starting a corporation is — generally speaking — more difficult than other entities. 

This is because it can take more time and involve more steps. Having said that, it can still definitely be done independently. 

For more information, we recommend reading our How to Start a Corporation in New Hampshire article. 

For most people, yes.

Forming an LLC can be more affordable and less time consuming than starting a corporation. It will also require less upfront knowledge when it comes to learning how you will need to run the structure in order to operate legitimately. 

Even so, corporations are a great choice for business owners that are looking to attract silent partners (e.g., venture capitalists, private investors, etc.).

New Hampshire Corporation Quick Links