To Start an LLC in New Hampshire, Follow the Simple Steps Listed Below:

STEP 1: Name your LLC

This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable for potential clients.

  1. Follow the New Hampshire naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words require additional paperwork (e.g. Banc, Bank, Banque, etc) and/or licensed individuals (e.g. Doctor, Engineer, etc). to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.
  2. Is the name available in New Hampshire? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of New Hampshire website.
  3. Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

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An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free

STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent

You are required to nominate a Registered Agent for your New Hampshire LLC

What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf including annual state filings.

Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of New Hampshire or a corporation authorized to transact business in New Hampshire. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

Click here to find out why you may want to use a registered agent service.

Recommended: INCFILE.COM provides free registered agent service for the first year as part of their LLC Packages.

STEP 3: File the Certificate of Formation

To register your LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the State of New Hampshire.

File the Certificate Formation for a Domestic LLC

Download the PDF

Fee: Nonrefundable $100 ($50 for Certificate of Formation, and $50 - Form SRA), payable to the "State of New Hampshire."

Follow the instructions on the PDF.

Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of Texas you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.

STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement

What is an Operating Agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. An Operating Agreement is not required to form an LLC in New Hampshire, but is good practice to have one.

* Recommended: We provide a free sample operating agreement however we recommend getting one professional drafted by a lawyer, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.

STEP 5: Obtain an EIN

What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For Federal and State tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done by one of two ways:

* Important: An EIN is obtained after the LLC is formed. Obtaining an EIN registers the company for federal taxes.

Considering using a Formation Service?

We have detailed reviews on IncFile and LegalZoom LLC formation Services.
Find out exactly what to expect when using their services.

Six Key Steps
After Forming A Business

1. Separate Personal Assets from the LLC

Opening a business bank account is an important first step, as it:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Getting a business credit card allows you to:

  • Separate personal and business expenses.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money for your company later.

2. Register Your LLC for New Hampshire State Tax

Do I need to register for State taxes?

** More information about New Hampshire’s Unemployment Taxes can be found here.

3. Accounting

Even if you haven’t officially opened for business – it’s critical to get your books in order. A well managed accounting system will help you:

  • Track your business finances, including bills, expenses and income.
  • Simplify your annual tax filings.

The right software makes accounting easy. Look for software that:

  • Syncs with your bank automatically.
  • Matches transactions to invoices, bills and purchase orders.
  • Can be accessed from your phone.

*Recommended: Xero has the features that all small businesses need.
Try Xero FREE for 30 days and get 30% off your first 6-months.

4. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

Do I need business licenses and permits?

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

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business:

  • Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
  • State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits and registration with The State of New Hamphshire's government website's Doing Business section.
  • Local: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about local licenses and permits.
  • Alternatively, you can use a professional service to research all of your business licensing needs.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.

Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

5. Get Insurance

What is Workers Compensation Insurance? This form of insurance is required for most businesses with employees, but varies by State. Click here to learn more.

What is General Liability Insurance? This is an important service, but is not required in most States. Click here to learn why.

How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

6. Employee Hiring Compliance

Once a business decides to hire employees, certain legal obligations are required, such as:

  • Ensuring that potential employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Reporting employees as "new hires" to the State
  • Providing workers compensation insurance for employees
  • Withholding income taxes
  • Printing compliance posters and place in a conspicuous location
  • Ensuring payment of employees in specific increments as required by the state

Have a look at the programs and services provided by New Hampshire Employee Security.

A great resource for posting jobs and finding qualified employees is Indeed.com

How to Start a Business in New Hampshire

5 easy steps to starting a business in New Hampshire.
We have a far more detailed guide - How to Start a Business which will go over the points in more details.

  1. Identify a suitable business idea that works for you - Check out our Business Ideas Tool.
  2. Critically analyze your idea with our Lean Business Model Canvas Tool. You can then go on to create a full business plan with our Free Online Business Plan Tool.
  3. Formally organize your Business into a company. An LLC is the most popular way to structure your business. Learn how to Form your LLC in New Hampshire.
  4. Complete important key steps after formation such as acquiring business licences & permits, registering for state taxes, and opening a business bank account.
  5. Build your website and develop your brand. Learn more about marketing and brand establishment.

How to Maintain Your LLC

To maintain a New Hampshire LLC, it is necessary to make periodic filings with the State of New Hampshire. Learn how to keep your LLC in good standing and avoid state penalties.

New Hampshire Annual Report

New Hampshire requires LLCs file an annual report with the Secretary of State.

File a Report with the State of New Hampshire

File Online

Due Date: Due by April 1 each year

Fee: $100

Business Profits Tax

Most states classify LLCs as pass-through entities not subject to business income taxation. LLC members directly receive their share of the company’s profits, and then pay state income tax on their individual earnings.

New Hampshire, however, does not require LLC members to pay income tax on their income from their company’s revenue. Instead, New Hampshire levies a flat 8.5% tax on all LLCs’ business income.

Business Enterprise Tax

If your LLC accumulates over $200,000 in gross business receipts and has an enterprise value tax base of more than $100,000, then your company must pay 0.75% of your enterprise value tax base, which is defined by the NH Department of Revenue as “the sum of all compensation paid or accrued, interest paid or accrued, and dividends paid by the business enterprise, after special adjustments and apportionment.”

New Hampshire charges a $50 penalty if you miss the April 1st filing deadline. After 2 years, New Hampshire dissolves LLCs that have not filed an annual report. LLCs cannot file a new annual report if the prior year’s report was not filed.

Late Filings

New Hampshire charges a $50 penalty if you miss the April 1st filing deadline. After 2 years, New Hampshire dissolves LLCs that have not filed an annual report. LLCs cannot file a new annual report if the prior year’s report was not filed.

Prevention

Each year, thousands of LLCs are unknowingly dissolved or suspended for failing to file an annual report. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.

Recommended: INCFILE.COM offers a reliable registered agent service.

Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:

  • Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
  • Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
  • Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits

To order a Certificate of Good Standing in New Hampshire, the State requires you to either order in person, or to write a request letter with the required information. See the information for how to request your certificate by viewing this PDF from the New Hampshire Department of State.

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Foreign LLC in New Hampshire

If you have an existing LLC and want to register to do business in New Hampshire, you will need to form a foreign LLC.

File a Foreign LLC in the State of New Hampshire

Download the PDF

Fee: $100 — Follow the instructions on the PDF.

Benefits of Forming a Foreign LLC
The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC in the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.