Starting an LLC in New Hampshire is Easy
To start a New Hampshire Limited Liability Company, you will need to file your Certificate of Formation with the State of New Hampshire, which costs $100. You can only apply by mail. The Certificate of Formation is the legal document that officially creates your New Hampshire LLC.
Follow the step-by-step guide below to form a New Hampshire LLC today and get your business up and running.
STEP 1: Name your New Hampshire LLC
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in forming a New Hampshire LLC. Be sure to choose a business name that complies with New Hampshire naming laws and requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
1. Follow the naming guidelines for a New Hampshire:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional legal paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
2. Is the name available in New Hampshire? Make sure the business name you want isn't already taken by doing a business search online through New Hampshire’s QuickStart website.
3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
FAQ: Naming a New Hampshire LLC
What is an LLC?
LLC is short for Limited Liability Company. It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. An LLC is one of several business structures, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation (C corp and S corp). For more information, read our What is an LLC guide.
Watch our video: What is an LLC?
Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent in New Hampshire
You are required to appoint and maintain a Registered Agent for your New Hampshire LLC.
What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business's point of contact with the state.
Who can be a Registered Agent? a Registered Agent must be a resident of New Hampshire or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to conduct business in the state of New Hampshire. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
Recommended: ZenBusiness provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($39 + State Fees)
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Can I be my own Registered Agent?
Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your LLC.
Read more about being your own registered agent.
Is a Registered Agent service worth it?
Using a professional Registered Agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of hiring a professional registered agent service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
For more information, read our article on New Hampshire registered agents.
STEP 3: File the New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation
To register your New Hampshire LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the New Hampshire Department of State. You can apply online with the NH QuickStart website or by mail. Some states refer to the Certificate of Formation as the Articles of Organization or Certificate of Organization.
The Certificate of Formation for an LLC (limited liability company) in New Hampshire is a legal document to officially form your business. You’ll be expected to provide the name of your LLC, choose a registered agent, list the services your LLC will offer, and pay the state filing fee. After you file the Certificate of Formation, we recommend you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to hire employees and open a business bank account.
When filing your Certificate of Formation, you will need to state whether your New Hampshire LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Before you file, read our member-managed vs manager-managed guide to help you choose the best management structure for your LLC.
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of New Hampshire, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing New Hampshire LLC Documents
What is the processing time to form my New Hampshire LLC?
7 to 10 business days by mail.
What is the difference between a domestic New Hampshire LLC and foreign LLC?
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
STEP 4: Create a New Hampshire LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for a New Hampshire LLC, but it's a good practice to have one.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our New Hampshire LLC operating agreement guide.
Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
FAQ: Creating a New Hampshire LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state?
No. The New Hampshire LLC operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
STEP 5: Get an EIN for Your New Hampshire LLC
What is an EIN? EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EINs are a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes. It is essentially a social security number for a business.
An EIN is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required to:
- Open a business bank account
- File and manage Federal and State Taxes
- Hire employees
Where do I get an EIN? You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. Getting an EIN is an easy process that can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL EIN APPLICANTS: You do not need a SSN to get an EIN. For more information, read our How to Get an EIN as a Foreign Person guide.
FAQ: Getting an New Hampshire EIN
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a social security number?
An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your EIN application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.
What tax structure should I choose for my New Hampshire LLC?
Have a question? Leave a comment!
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Join the conversation in our Comments Section.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top 5 LLC formation companies.
Find out which is the best LLC service for you.
Protect Your Business & Personal Assets
Get a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your New Hampshire LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
You can protect your New Hampshire LLC with these two steps:
1. Opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Find the right bank for you, read our review of the Top 5 Banks for Your Small Business
2. Getting a business credit card:
- Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
- Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.
Recommended: Learn more about the best small business credit cards.
Get Business Insurance
Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your LLC. The most common types of business insurance are:
- General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers against claims of malpractice and other business errors.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In New Hampshire, businesses with one or more employees, including LLC members and corporate officers, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. Get a free quote with ADP.
Learn more about which business insurance you need to keep your business safe.
Properly Sign Legal Documents
Improperly signing a legal document as yourself and not as a representative of the business can leave you open to personal liability. When signing legal documents on behalf of your LLC in New Hampshire, you could follow this formula to avoid problems:
- Formal name of your business
- Your signature
- Your name
- Your position in the business as its authorized representative
See the image below for an example.
This ensures that you are signing on behalf of your New Hampshire LLC and not as yourself.
Learn more on how to protect your business & personal assets by reading our article - How to Maintain your LLC Corporate Veil.
Join the Conversation
We are here to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey, and are always looking at your feedback. Share your experiences in our comment box, chat with other entrepreneurs, or simply let us know how we're doing.
Keep Your Company Compliant
New Hampshire Business Permits and Licenses
Do I need a New Hampshire business licenses and permits?
To operate your LLC 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.
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 a New Hampshire business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.
Find out how to obtain necessary New Hampshire business licenses and permits for your LLC or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide.
- State: Visit the Doing Business section of New Hampshire's website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local business licenses and permits.
Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.
New Hampshire LLC Tax Filing Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax.
New Hampshire is one of five states that does not impose a sales tax.
If you have employees in New Hampshire, you will have to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax on the New Hampshire State website.
Register for New Hampshire State Taxes
FAQ: Additional Taxes
What is the New Hampshire Business Profits Tax?
There is a Business Profits Tax for each LLC formed in New Hampshire which varies depending upon your LLC’s income.
Federal LLC Tax Requirements
Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:
- Form 1065 Partnership Return (most multi-member LLCs use this form)
- Form 1040 Schedule C (most single-member LLCs use this form)
How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.
Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.
New Hampshire LLC 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 8.2% tax on LLCs with gross receipts over $50,000. This tax is due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of the tax year.
File Business Profits Tax
OPTION 1: File Online with the State of New Hampshire
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail
NH Dept of Revenue Administration
Document Processing Division
P.O. Box 637
Concord, NH 03302
Single member LLCs, despite not filing a separate federal tax return, are required to file the New Hampshire tax return using the Department Identification Number(DIN).
FAQ: New Hampshire LLC Business Profits Tax
How is the New Hampshire Business Profits Tax assessed?
Organizations with gross receipts in New Hampshire totaling $50,000 or more are assessed a 7.9% Business Profits Tax.
New Hampshire LLC Business Enterprise Tax
File Business Enterprise Tax
OPTION 1: File Online with the State of New Hampshire
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail
Mail to: NH Dept of Revenue Administration
Document Processing Division
P.O. Box 637
Concord, NH 03302
Tax Calculation: The Business Enterprise Tax is based upon the earnings of your company. Most companies will need to work with an accountant to determine the exact amount they will have to pay. For more information on the exact tax calculation, read New Hampshire's Department of Revenue Website.
Late Filings: New Hampshire charges a $50 for late filings. 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.
FAQ: New Hampshire LLC Business Enterprise Tax
How is the the New Hampshire Business Enterprise Tax Calculated?
Enterprises with gross receipts of more than $208,000 or an enterprise value tax base of more than $104,000 are assessed a 0.675% Business Enterprise Tax on the enterprise value tax base.
This is made up of all compensation paid or accrued, interest paid or accrued, and dividends paid by the business enterprise, after special adjustments and apportionment.
File Your New Hampshire LLC Annual Report
New Hampshire requires LLCs file an annual report with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
File your Annual Report
File Online with the State of New Hampshire
Fee: $100 (Nonrefundable)
Due Date: Due by April 1 each year
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.
Avoid Automatic Dissolution
LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.
Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.
Get Help Starting a Business in New Hampshire
We understand that creating an LLC in New Hampshire and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in New Hampshire. You can get free assistance in the following areas:
Make Running Your Business Easier
After starting a business, two of the most important things you can do are get professional accounting and hire the right employees. Streamlining these processes can save you time and money as your business grows.
If you plan to hire employees for your business, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:
- Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
- Report employees as "new hires" to the State
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
- Withhold employee taxes
- Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace
Find out more information from the New Hampshire Employee Security website.
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
FAQ: Hiring Employees
What is the minimum wage in New Hampshire?
The minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25 per hour.
How often do I need to pay employees?
New Hampshire requires wages to be paid weekly unless a request to pay less frequently is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Labor.
Accounting For Your New Hampshire LLC
It’s critical to get your books in order, even if you haven’t officially opened for business. A well-managed accounting system will help you:
- Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
- Simplify your annual tax filings.
You can maintain your accounting in two ways:
- Use a DIY accounting software. This can come with an increased risk of errors especially when starting a new business.
- Hire an accounting service. They can provide comprehensive advice to help optimize your bookkeeping and taxes as well as additional services such as payroll etc.
Recommended: For most small businesses, we recommend using a reputable accounting service. Schedule a free tax consultation for your business now to avoid costly errors in the future.
Interfacing with Clients and Customers
In the day-to-day of running a business, it's hard to be readily available for new clients or customers who want to contact you. For service-based businesses that don’t already have a brick-and-mortar location, a virtual office can solve this problem. You can get a dedicated business mailing address and a business phone number with call-forwarding so that you never need to worry about losing a potential customer.
Recommended: Opus Virtual Office can set up your businesses with a live receptionist and all the perks of a virtual office for a great price of $99/month. Plus, as a visitor of HowToStartAnLLC, you can save $200 today.
Women in Business Tools and Resources
If you have a woman-owned business, many resources are available to help you concentrate on your business’s growth:
- Funding - (ie. grants, investors, loans)
- Events - (ie. conferences, meetups)
- Guides - (ie. business formation, personal growth)
- Support - (ie. advice, communities, business strategies)
Our information and tools will provide educational sources, allow you to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and help you manage your business with ease.
TRUiC has created video guides to support and reinforce our on-page guides. These videos help to visualize the ideas and lessons that you need to know to create and run a successful business.
Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.
Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in New Hampshire, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online or by mail.
How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire business licenses or permits
To Order a Certificate of Good Standing in New Hampshire, create an account with the Secretary of State's website to file online. Alternatively, you can order online, by mail, or in-person.
Order a Certificate of Good Standing
OPTION 1: Request a Certificate of Good Standing Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: Request by Mail or In-Person
Fee: $7 online, $5 by mail or in-person, payable to the Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)
109 Pleasant Street
P.O. Box 637
Concord, NH 03302
Instructions: If filing by mail or in-person, make sure to check the box for "Statement of Good Standing" in the Step 2 Request Type section.
Dissolve Your New Hampshire LLC
If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your New Hampshire LLC, there are two broad steps:
- Close your business tax accounts
- File the Articles of Dissolution
When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our New Hampshire LLC Dissolution Guide.