How to Start a Business in New Hampshire

Start a Business in New Hampshire Today


Welcome to our page dedicated to the formation of new, and foreign, entities in the state of New Hampshire. We highly recommend that you take a moment to peruse our many tutorials linked throughout this site to get a sound knowledge of the various actions needed to get your business off the ground in this state. Filers representing LLCs and profit corporations will enjoy the streamlined, easy-to-use portal of NH QuickStart found on the Secretary of State website. If your business doesn’t fall into that category, the traditional paper filing will need to be utilized by downloading the PDF of the requisite filing form and paying the filing fee in the form of a check instead of by credit card. Scroll down to enjoy Start a Business’s complete guide to entity registration in this fine state.

Start an Entity in New Hampshire

Search for a Business Name

The first step that we always recommend, regardless of entity type or region of initial formation, is the use of the Business Entity Search function available on seemingly every Secretary of State website. This tool can be used to research the availability of your chosen name thus reducing the chances of a rejected filing. Furthermore, you may use this function to get complete access to all information on file with the state as well as a list of all registered agents currently employed. Although it is most often the case, you will not be able to utilize this option to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. The process for this will be detailed below.

New Hampshire Online Registration

For those representing LLCs and profit corporations, there is no better way to file than through the NH QuickStart online portal set up on the government website. Through this, you will be able to not only register your business but also keep it up to date through the submission of your annual reports. The registration process is simple and requires very little time and information in order to get on board with the website. For a full analysis of the procedure, review our tutorial linked here.

How to File in New Hampshire

Step 1- The first step, as we’ve mentioned earlier, is usually to cross-check the name database using the Business Entity Search function. This process will ensure that your name has not already been registered by another business in New Hampshire. If you find a name that resembles yours, you will most likely need to consider a different option as your filing will be rejected upon submission otherwise. If you need additional time to consolidate all information, you can file for a Name Reservation which will keep your name secured for a period of 120 days at the price of $15.

Step 2- If you’re filing online, you will need to create an online account first. A tutorial covering this process can be found here. Assuming that this has been done already, you can go ahead and start filling in your registration documents. If filing by PDF, you must download them (all forms available here on our website) and submit the information in your PDF viewer. To learn more about the exact required info needed for each filing, click on the link below that corresponds with your entity type.

Step 3- Once you have completed the filing forms for your business entity, whether online or through PDF, you will be required to prepare the filing fee. All filing fees can be paid online by credit card or by check if you’ve opted to perform a paper filing. Across the board, with the exception of non-profit corporations, entities can be prepared to pay $100 to the Secretary of State. Non-profits need only supply a small $25 fee when submitting their registration documents. If you’re not paying online, you will need to send the filing package to the first address shown below, or hand-deliver it to the second.

Business Name Reservation

As previously mentioned, the name reservation can be a useful filing for any business which thinks that their name is common enough to be potentially used by another entity and would like some additional time in which to prepare for filing. This reservation, when employed correctly, will allow for the rights to your name to be reserved for a period of 120 days at the price of $15.

Certificate of Good Standing in New Hampshire

Not only is there no online filing option to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, there isn’t even a prepared form in which you can submit your request through the mail. Instead, they ask that filer to simply provide a check along with a letter stating the following information:

· The name of the entity you want to appear on the certificate
· Address where the certificate is to be mailed
· Contact person’s name
· Phone Number

New Hampshire Agreements

Regardless of the type of entity, you plan on forming, it’s always a good idea to incorporate an agreement that states the manner in which the corporation is to be organized. In New Hampshire, none of the below agreements are required by law, though it is still highly recommended that one be drafted to ensure that the rules and regulations are being relayed clearly in black and white. These agreements will greatly reduce confusion as to each member’s rights and duties in the case of a future legal dispute. To learn more about each agreement, and to gain access to a free template for each in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF, click on the corresponding link to your entity type below.

  • New Hampshire Corporate Bylaw
  • New Hampshire Operating Agreement
  • New Hampshire Partnership Agreement

Employer Identification Number

Many newly formed entities will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number immediately following the word of acceptance of their registration documents. This identifier will allow them to open bank accounts, hire employees, register for loans, and otherwise operate legally as a business entity. Consider this the corporate equivalent of a Social Security Number. Filers will be able to obtain this number online through the IRS website or by PDF using the Form SS-4. 

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