- Step 1. Naming Your New Hampshire LLC
- Step 2. Appoint a Registered Agent
- Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
- Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
- Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
- Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
- New Hampshire LLC Resources
- New Hampshire LLC FAQs
Step 1. Naming Your New Hampshire LLC
The first step in setting up your business, the name you choose for your LLC must be distinct from every other incorporated entity in the state, in addition to following the below LLC naming rules.
Legally Required Designation
Adhering to New Hampshire LLC regulations, the name of your LLC must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:
To help you find an available LLC name that is distinct and distinguishable from other businesses in the state, you can run a search using the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s business name database.
If you want to reserve one of these names ahead of time, you can file an Application for Reservation of Name with the Secretary of State. There is a $15 filing fee associated with this form, and you can file online or mail the completed form to the below address.
NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301
You may also want to conduct an available domain name search while you are looking for an LLC name. Even if you aren’t sure that you want a business website immediately, it is a good idea to search for and purchase one ahead of time, reserving it for when you need it.
When choosing an LLC name, keep in mind that you are not able to include any words that run the risk of confusing your business with a government entity. This can include words like “IRS,” “Treasury,” “FBI,” or “State Department.”
You should also be aware that using words such as “bank,” “attorney,” or “university” may require the presence of a properly licensed individual in your LLC and filing additional paperwork.
Using a Trade Name
You can use a trade, or DBA (doing business as), name for your LLC in New Hampshire. This means that you will continue using the legally registered LLC name on all official documents, but can use a different registered name when interacting with the public.
To start using a trade name in New Hampshire, you will need to file the application for Trade Name Registration. There is a $50 filing fee associated with this form, and you can file it online or by mailing the completed form and a check for the filing fee to the address below.
NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301
Step 2. Appoint a Registered Agent
A registered agent, also called an agent for service of process, is required for every LLC established in New Hampshire. You can appoint an individual, any member of your LLC, or a registered agent service that is authorized to conduct business in the state as your registered agent. As long as your appointee has a valid state address and is available during regular business hours, they are eligible to be your registered agent.
Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving all legal documents, government communications, and necessary tax documents, essentially acting as a contact point between your LLC and federal agencies or the state of New Hampshire. They will also be the responsible party that is contacted in the event of a lawsuit against your LLC.
Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
To legally establish your LLC, you will need to file a Certificate of Formation of a New Hampshire Limited Liability Company with the Secretary of State’s office. Below, you can find some of the information that will be required to complete the form.
- Your LLC’s name
- Your LLC’s principal office address, email, and phone number
- Your LLC’s intended business
- Your LLC’s registered agent’s name and address
- If your LLC is manager-managed or member-managed
- A complete list of LLC managers or members (depending on management structure)
- The signature of your LLC’s manager or any member
Once you complete the Certificate of Formation, you can file it online, by mail, or in person. There is a $100 filing fee that is due at the time of filing.
To file your Certificate of Formation online, you will need to use the New Hampshire QuickStart system provided by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office. Create an account using the online portal and then follow all directions to file your document and establish your LLC.
Online filings should take anywhere between 3 and 7 days to fully process.
If you want to file your Certificate of Formation by mail, you will need to print out this form and fill it in with black ink. You may also type onto the form before printing it out.
Place the completed form into an envelope along with a check for the $100 filing fee made out to the New Hampshire Secretary of State. You will then mail the sealed envelope to the address below.
NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301
It can take up to 3 weeks for your mail filing to be fully processed.
To file your Certificate of Formation in person, you will need to complete the form and then print it out. Bring the document along with a method of payment to the address below. In-person filings typically experience faster processing and can be completed within a few hours up to a few days.
State House Annex
3rd Floor, Rm 317
25 Capitol St
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
New Hampshire does not require you to create an operating agreement for your LLC, but it is a good idea to create one anyway. An operating agreement sets clear guidelines for how exactly your LLC is managed, the rights that members or managers have, and what to do in the case that your LLC dissolves or experiences a lawsuit.
Most business bank accounts, loan applications, and other business services will require you to have an operating agreement on hand to demonstrate your LLC as a separately operating business entity before you can secure funding or business services.
If you choose not to create an LLC operating agreement, New Hampshire law will dictate how your LLC is to be managed in the event of dissolution, conflict, or lawsuit. This may not be in your best interest, so creating an operating agreement is a good idea to protect yourself and your assets.
Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
Once your LLC is legally established in New Hampshire, you will need to apply with the IRS for a Tax ID number, also known as an EIN (Employer Identification Number). Any LLC that has more than one member, any single-member LLC that wants to hire employees, and any LLC that chooses to be taxed as a corporation is required to apply for an EIN.
Your EIN will be used to identify your business to the IRS on all tax documents and necessary government filings; the number acts much like a social security number for your LLC. If you want to hire employees, file federal taxes, open business bank or credit accounts, or apply for business funding, you will need an EIN.
It is free to apply for your EIN with the IRS, and you can file the application online or by mailing it in. Keep in mind that if you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, you will need to file for your EIN through the mail.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for your EIN is online; you will receive your number once your application is completed. Visit the IRS website to apply for your EIN for free.
You will need to fill out this form when applying for your LLC by mail. If you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, leave section 7b blank. Mail the completed form to the address below.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
You can check the status of your application or ask any questions by calling the IRS at (267) 941-1099.
Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
After your LLC has been legally established in New Hampshire, there are several requirements you need to keep up with to ensure your LLC stays running smoothly.
File Annual Reports
Every LLC conducting business in New Hampshire is required to turn in an annual report. This report keeps the state up to date with your business and allows you a chance to make any changes to your LLC information yearly.
The report is due by April 1st each year and has a $100 filing fee associated with it. You will need to file the report online using the New Hampshire QuickStart system.
Separate Your Business Finances
A business credit or debit account can help keep your LLC’s finances separate from any personal ones, establishing the LLC as an independently operating business. It is not required by New Hampshire to open a business bank account, but it may be a good idea to establish one anyway.
You will most likely need to show your Articles of Organization, Operating Agreement, EIN, or possible other LLC documents to open a bank account for your LLC. Compare all of your options before making a choice on which bank account to open, as different banks will have varying minimum required balances or credit spending limits. You want to be sure that you select something that is the best for your LLC’s needs.
You may also want to look into insuring your business, as this can be another step in protecting your assets in case of a lawsuit or other major issue with your LLC.
Keep up With Federal and State Taxes
In addition to meeting annual report requirements and separating out your business finances, you will need to be sure that you stay on top of both federal and state tax requirements to avoid any major issues or penalties.
Federal Tax Requirements
There are several different tax structures you can choose from to use in your LLC that may meet different company needs; each tax structure comes with its own unique type of federal taxation. This article can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the differences between each type and help you decide which is best for you.
In general, most LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships or partnerships. This means that you will be expected to file Schedule C along with your individual income tax return to declare any income that you receive through your LLC.
When using this tax structure, you should keep in mind that you will most likely need to pay self-employment tax (which has a rate of 15.3%), in addition to any income tax. You may also need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid any IRS fines; the IRS website gives more details on this.
If you want, you can choose to have your LLC taxed as an S Corporation or a C Corporation. You will need to fill out IRS Form 8832 and IRS Form 2553 to declare this. After these forms have been processed, your LLC will be treated as a corporation and expected to file a separate corporate tax return with the IRS.
New Hampshire Business Taxes
Almost every business operating in New Hampshire will be subject to the state’s business profit tax, which is a tax on income earned through your business. The state also has a business enterprise tax, which is a tax on the enterprise value of your business.
However, you should note that while your business can be subject to these two types of taxes, if your LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnerships (a pass-through entity), you will not have to pay additional income tax on your individual tax return. LLCs taxed as S or C Corporations may have additional taxes to pay.
These business taxes will need to be registered for and paid through the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. The website can also give you more information about who is liable to pay these taxes and how to calculate what you owe.
State Employer Taxes
If your LLC will have employees, you will likely need to register as an employer with the New Hampshire Employment Security agency. You will need to pay unemployment insurance taxes for your employees, but there is not a state withholding tax to pay, though you should keep in mind that you may be required to pay federal employer withholding taxes.
Acquire Necessary Permits and Licenses
There is no general business license required in New Hampshire, but depending on the nature of your LLC’s business, you may be required to obtain permits and licenses on a local level. You can check with your city or county clerk’s office to figure out which licenses you may need. You can also check this list here of required licenses for professional occupations in New Hampshire.
Additionally, you may be required to obtain certain permits and licenses for your LLC on a federal level. Whether this is needed depends mostly on the type of business you are running and the services you are offering. For help determining if you need to meet additional federal licensure requirements, you can use the directory on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.
If you are confused at any point in the process of starting your business, you can access free business advice, grant assistance, and LLC set-up guidance through the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development.
New Hampshire LLC Resources
The below list of resources can help you through every step of the way when it comes to setting up and running your LLC in the state.
- Available LLC name search
- Available domain name search
- Reserve an LLC name
- Register a trade name
- Certificate of Formation online file
- Certificate of Formation printable form
- IRS EIN online free application
- New Hampshire QuickStart system
- IRS Form 8832 and Form 2553 for LLC corporation declaration
- New Hampshire business tax information
- New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
- New Hampshire Employment Security agency
- Information on New Hampshire business and professional licensing
- S. Small Business Administration
New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
New Hampshire LLC FAQs
These frequently asked questions may help to shed more light on the New Hampshire LLC formation process.
In New Hampshire, it costs $100 to file your Certificate of Formation. You may also pay an extra $15 to reserve an LLC name ahead of time, or an extra $50 to file for a DBA in the state.
The cheapest way to start your LLC in New Hampshire is to file the Certificate of Formation online, without reserving an LLC name ahead of time or registering a trade name. This will only cost you $100 to start your LLC.
How long it takes to form your LLC depends on which method you use to file. In person filing is typically the shortest, taking anywhere between a few hours to a few days, while online filing will take anywhere between 3 and 7 days.
Filing the Certificate of Formation by mail is the longest, and can take up to 3 weeks before being fully processed.
How much your New Hampshire LLC pays in taxes depends on the individual tax structure you have set up. You will also likely be liable to pay business profit tax and business enterprise tax in the state, in addition to any employer taxes.
In New Hampshire, you will need to file a state LLC report annually. This report is due by April 1st of each year, must be filed online, and has a $100 filing fee associated with it.
If you are done conducting business under your LLC in the state, you will need to file a Certificate of Cancellation with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. This form can be filed online, by mail, or in person and has a $35 filing fee associated with it.
You should also check your operating agreement and abide by the agreed-upon terms to wrap up any loose ends in your business and shut down operations.