How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire: Cost and Registration Steps 2022

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Last updated September 5, 2022
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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how to start an LLC in New Hamshire

To open an LLC in New Hampshire, you have to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Once the Secretary approves this document, your company is officially registered.

Below we’ve put together a Step by Step guide to starting an LLC in New Hampshire to help you get going.


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How to Form an LLC in New Hampshire: Step by Step

The Small Business Administration has a number of helpful resources, including information on how to register your LLC, how to obtain a business license, etc. You can also find information about how to start an LLC in New Hampshire on the Secretary of State’s website.

Step 1: Name Your New Hampshire LLC

First, one of the most important aspects of starting an LLC is choosing an appropriate name for your business. It must comply with certain rules and regulations set forth by your state’s law, and it should be easily identifiable to potential customers.

Your LLC name will be used on all official documents and correspondence related to your business, so it’s important to choose a name that is both professional and reflects the nature of your business. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an LLC name:

  • Make sure the name you choose is available. You can do this by searching your state’s business registry or contacting a professional incorporation service;
  • The name you choose must be distinguishable from any other business names already registered with the state. This means that you cannot choose a name that is too similar to another company’s, as it could lead to confusion;
  • Choose a name that is easily remembered and spells out the nature of your business. This will make it easier for potential customers to find you when they are searching for your products or services online;
  • Steer clear of offensive or suggestive words, as this could turn off potential customers and make it difficult to obtain business insurance;
  • Finally, keep in mind that you may need to register your business name with the county clerk in the county where your business is located. This is typically done when you first open your business, but it is always best to check with your local county clerk to be sure;

Words Your Business Name Must Use

The state of New Hampshire has some specific rules and regulations when it comes to naming your business. These are words all business names must include: 

  • “Ltd.”;
  • “Limited”;
  • “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company”.

Any other words or abbreviations cannot be used in lieu of these.

Words Your Business Name Can’t Use

Here are some words that you cannot use in your business name:

  • “Bank”, “Banking”, “Savings and Loan”, or any variation thereof;
  • “Insurance”, “Surety”, or any variation thereof;
  • “Trust” or any variation thereof;
  • “Cooperative” or any variation thereof.

These are just a few examples – be sure to check with the state of New Hampshire for a complete list of prohibited words.

Choosing an appropriate name for your LLC is an important first step in the incorporation process. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your LLC has a professional and recognizable name that complies with all state regulations.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent to Get an LLC in New Hampshire

Appointing a registered agent (RA) is an important part of forming an LLC in New Hampshire as it ensures that your LLC can be properly served with legal documents, such as summons and complaints. 

To appoint an RA, you just need to list the name and address of your chosen agent in your Articles of Organization. You can appoint an RA when you file your Articles of Organization with the New Hampshire Secretary of State or at any time afterward.

Once you have appointed a registered agent, it is important to keep their contact details up to date. You can update your resident agent details by filing a Statement of Change with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

There are three main types of professionals who can serve as registered agents: attorneys, accountants, and business service providers. Each type of professional has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to serving as an RA:

  • Attorneys are the most expensive type of professional to hire as a registered agent. However, they also offer the most comprehensive services;
  • Accountants are less expensive than attorneys, but they may not offer as many services;
  • Business service providers are the least expensive type of professional to hire.

However, they may only offer limited services. It is important to choose a registered agent that is right for your business. Considering the cost, the services offered, and the type of business you have will help you make the best decision.

It is Not Mandatory to Hire a Professional

You can appoint yourself as the RA, but we recommend hiring a professional service. They will have experience dealing with the Secretary of State and they will know how to forward important documents to you in a timely manner.

If you do not want to use a professional service, you can name an individual as your LLC’s registered agent. The individual must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Reside in New Hampshire;
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process on behalf of your LLC. 

The most important thing to remember when choosing a registered agent is that they must be reliable. They will be responsible for keeping your company compliant with state regulations. 

Step 3: File Your LLC Articles of Organization

The next step is to file the Articles of Organization with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. Also known as Certificate of Formation, it is a legal document filed with a state government by an LLC. The Certificate must include: 

  • The name of the LLC;
  • The address of the LLC;
  • The names of the members;
  • The LLC’s purpose.

You can file the Certificate of Organization online, by mail, or in person. The filing fee is $100.


What Is A Certificate of Organization?

An LLC is formed when its members file the Articles with the state. The Certificate of Organization must be signed by a representative of the LLC and filed with the state in which the LLC is formed.

Once the Certificate of Organization has been filed, the LLC is officially formed and can begin conducting business.

This document is required in order to:

  • Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS;
  • Open a business bank account;
  • Register the LLC with the state. 

Step 4: Draft an Operating Agreement

Once you have filed your Certificate of Organization and appointed an RA, you will need to create an Operating Agreement (OA). An OA is a document that outlines the rules and regulations for the LLC. It should be signed by all of the members of the LLC.

The OA does not need to be filed with the state. However, it is a good idea to keep it in your records.

What Is An LLC Operating Agreement?

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of a LLC. It is not required by law in most states, yet it is highly recommended as it can help prevent future disagreements and provide protection in the event that the LLC is sued.

The OA typically includes provisions such as:

  • The percentage of ownership interest held by each member;
  • How profits and losses will be distributed;
  • What happens if a member leaves the LLC;
  • Voting rights, meetings, and other important decisions that need to be made by the LLC.

Step 5: Obtain a Business License for Your LLC in New Hampshire

You will need to obtain a business license from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. Once you’ve done it, you will be able to operate your LLC in New Hampshire.

Different Types of Business Licenses in New Hampshire

There are different types of business licenses in New Hampshire, depending on the type of business you are operating. The most common type is the general business license. Other types include:

  • Alcoholic beverage license;
  • Auctioneer license;
  • Auto dealer license;
  • Charitable gaming license;
  • Contractor license;
  • Daycare license;
  • Funeral director/embalmer license;
  • Insurance agent license;
  • Pawnbroker license;
  • Real estate broker license;
  • Restaurant license;
  • Retail food store license;
  • Taxi driver license.

The cost of the business license for your LLC formation New Hampshire depends on the type of business you are operating. For example, the cost of a general business license is $50.

Step 6: Get an EIN for Your New Hampshire LLC Registration 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. It is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain other business entities. You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax.

EINs are used for federal tax purposes, including the following: 

  • Filing of tax returns;
  • Applications for employer tax accounts;
  • Reporting of wages paid to employees. 
Employers who do not have an EIN must obtain one in order to comply with their tax obligations. You will also need this number if you want to hire employees or open a business bank account.

The process for obtaining an EIN is relatively simple and completely free of charge.

New Hampshire LLC Cost: How Much Is An LLC In NH?

The main cost to form an LLC New Hampshire is $100 for the filing fee. The total LLC New Hampshire cost is thus $100. There are additional fees your LLC may be required to pay and other potential filing costs that include:

  • All LLCs are required to file an annual report (statement of information) with the Department of State in New Hampshire. This process is to be submitted by April 1st and costs $100. If not filed on time you will receive a penalty fee of $50;
  • You can be your own registered agent, however, using an RA service is more beneficial. Getting an RA can range in price, starting from $39. Northwest Registered Agent provides a great service for $125;
  • Business Profit Tax varies. New Hampshire imposes a tax of 8.2% on LLCs grossing over $50,000. This tax is due on the 15th of the 3rd month, following the end of the tax year;
  • LLC Business Enterprise Tax varies. This tax is based on the amount your company earned. New Hampshire’s Department of Revenue website can help you with the calculations for the total amount. Late filings will be required a fee of $50;
  • Costs to form A Foreign LLC in New Hampshire are required if you have an LLC formed in another state and you’re looking to expand your operations in the state of New Hampshire. To register a New Hampshire LLC will cost $100 and this can be done by filing an Application for Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration;
  • Your business license must be renewed on an annual basis. The cost depends on the type of business. For example, the cost of renewing a general business license is $50. Failure to renew your business license can result in a fine of up to $500;
  • Reserving your business name costs $15 and allows you up to 120 days to hold the name before the formation of your LLC, by filing an LLC Name Reservation;
  • “Doing Business As” (DBA) Name. There’s a $50 filing fee to create and use a name other than your legal LLC business name to do business under. This is done by Filing an Application of Registered Trade Name;
  • A New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing is often required by banks and other financial lending services, which can be done through the Department of State for a fee of $7 if paid online or $5 if paid by mail.

First Tasks After Creating an LLC in New Hampshire

Now that you’ve successfully formed your LLC in New Hampshire, here are some next steps you should take:

  • Open a business bank account. This will help you maintain personal and business expenses separate and makes bookkeeping and tax filing easier;
  • Apply for any necessary licenses and permits. Depending on your business type and location, you may need to obtain local, state, and/or federal licenses or permits to operate legally;
  • Get business insurance. This will help protect your LLC from potential risks and liabilities;
  • Determine your tax obligations. LLCs are taxed as pass-through entities by the IRS, which means that the LLC itself is not taxed on profits. However, you will still need to file annual tax returns and pay taxes on any profits earned by the LLC;

Keep Your Company Compliant

Now that you know how to get a LLC in New Hampshire, it’s important to keep your company compliant with all state requirements. This includes: 

  • Maintaining your annual reports and filing them on time;
  • Keeping up with your biennial reports. 

You should also be sure to stay current on your taxes and file your tax returns on time. Additionally, it’s important to have a registered agent in New Hampshire at all times, as well as to keep your operating agreement up to date. 

By staying compliant with all state requirements, you’ll help ensure that your LLC remains in good standing and can continue operating without any problems.

Conclusion

Forming an LLC in New Hampshire is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a few weeks. There are a few things to keep in mind, such as obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, appointing a registered agent, and filing annual reports. 

By doing so, you can protect your personal assets from being seized in the event that your business is sued. An LLC also allows you to take advantage of tax breaks and can make it easier to attract investors.

If you’re starting a business, forming an LLC is a smart move that can help you avoid costly legal and financial problems down the road. However, following these steps will help you in setting up an LLC in New Hampshire and being successful.

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