Step 1) Pick a Name for Your New Hampshire Corporation

Choose a Business NameWhen starting a business in New Hampshire, you must come up with a valid business name. A valid business name must contain any of the following words according to statutory requirements: ‘Corporation’, ‘Limited’, or ‘Incorporated’.

As an alternative, any of its corresponding abbreviations like ‘Corp.’, ‘Ltd.’, or ‘Inc.’ can also be used in lieu of the full words. Lastly, any word or abbreviation in a foreign language that corresponds to the same meaning as those enumerated above can also be used. Also for the name to be valid, it must be noticeably unique from any existing business entity duly registered with the Secretary of State of New Hampshire.

To check if the name of the business is valid, use the New Hampshire business name search tool. If it is, an Application for Reservation of Name can be filed to the Secretary of State’s office valid for 120 days. This application should be done through postal mail with the enclosed $15 filing fee.


Step 2) File the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCWhen incorporating in New Hampshire, the Articles of Incorporation has to be submitted to the Secretary of State.

Further, when filing a Corporation in New Hampshire, the following information should be provided: name and address of the Corporation; name, address, and signature of the Corporation’s Registered Agent; name and address of each single one of the incorporators; type of business; tax closing month; and the number of shares authorized for issuance.

In addition, the Form SRA should be filed together with your Articles of Incorporation. The forms should be filed through postal with the enclosed filing fee.

Filing fee: $100


Step 3) Find a New Hampshire Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentEvery New Hampshire Corporation must hire a Registered Agent. This New Hampshire Registered Agent is required for compliance purposes and to ensure that you can incorporate the business.

There are statutory requirements that must be fulfilled for the position. A Registered Agent can be an individual who is a resident of New Hampshire or any other business entity that is duly registered to operate in the state. A physical street address in New Hampshire should be provided upon designation.

Prior to accepting the designation, the Registered Agent in New Hampshire should consent to accept service of process on behalf of your organization. Through IncFile’s Registered Agent Services, a business can find a fully qualified and reliable Registered Agent.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is an important storage organizer for a Corporation. This is where all New Hampshire Corporation registration documents, tax reports and returns, business licenses and permits and other pertinent documents are stored for immediate access.

A Corporate Records Book should be available through the local office supply shop or you can directly order via Amazon.


Step 5) Elect the Initial Directors for Your New Hampshire Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsWhen forming a Corporation in New Hampshire, it is the responsibility of the incorporator to elect an initial number of directors. These directors will serve in the New Hampshire Corporation until the first annual shareholder’s meeting is scheduled.

The incorporator will then have to create an Incorporator’s Statement detailing the name and complete address of each of the initial directors. Then, it should be signed by the incorporator and filed in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Hold the Initial Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsAs soon as the initial set of directors are elected, the next step to starting a New Hampshire Corporation would be to schedule an organizational meeting. For this meeting, the following agenda should be decided upon by the incorporator and the board of directors:

The minutes of the meeting should be prepared and signed by the initial directors of the Corporation. Then this should be filed to the Corporate Records Book.


Step 7) Take Care of Your New Hampshire Business Tax and Corporation Licensing Requirements

Business LicensesAs part of the requirements of incorporating and New Hampshire Corporation maintenance, you must complete the business tax and license deliverables. To complete your New Hampshire business taxes, follow this three-step process:

  1. Process an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through an online application at the IRS website.
  2. Have complete understanding of New Hampshire business taxes and adhere to each and every single requirement. Our guide on New Hampshire Business Taxes should prove helpful.
  3. For Corporations that will elect an S Corp status, a Form 2553 should be filed complete with the signature of all shareholders (optional).

Then, in addition to business tax obligations, you should also obtain the necessary New Hampshire business licenses and permits so you can legally operate in the said state.

Not doing so or forgetting to comply with any of the requirements for this deliverable is subject to fines and penalties as per statutory requirements. For more information on how to take care of these obligations, use our New Hampshire Business Licenses and Regulations guide.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountThe next step to starting a New Hampshire Corporation is to start a separate bank account from your personal one. This is important because you will be able to keep all assets separate in the eyes of the law.

Although there are many options available, do the research to see which is right for you and your business. If you’re not sure where to get started, here is a great roundup of the best banking options.


To-Do After Starting a New Hampshire Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a New Hampshire Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Write a Funding Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanWhen you build a business, it’s only right that you have a plan of action in mind. To ensure that you can follow through this plan of action, put this into writing by means of a business plan.

Most large organizations go for strong business plans to implement proven methodologies and steps that ensure business success, and you should do the same regardless if you’re a small business. The links below will direct you towards writing an effective business plan.

Quick Links in Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe next step when starting a New Hampshire business is to build a professional website. A website is great for building credibility and trust with your future customers.

Without hiring a web designer or building everything yourself with code, WordPress is my favorite option. It is free, easy to use, and you can learn how to get started with this free guide.


3) Make Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporation bylaws sets a precedence on the basic ground rules of your organization’s operations.

While Corporation bylaws are not required by the state, it also proves the legitimacy of your Corporation to outside entities such as bankers, investors, and creditors so you should always create one.

Note that this guide is only for informational purposes in forming a New Hampshire Corporation. If you’re looking to know more about the specifics of how to form a Corporation in New Hampshire or you’re starting a business in New Hampshire, seek the expert advice of a business lawyer.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom