Step 1) Pick a Name for Your New Hampshire Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameThe first step to forming a Non-Profit in New Hampshire is to decide on a business name. The name selected should be distinguishable from or not the same or most likely to be confused with any existing business entity registered with the Secretary of State.

For further statutory requirements on New Hampshire Non-Profit name, check the New Hampshire Name Availability Guidelines. When you have come up with a name, you can check for its availability using the state’s business name database tool.


Step 2) Pick the Incorporators and Directors for Your New Hampshire Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsThe next step to starting a New Hampshire Non-Profit is to choose the incorporators and directors. For statutory requirements, at least five incorporators all of legal age should be chosen. And at least another five voting members should comprise your board of directors.

These members should not be in the same immediate family or connected to you by blood or marriage. These New Hampshire Non-Profit officers and directors will be present to participate in decision making during the organizational meeting.


Step 3) Choose a Registered Agent for Your New Hampshire Non-Profit

Choose a Registered AgentA New Hampshire Registered Agent is required for compliance purposes. Hence, you should also meet state requirements on hiring an agent to be compliant.

For a Registered Agent, the following is required: (1) the agent can be an individual or another business entity that is duly registered to conduct business in New Hampshire; (2) a physical street address in New Hampshire must also be provided.

Before the designation, the Registered Agent in New Hampshire should agree to accept service of process in behalf of your organization. For the quick compliance of this state requirement, Rocket Lawyer’s Registered Agent Services is a reliable option.


Step 4) File Your Non-Profit Articles of Agreement

Register an LLCTo become a legal Non-Profit organization in New Hampshire, you should file a Non-Profit Articles of Agreement. A same of this form can be found at the New Hampshire State Library.

Aside from the standard name and address of Non-Profit, name, address, and signature of Registered Agent information required, there are also additional information that must be provided, these include:

Aside from this information, there are also certain languages that must be included to be exempted from federal tax from the IRS. The following additional languages should be included in the Articles of Agreement:


Step 5) Schedule an Initial Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe initial meeting is referred to as the organizational meeting of your Non-Profit. During this scheduled conference, the following agenda will be decided upon collectively:

The minutes of the meeting should be prepared after the actual meeting, and should be signed by all participants of the said meeting.


Step 6) Maintain a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsSince it is very important to keep all Non-Profit documents in one folder within the office of your organization, you must have a Corporate Records Binder.

This folder is where all your important documents should be filed including your New Hampshire Non-Profit registration paperwork, Non-Profit bylaws, copy of Articles of Agreement, and other pertinent legal documents. If you haven’t bought a Corporate Records Binder yet, you can purchase it at the local office supply shop. Alternatively, you can also order through Amazon.


Step 7) Get an Employer Identification for Your Non-Profit Organization

Get an EIN for Your LLCEven as a Non-Profit, you need to get an Employer Identification Number. This nine-series number will be the unique identification of your Non-Profit.

When you begin operations, your EIN will be an important requirement in almost all transactions, such as when you’re opening a bank account. There are several ways to obtain a New Hampshire Non-Profit EIN, but the easiest way to go is to file for an online application at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a business bank account you will be able to keep all financial assets separate. Not only does it protect your personal assets, but it makes paying taxes a lot more simple.

This will keep all of your business and personal finances separate, which makes tax time much less stressful. You can open an account through your current bank or through one of these.


Step 9) Apply for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesNow for this step, there are some requirements you must comply to be exempted from New Hampshire Non-Profit tax registration.

However, to be on the safe side, you can also refer to the New Hampshire Secretary of State for any further details on registering for Non-Profit taxes. For now, the following steps should be taken to apply for federal and state tax exemptions.

1) File Form 1023 for Federal Tax Exemptions

To file for federal tax exemptions from the Internal Revenue Service, a Form 1023 or the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code should be filed and completed.

This rather lengthy form requires a lot of information from the incorporator and about the organization so it is highly advised that great caution should be practiced when filling out the form. Everything should be double checked as well to prevent erroneous entries that can be reason enough that your tax exemption application should be disapproved.

An alternative to this very lengthy form is Form 1023-EZ or the Streamlined Application for Registration of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, this form can only be used by smaller Non-Profits, those that have gross annual receipts lesser than $50,000 and total accumulated assets lesser than $250,000.

2) Apply for New Hampshire State Tax Exemptions

As soon as your federal state exemption is approved, you can then apply for New Hampshire state tax exemptions. You may be required for filing requirements based on your income earnings, so make sure to check with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue for verification.

3) Additional State Report and Registration Requirements

As soon as you are granted the 501(c)(3) tax-exemption status from the IRS, you must immediately register with the Charitable Trusts Unit of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. Additionally, check with the said office as well before you engage in any fund drive activities.


Step 10) Handle Your New Hampshire Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesAfter making sure your business is registered for taxes, adhere to the appropriate licenses, permits, and regulations. This will help you operate legally at a state and federal level.

To learn more about the obligations you will need to adhere to, check out this resource roundup built by the SBA. If you are nervous about this step and would rather professionals do the research for you, here is a great package.


To-Do After Starting a

New Hampshire Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of New Hampshire. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Ready Your New Hampshire Non-Profit for Success

Write a Business PlanYou can prepare your New Hampshire Non-Profit for success by preparing a solid business plan. This plan will serve as the guiding path to achieve the mission of your Non-Profit, allowing you to foresee problems and curtail possible distractions. To begin the process of writing a business plan, below are some resources.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTo be able to compete with existing businesses, you need to have a business website to build trust with your customers. The best alternative to hiring an expensive designer is to start a website on WordPress.

Bluehost has one-click-to-install option that a non-tech savvy entrepreneur can do themselves. Learn how to get started with this simple guide.

This guide is only for informational purposes when starting a New Hampshire Non-Profit. If you want to know the specifics of starting a Non-Profit organization in New Hampshire or New Hampshire Non-Profit organizations in general, consult a business lawyer.

Need Help Forming Your Organization?

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

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom