How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire

L L C members happy after starting an L L C in New Hampshire

It’s easy to form an LLC in New Hampshire online yourself. Just follow these steps:

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the NH Certificate of Formation
  4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

Or, use a professional service:

four point eight out of five stars Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Filing Fee)

three point four out of five stars LegalZoom ($79 + State Filing Fee)

Starting an LLC in New Hampshire is Easy

You can form a New Hampshire LLC online by registering the Certificate of Formation with the Department of State. The cost of NH LLC registration is $100.

Follow our How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire guide below to get started.

Steps to form an L L C in New Hampshire

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, visit our How to Start an LLC guide.

Step 1: Create A Name For Your New Hampshire LLC

Before you register your New Hampshire LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.

We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.

Naming Your LLC

First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.

Next, make sure your name meets New Hampshire guidelines:

  • it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC, or L.L.C.
  • it doesn't contain restricted words or phrases (these often include words like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
  • it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in New Hampshire
  • full list of New Hampshire naming guidelines

Next, do a New Hampshire LLC name search with the Department of State to find out if your name is available in New Hampshire.

If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Certificate of Formation with the Department of State.

Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.

We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.

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Once you register a domain name for your LLC, consider setting up a business phone system to establish credibility and enhance your customer service. Nextiva provides a plethora of useful features and a quick, easy setup. Try Nextiva.

Using a New Hampshire Trade Name (DBA)

A New Hampshire DBA (doing business as), also known as a trade name, is any registered name that a business operates under that isn't its legal business name. A trade name can be used by any type of business, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Learn how to get a DBA in our New Hampshire DBA guide.

Step 2: Appoint A Registered Agent

When you file your Certificate of Formation, you'll need to list a registered agent.

A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC. To learn more about New Hampshire Registered Agents, read our guide.

Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.

Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:

  • You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
  • If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
  • You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers a free year of registered agent services when you form your LLC ($29 plus state fees).

Step 3: File the NH Certificate of Formation

It’s time to officially form your LLC by filing your Certificate of Formation with the Nebraska Department of State .

You can file online with the Department of State or fill out a hard copy of the NH Certificate of Formation and mail it in. The filing fee is $100. 

Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.

You'll need to know the following information to complete the form

  1. Entity Name and Address
  2. Business Purpose
  3. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  4. Governing Authority Type (LLC Management Structure)

For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our New Hampshire Certificate of Formation guide.

Mail Your Certificate of Formation:

Send the form and payment (payable to the Department of State) to:

Corporation Division, NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301

How long does it take to get a New Hampshire LLC approved? LLC processing time is 7 to 10 business days by mail.

Step 4: Create A New Hampshire LLC Operating Agreement

Creating a New Hampshire LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having an operating agreement in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises. 

Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.

Your operating agreement should outline the following:

  • Each member’s responsibilities
  • How new members will be admitted
  • How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
  • How profits and dividends will be distributed

You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with New Hampshire business law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.

Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

Step 5: Obtain An EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of New Hampshire will use this number to track your business activity.

Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File Federal and State taxes
  • Hire employees

The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in New Hampshire is by using the free online application on the IRS website.

Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.

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Steps After Forming an LLC in New Hampshire

After forming your New Hampshire LLC, it's important to:

Open A Business Bank Account

A business bank account helps separate personal expenses and company expenses, which is required to maintain your New Hampshire LLC's corporate veil. A corporate veil protects your personal assets from creditors in potential lawsuits against your LLC or Business.

Learn more by reading this guide to Banking for Entrepreneurs. For a multi-member LLC, you'll also want to set up capital accounts for LLC members. We also recommend checking out our review of the best business bank accounts.

Get A Business Credit Card

A business credit card will help separate personal and business expenses while building your company's credit history. A strong credit history will be useful for raising capital in the form of venture capital, angel investment, or small business loans.

Set Up Business Accounting

Hiring a business accountant is one of the best ways to ensure you’re taking advantage of LLC tax benefits; possibly saving you and your business thousands of dollars per year.

When forming an LLC in New Hampshire, it’s a good idea to start a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you start your business to help set your company up for success.

Get Business Insurance

Business insurance helps manage risk. The most common forms of business insurance are general liability, professional liability, and workers' compensation.

Find out the real cost of getting insurance for your business. Get a free quote or call 855-965-3168.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Research New Hampshire Business Licenses and Permits

To operate an LLC in New Hampshire, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits. 

Business licensing and permit requirements vary from state to state. To get started, visit our How to Get a Business License in New Hampshire guide. To help facilitate this process, you can also utilize a business license service.

File Your New Hampshire LLC Annual Report

New Hampshire LLCs need to file an annual report with the Department of State each year by April 1. This can be submitted online via the NH QuickStart platform along with the $100 filing fee.

Understand New Hampshire State Tax Requirements

New Hampshire is one of five states that doesn’t impose a statewide sales tax. But, if your LLC has employees, you must sign up for unemployment insurance tax through the New Hampshire Employment Security’s NH Unemployment Insurance System.

Instead of requiring LLC members to pay income tax on their share of the company’s revenue, New Hampshire imposes a 7.6% Business Profits Tax (BPT) on any LLCs with gross receipts over $92,000. LLCs that don’t meet this threshold do not have to file a BPT return. 

Moreover, businesses with gross receipts in excess of $250,000 or an enterprise value tax base of over $250,000 must pay the .55% Business Enterprise Tax (BET). Even if your LLC does not meet the BET threshold, you must still file a return. 

Understand Your New Hampshire LLC’s Federal Tax Requirements

Most New Hampshire LLCs will need to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year using Form 1065: Partnership Return (multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 - Schedule C (single-member LLCs).

How you pay yourself will affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

Know Your New Hampshire LLC’s Federal Tax Election Options

Pass-through taxation entails a business’s profits passing through to the LLC member’s individual tax returns. Like a sole proprietorship, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, also known as a disregarded entity. 

Once this process is completed and after any tax-deductible expenses are taken out, the LLC members pay self-employment taxes and income tax on their portion of the business income. 

Alternatively, New Hampshire LLCs can choose to elect to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp) or C corporation (C corp). If S corporation tax status is elected, LLC members can be taxed as employees of the business, potentially reducing tax burden.

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