How to Search Available LLC Names in New Hampshire
1. Check New Hampshire LLC Naming Guidelines
Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.
Some key guidelines for New Hampshire LLC names include:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name may contain the name of a member or manager of the LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes New Hampshire reserved names.
Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.
New Hampshire also has the following LLC name restrictions:
- Your name cannot imply that the LLC was organized for any non-permitted purpose or one not outlined in its certificate of formation.
- Your name cannot include the name of a political party without authorization.
- Your name cannot include the words "farmers' market" unless the LLC meets the definition of a farmers' market.
For more information, check out New Hampshire’s official state statutes.
2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search
Once you know your LLC name meets New Hampshire guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by searching the New Hampshire QuickStart Business Search tool.
It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In New Hampshire, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from any other registered or reserved business name in the state.
The following differences do NOT make a New Hampshire business name distinguishable:
- Plural forms
- Phonetic spellings
- Prefixes and suffixes (excluding antonyms)
- Business entity type designators
- Numeric designation
- Punctuation and special characters
- Numerals vs. spelled out numbers
Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.
What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in New Hampshire, it’s time to come up with some new ideas.
How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name
Reserve Your Name
You can optionally reserve your LLC name in New Hampshire for up to 120 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself.
Register Your Name
If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. New Hampshire provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Certificate of Formation.
Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called a trade name in New Hampshire, is a separate process that requires filing with the Department of State.
New Hampshire LLC Name Search FAQ
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in New Hampshire?
You can use the New Hampshire QuickStart Business Search tool to see if your preferred business name is available.
Should I name my LLC after myself?
While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this.
One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.
What words can’t be used in a New Hampshire LLC name?
Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.
New Hampshire restricts LLCs from using words in their names that imply the LLC was organized for a non-permitted purpose as well as the names of political parties.
Should I use an LLC name generator?
If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.
What is a brand name?
A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.
Do I have to include LLC in my name?
Yes. New Hampshire requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.
Do I need to renew my business name in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed every five years.
You can renew the name online or wait for the Department of State you send you a hard copy renewal form. The filing fee is $50.
Can my business name be different from my LLC name in New Hampshire?
Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or a trade name in New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, trade names are filed with the Department of State.
Does my LLC need a DBA name?
Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about New Hampshire DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting New Hampshire from the dropdown menu.