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How To Do A New Hampshire Business Name Search

How To Do A New Hampshire Business Name Search

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How To Do A New Hampshire Business Name Search

Starting a business in New Hampshire involves several steps, but one of the first is choosing a business name. This step is a little more complicated when setting up an LLC or corporation in New Hampshire because these business structures must have a unique name. 

To help you verify that your corporation or LLC is available to use, our step-by-step guide will show you how to quickly search the New Hampshire Department of State business name database for a business name.

Related: Guide to starting a business in New Hampshire

Step 1: Visit the New Hampshire Entity Name Database

Go to the New Hampshire Department of State website.

Step 2: Search your Business Name

Enter the name you would like to use under the “Search for a Business Name.”  In this example, we will do a New Hampshire LLC name search by looking up “Lawn Envy.”

How to do a New Hampshire Business Name Search

Step 3: Review Results

When we search the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Lawn Envy.” To register a corporation or LLC name in New Hampshire, the name must be distinguishable from the other registered names. If your search comes up with a business name that is exactly like the one you want, be sure to look at the last column named “Status.” If it says anything other than “Good Standing,” you may be able to register it.

In this example, if you were looking to form an LLC named Lawn Envy name, you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.

New Hampshire Business Entity Search 1

To find more information about any of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Business Name” column to see a detailed report.  In this example, we will look up “Lawn Envy LLC.”

New Hampshire LLC Name Result

While the name “Lawn Envy” by itself may not be available, other variants are such as “Lawn Envy of New Hampshire” or “Lawn Envy Pros” are.  Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “There were no records found.”  While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register. 

New Hampshire Business Name Availability

 

These are the basics of searching for a business name in New Hampshire.  Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names. 

Something to keep in mind is that even though each Corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the New Hampshire Secretary of State and are not required to be unique.  To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.

Related: Should I trademark my business name?

What information can be found on the New Hampshire business entity database?

The New Hampshire business search can find several pieces of information about the businesses in the state. Some of the highlights include:

  • Business Name
  • Business ID: Number assigned by the Department of State to a registered business entity.
  • Entity Type: Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.
  • Management Style: Used for LLCs, choices would either be Member-Managed or Member-Managed.
  • Business Creation Date: The date the entity formally started.
  • Principal Office Address: This could be the business’s physical address or the address where business records are stored.
  • Business Status: Good Standing means all reports and filing fees are up to date. Other results include “Expired,” “Withdrawn,” “Admin Dissolution,” or “Dissolved” The names of these results may be available to register.
  • Registered Agent Information:New Hampshire registered agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal, or tax notice need to be sent to the business.  This is often one of the owners, and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information.  Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t publicly listed.  
  • You also have access to the Certificate of Formation (LLC), Articles of Incorporation (Corporation), and Annual Reports.

New Hampshire Business Name Search FAQs

How do I find the business name of a New Hampshire sole proprietorship?

A New Hampshire sole proprietorship or general partnership can use the small business owner(s) full first and last name as the business name, but many will want to operate under a specific business name. In order to register the business name, they will register for a New Hampshire Trade Name, which is also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name, or Fictitious Business Name.

Similar to the New Hampshire corporation or LLC, Trade Name registrations need to be unique and are registered through the Department of State’s office.

How do I form a New Hampshire LLC?

Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use.  Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a New Hampshire LLC by reading our step-by-step guide.

While not required in New Hampshire, an LLC operating agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.

After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to register for any New Hampshire business licenses and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so the business is legal to operate.

What are the naming guidelines for a New Hampshire LLC?

In addition to being unique, the LLC’s name must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., etc., and it may not use restricted words such as bank or insurance unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.

Can an LLC name be reserved in New Hampshire?

If there is a name you want but are not ready to register the LLC, you can file the Application for Reservation of Name with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. The name reservation will hold a name for up to 120 days.

How To Do A New Hampshire Business Name Search

How To Do A New Hampshire Business Name Search

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