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New Hampshire LLC For Beginners: No Attorney Required 

New Hampshire LLC For Beginners: No Attorney Required 

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New Hampshire LLC For Beginners: No Attorney Required 

There’s a lot to do to start a business in New Hampshire, and it can be hard to know where to start. One of the earliest steps in the startup process is setting up the business structure, and one popular choice is a New Hampshire LLC, or Limited Liability Company.  The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes.

There are some requirements to setting one up right but, with our step-by-step guide, you can learn how to form an LLC in New Hampshire yourself without an attorney.

Related: How to start a business in New Hampshire

Why choose the LLC?

A New Hampshire Limited Liability Company is a type of business structure (also called a business entity) that gives your business the flexibility of being easy to manage while providing you and any other owners (known as members) protection from personal liability for the business’s debts and obligations. In simpler terms, if your business faces financial trouble, your personal assets (like your house or car) are usually safe.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal entity that protects the business owner’s personal assets. So, if the LLC is sued, the owner’s personal assets are usually protected.

Besides liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration, and management flexibility.

Steps To Form A New Hampshire LLC

Step 1: Choose an LLC Name

One of the first steps in forming a Limited Liability Company is to choose a name for your business. But before you can register your LLC with the state of New Hampshire, you need to make sure that the name you want to use is available.

This step is important because the name of each LLC must be distinguishable from other entity names registered in the state of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Secretary of State makes it easy to do a New Hampshire LLC name search, so you can quickly verify if your LLC name is available. 

In addition to the name being unique, the entity designator (identifier used at the end of the business name) must be either:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • or similar abbreviations

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Granite State Wellness LLC” and “Granite State Wellness, LLC” are both acceptable.

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

If you plan to use a different name from the one that you register (perhaps you want to run multiple businesses under the LLC), you can file for the use of a Trade Name (sometimes referred to as a DBA, Doing Business As name, fictitious business name, or assumed name). 

Before settling on a name, you may also want to see if a domain name is available in order to have a matching website address.

Step 2: Appoint a New Hampshire Registered Agent

In New Hampshire, every LLC will need to designate a registered agent. A registered agent is simply an individual or company with a New Hampshire street address who will be responsible for any legal correspondence. This includes the receipt of legal documents, such as lawsuit notifications, on behalf of the business.

While many LLC owners opt to fulfill this role themselves, some owners choose to hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent. Utilizing a registered agent service ensures that your LLC adheres to state requirements while offering an added layer of convenience and confidentiality since the owner’s personal address isn’t disclosed in public records.

Related: What is a New Hampshire registered agent?

Step 3: File the New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation

The paperwork to officially create an LLC in New Hampshire is called the Certificate of Formation (called the Articles of Organization in many states). The easiest option is to file on the Secretary of State’s website. Additionally, you can download the Certificate of Formation (Form LLC-1) and mail or hand-deliver the paperwork to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office.

Related: How to fill out the New Hampshire Certificate of Formation

If filing in person, take to the Secretary of State’s office at:
Corporation Division, New Hampshire Department of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301-498925

When filling out the Certificate of Formation, there are a few sections and terms that can be confusing. I’ll go over the major ones to help fill out this form.

Principal purpose: This section asks for information regarding the activities of the business.  To answer, you will need to look up a number called NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System).  This code is a six-digit number that classifies and categorizes the different industries.   

Related: What is a NAICS number?

Manager/Member Information: This section asks if the LLC is Member-Managed or Manager-Managed.

  • Member-Managed LLCs have an active involvement in the management of the LLC.
  • Manager-Managed LLCs are hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

Most LLCs are member-managed.

Duration: In this section, you can indicate how long it will remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a Perpetual duration; however, some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date.

Business address: In this section, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial principal office.  This address can be the LLC’s physical address, or it can be the address where the business records are stored.  This address does not have to be in New Hampshire, but you may not use a PO Box.

If you are worried about making a mistake when forming your LLC, or just don't want to deal with filling out state paperwork, an LLC formation service will help guide you through the process. My top recommended services include:

  • Zenbusiness - Best for beginners (starting at $0 plus state fees)
  • Bizee - Best prices for additional business services (starting at $0 plus state fees)
  • Northwest - Best privacy protection ($39 plus state fees)

What should you do after starting your LLC in New Hampshire?

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare a New Hampshire LLC Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, LLC member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed, and more.

Most states (including New Hampshire) do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished.
  • Members may not fully understand their roles and responsibilities, which could lead to costly disputes in the future.

Related: New Hampshire operating agreement template.

Obtain an EIN

If the LLC will hire employees or is owned by more than one member, an EIN is required. 

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number, FEIN, or Federal Tax ID Number) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

Related: How to apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account, such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original business formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Occasionally the bank may request a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to open a business bank account for your LLC

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be various business licenses and permits needed before starting your business. Some common registrations include:

  • Business license: All businesses operating in the State of New Hampshire are required to register with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office.  Some cities also require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start.
  • Professional license: Certain services in New Hampshire, such as barbershops, accountants, hunting and fishing guides, and others, must be licensed.

Related: What business licenses are needed in New Hampshire?

File New Hampshire LLC Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.  The annual report is due by April 1st of each year, and there is a state fee of $100.

Related: How to file a New Hampshire LLC Annual Report

File the Beneficial Owner Information Report

Beginning in 2024, any individual who owns at least 25% or has “substantial control” of an LLC or corporation in New Hampshire or any other state must file the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) form with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). BOI reports are filed electronically through FinCEN’s website.

This material is property of StartingYourBusiness.com

New Hampshire LLC FAQs

How much does it cost to start an LLC in New Hampshire?

The New Hampshire Secretary of State filing fee to create a new LLC $100.

How long does it take to get an LLC in New Hampshire?

Submitting the Certification of Formation in person at the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office will provide the fastest turnaround at under 2 hours. Online filing typically takes 3-7 business days, and filing by mail can take up to three weeks.

How much does an LLC cost per year in New Hampshire?

Each year, a New Hampshire LLC will need to file an Annual Report and pay a $100 annual fee to the Secretary of State.

What is a Foreign Limited Liability Company?

A New Hampshire foreign LLC is an LLC that was formed in another state but wants to physically operate in New Hampshire. Physically operating means having a presence, such as having an office or hiring an employee.

Related: What is the difference between a domestic New Hampshire LLC and a foreign LLC?

What is a Professional Limited Liability Company?

Businesses that require occupational licensing in New Hampshire, such as accountants, architects, veterinarians, etc., are required to file for a Professional LLC (PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to that of an LLC.

Related: What is a Professional Limited Liability Company?

New Hampshire LLC For Beginners: No Attorney Required 

New Hampshire LLC For Beginners: No Attorney Required 

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