How to obtain business license in New Hampshire

Updated on December 21, 2023


Securing the appropriate business license is essential for legal operation in New Hampshire. This guide provides comprehensive information on licensing needs, application processes, costs, necessary documents, compliance, and special considerations for various industries in New Hampshire.

Who Needs a Business License in New Hampshire

Most commercial business entities require licensing in NH including retailers, restaurants, construction companies, professional service providers, tradespeople, rental property owners and independent professionals.

Penalties for non-compliance include potential injunctions, court orders to cease operations, fines up to $2,000 per violation, and business closure after multiple offenses.

Understanding New Hampshire Business Licenses

Common New Hampshire licenses needed:

  • State trademark registrations – To operate under business names
  • State tax registrations – To collect and remit sales tax and taxes owed
  • City registrations – Business activity registrations required in some NH municipalities
  • Professional/vocational certifications – For occupations like electricians, plumbers etc.

Preparing to Apply for a License

Use New Hampshire’s Business Portal to identify necessary permits and registrations. Gather business formation documents, ownership details, lease agreements, and financial statements. Fees vary by license type.

Step-By-Step Guide to Apply

To apply for licenses in New Hampshire, visit the Online Business Portal, utilize the Licensing Assistant tool, provide business information, upload documents, pay fees, and await approval.

To apply digitally:

  1. Access NH’s Online Business Portal
  2. Utilize the Licensing Assistant tool
  3. Provide details on business activities and locations
  4. Submit requested ownership/business documents and details
  5. Pay associated fees
  6. Obtain registration approvals

After Submitting an Application

Online applications typically process within 10-15 business days. Monitor status via the Business Portal.

If issues arise, administrators contact applicants by mail, phone, or email to resolve concerns.

Maintaining Compliance

To remain legally compliant in New Hampshire once registered:

  • Renew registrations annually by required deadlines
  • Maintain necessary insurance policies
  • Prominently publicize registration numbers as required
  • Remit timely tax payments
  • Report changes to ownership structure, activities, locations


Obtaining Federal Registrations

Typical federal registrations also needed include an Employer ID Number (EIN) and trademark/copyright protections.

Special Considerations

Check local ordinances for additional licensing requirements based on business activities and locations within New Hampshire.

Registering Your Business Name

File trade name certificates via the New Hampshire Secretary of State office if operating under “Doing Business As” names.

New Hampshire Tax Registrations

Common tax registrations include NH Meals and Rentals Certificates and NH Tobacco Licenses.


Who Needs a New Hampshire Business License? Most commercial entities in New Hampshire, including retailers, contractors, and professional service providers, require a license.

What Do Registrations Cost in NH?

State registration fees range from $35-$100, with additional municipal permit costs varying locally. Renewal fees apply annually.

How Long Does Approval Take?
Online registrations typically finalize within 10-15 days. Mailed paper applications extend the timeline 4-6 weeks.

Additional Resources

Explore more information on New Hampshire’s official state websites for business licensing.

Final Thoughts

Adhering to licensing protocols in New Hampshire is essential for legal operation and avoiding penalties. Utilize digital registration options for efficient processing.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.