How to File for an LCC in New Hampshire

Updated on January 23, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in New Hampshire can be a great way to formally structure your small business. An LLC combines aspects of partnerships and corporations to provide business owners with personal liability protection as well as taxation flexibility. However, there are important steps you need to take to properly form an LLC in New Hampshire. This article will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from choosing a business name to obtaining required licenses. Additionally, we will cover key decisions like whether to form a single-member or multi-member LLC and how to create an operating agreement. By the end, you will understand exactly what it takes to establish an LLC in New Hampshire that complies with all legal requirements in the state.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection like a corporation, so the owner’s personal assets are generally protected from business debts and claims. However, LLCs also have the management flexibility and tax treatment of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

Some key points about LLCs:

  • LLCs limit the personal liability of owners for business debts and claims.
  • LLCs allow pass-through taxation like partnerships, avoiding corporate double taxation.
  • LLCs have fewer regulations and reporting requirements than corporations.
  • LLCs offer flexibility in management structure and distribution of profits.

Forming an LLC establishes a legal business entity separate from the owners, with paperwork filed through the state. Understanding the basics of LLCs is key when starting one in New Hampshire.

Choosing a Name for Your LLC

When starting an LLC in New Hampshire, you’ll need to choose a business name that complies with state requirements. Here are some tips for choosing your LLC’s name:

  • Check name availability by searching the New Hampshire business name database. Make sure another business isn’t already using the name.
  • Include descriptive words about your business. Having an descriptive name can help with SEO and marketing.
  • Add “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” to the end so it’s clear it’s an LLC.
  • You’ll also need to check that your preferred name complies with New Hampshire’s naming guidelines for LLCs.

Taking the time to pick the right name sets your New Hampshire LLC up for success in the state.

Selecting a Registered Agent

One of the requirements for forming an LLC in New Hampshire is to designate a registered agent. This is a person or business entity that agrees to accept legal documents and official government notices on behalf of your LLC.

When selecting a registered agent, you have a few options:

  • You can appoint yourself, another member of the LLC, or an internal manager to serve as the registered agent.
  • You can hire an independent third-party registered agent service. This offloads the duties from yourself but comes with an additional cost.
  • You can use the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office as your registered agent for free. However, this means your personal address will be publicly accessible.

Make sure to choose a registered agent who is organized and responsible. They need to be available during business hours to receive legal documents on behalf of your New Hampshire LLC.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen your business name and drafted your operating agreement, the next step is to file your Articles of Organization with the New Hampshire Secretary of State to make your LLC official.

  • Your Articles of Organization form provides key details about your LLC, including your business name, registered agent, and business purpose. This legally establishes your business.
  • You can download the form online and complete it yourself, or work with a service like LegalZoom that can file it for you.
  • The filing fee in New Hampshire is $100 if you file online, or $125 if you file by mail or in person. You will also have to pay franchise taxes each year.
  • Once filed, your Articles of Organization are a public document searchable through the Secretary of State website.

You will receive a Certificate of Formation in the mail after your LLC registration is officially accepted. This certificate formally establishes your business. Keep it in a safe place, as you will need it whenever you open a business bank account or apply for licenses and permits.

Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

After forming your New Hampshire LLC, the next important step is to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, profit/loss distribution, voting rights, and other governance rules for your LLC. While New Hampshire does not legally require an operating agreement, it is highly recommended for all LLCs to have one.

Here are some key things to address in your New Hampshire LLC operating agreement:

  • Ownership percentages – Specify each member’s percentage of ownership.
  • Member roles and responsibilities – Define what each member’s day-to-day responsibilities are.
  • Profit and loss distribution – Explain how profits and losses will be divided among members.
  • Member voting rights – Determine voting procedures for business decisions.
  • Capital contributions – State the initial and any future contributions from members.
  • Withdrawal policies – Outline what happens when a member wants to leave the LLC.

You can draft your own agreement or work with an attorney to customize one for your specific business needs. Using an attorney can help ensure your agreement complies with New Hampshire laws and protects all members. Be sure all members formally review, approve, and sign the final version.

Keep your LLC operating agreement in a safe place along with other important business documents. You should also provide copies to all members and review the agreement periodically to address any changes in the business or ownership structure.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

Once you have registered your LLC with the state of New Hampshire, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which serves as a tax ID number for your business. Here are the steps to get your EIN:

  • Apply online at This is the fastest and easiest way. You’ll get your EIN immediately.
  • You can also apply by fax or mail by submitting Form SS-4 to the IRS. This takes 7-10 business days to get your EIN.
  • Make sure to keep your EIN private and secure as it allows access to your company’s tax and financial information.

Once you have your EIN, you can open a bank account, apply for business licenses and permits, hire employees if needed and handle all IRS-related tax filings for your New Hampshire LLC.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in New Hampshire has several advantages. Some of the key pros of establishing an LLC in the state include:

  • Easy setup process – New Hampshire has a straightforward LLC formation process that can be completed quickly online.
  • Low costs – The state has no annual fees for LLCs and relatively low filing and setup costs.
  • Tax benefits – LLCs may benefit from pass-through taxation where business income is only taxed once personally.

However, there are also a few potential downsides to weigh:

  • Self-employment taxes – LLC members may have to pay self-employment taxes on their share of income.
  • Limited life span – Unlike corporations, LLCs can technically be dissolved if a member dies or leaves.
  • Increased recordkeeping – Maintaining an LLC requires more recordkeeping and paperwork than sole proprietorships.

Overall, the liability protection and tax flexibility of an LLC often make it a good choice for small businesses and startups in New Hampshire. However, the additional responsibilities should also be factored in when deciding between business structures.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in New Hampshire, there are several costs to consider. The filing fee to register an LLC with the Secretary of State is $100. Additionally, there is a $50 fee per LLC annual report filed. You may also need to pay business taxes depending on your type of business and activities. Other costs may include:

  • Professional fees if using a service for filing
  • Registered agent fees if appointing one (typically $50-200 per year)
  • Licenses and permits applicable to your industry
  • Accounting fees if hiring an accountant
  • Attorney fees if using legal services

Overall, expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars in order to properly establish your New Hampshire LLC. However, forming an LLC protects your personal assets and allows you to legally operate your business.

Economical LLC Formation Options

When starting an LLC in New Hampshire, it’s important to keep costs low, especially when just launching your business. Here are some of the most economical options for LLC formation:

  • Use an online service like LegalZoom or Incfile to form your LLC. These services charge $100-200 in total fees.
  • File yourself using the state’s templates and instructions. The state filing fee is $100, so you’ll just need to pay that plus any registered agent fees.
  • Work with a business attorney who offers flat-rate LLC filing services for around $300-500 total.

While you can always opt for the cheapest route, working with a lawyer can help ensure everything is set up correctly the first time and provide useful business guidance. Evaluate the options to find what works best for your new NH LLC.

Pre-Formation Steps

Before officially forming your New Hampshire LLC, you’ll need to take a few key steps to prepare. Here are the main pre-formation tasks:

  • Choose a business name – Select a unique name that is distinguishable from other businesses in New Hampshire. Check name availability by searching the New Hampshire business database.
  • File for an EIN – Obtain a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC from the IRS online. This establishes your business identity for tax purposes.
  • Create an operating agreement – Draft an operating agreement to establish ownership percentages, voting rights, member responsibilities, distribution of profits and losses, etc. Get this important document notarized.
  • Arrange registered agent – Appoint a registered agent with a New Hampshire address to accept official mail and legal notices on behalf of your LLC.

Completing these key pre-filing steps will prepare you to formally create your New Hampshire LLC by registering with the Secretary of State.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in New Hampshire, you have several options for structuring your company. Three of the most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC).

A sole proprietorship is the simplest structure with no distinction between the business and the owner. While easy to set up, the owner has unlimited personal liability for debts and obligations of the business.

A partnership is formed when two or more people share ownership of a single business. Like a sole proprietorship, partners typically have unlimited personal liability for the partnership’s debts and liabilities.

A limited liability company (LLC) combines aspects of partnerships and corporations to provide business owners with liability protection while avoiding double taxation. Some key advantages of an LLC include:

  • Limited personal liability for the owners
  • Fewer regulations than a corporation
  • Pass-through taxation where business profits are taxed only once on the personal returns of the owners

Talk to an attorney or accountant to decide which structure makes the most sense for your new Hampshire business based on your situation.

After Filing Your LLC

Once your Articles of Organization have been filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State, there are still some important steps you need to take to properly establish your LLC.

  • Draft an operating agreement. This document outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, profit/loss distributions, and other guidelines for running your LLC. While not required in New Hampshire, it is highly recommended.
  • Set up accounting procedures. You will need to keep financial records and file taxes appropriately for your LLC. Decide whether to handle accounting internally or work with an accountant.
  • Open a business bank account. This keeps your personal and business finances separate. Shop around to find banks that offer services catering to small businesses and LLCs.
  • Obtain necessary business licenses and permits. Check if your industry requires special licensing at the state or local level.
  • Understand LLC taxes. LLCs allow for pass-through taxation but you still need to file informational returns and pay certain taxes.

Following these key steps after formally registering your LLC will set up the legal, financial, and operational foundation to transact business smoothly in New Hampshire.

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in New Hampshire, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and business activities. Some common licenses and permits you may require include:

  • Business license – Most businesses need a general state business license to legally operate in New Hampshire. You can apply for this on the New Hampshire Secretary of State website.
  • Sales tax permit – If you plan to collect sales tax from customers, you’ll need a New Hampshire sales tax permit from the Department of Revenue Administration.
  • Industry-specific licenses – Certain industries like construction, childcare centers, restaurants etc. require additional licenses and permits from state agencies. Check requirements with the New Hampshire SoS.

You can use the New Hampshire Business Portal to find license requirements and apply based on your LLC’s activities. Allow sufficient lead time for obtaining approvals before your planned opening date.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your New Hampshire LLC grows, there are some key considerations to keep in mind. First, ensure you maintain compliance with IRS rules regarding taxation, as the structure you initially set up may need to change. Additionally, consider if and when you may need to register your business outside of the state, which would require becoming a foreign LLC in other states where you conduct business.

Further, examine if your initial New Hampshire LLC operating agreement needs to be amended to account for changes in business partners, ownership stakes, manager roles, or operations. As you scale, carefully evaluate financing options as well – venture capital/investors, loans, and other cash flow sources to fuel expansion. Finally, don’t forget about hiring, training, and managing growing teams to build out organizational infrastructure.

  • Maintain IRS compliance as business structure evolves
  • Consider registering as a foreign LLC in other states
  • Examine if your operating agreement needs amendments
  • Evaluate financing options for growth capital
  • Build out your team and organizational infrastructure

Additional Resources

Starting an LLC in New Hampshire can seem complicated, but there are many useful resources available to guide you through the process. Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:

New Hampshire Secretary of State Website official New Hampshire Secretary of State website with information and forms for starting an LLC.
New Hampshire Small Business Development Center free business advice and resources for New Hampshire entrepreneurs.

These resources can help guide you through the various requirements and steps involved in forming an LLC in New Hampshire. With thorough preparation and help from these useful websites, you’ll be well on your way to officially registering your New Hampshire LLC.


Starting an LLC in New Hampshire provides numerous benefits such as personal asset protection and pass-through taxation. By following the key steps outlined in this article, you can successfully set up your New Hampshire LLC.

In conclusion, the main steps are:

  • Choose an available business name and register it with the NH Secretary of State
  • File the Articles of Organization form and pay the $100 filing fee
  • Create an operating agreement to outline member responsibilities
  • Apply for an EIN from the IRS to handle federal tax obligations
  • Comply with licensing and permit requirements based on your industry and location

By completing these key steps and remaining compliant with state regulations, you can successfully start and operate your New Hampshire LLC. Best of luck with your new business!


What are the requirements to form an LLC in New Hampshire?

– You need at least one member to form an LLC in NH. Members can be individuals, corporations, other LLCs, etc.

– You must choose a business name that includes the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC”.

– You must file Articles of Organization with the NH Secretary of State along with the filing fee.

What information do I need to provide in the Articles of Organization?

The Articles of Organization require your LLC’s name, the name and address of each member, the latest date when the LLC will dissolve, and the signature of all members. You will also need to name a registered agent.

Do I need to register my NH LLC with the state?

Yes, you must register your New Hampshire LLC with the New Hampshire Secretary of State by filing Articles of Organization. This officially registers your business and establishes it as an LLC.

Do I need a registered agent for my NH LLC?

Yes. Your NH LLC must have a New Hampshire registered agent to accept legal/tax documents on behalf of your business. This cannot be a PO Box and requires a physical street address.

What are the costs for starting an LLC in New Hampshire?

The filing fee to establish an LLC in NH ranges from $100-150. You may also incur registered agent fees, licensing costs, taxes, legal fees, etc. Expect total costs to start around $500-900.

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