New Hampshire Corporation
Everything You Need to Know About NH Corporations:
New Hampshire Incorporation Options
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How to Incorporate in New Hampshire
To start a corporation in New Hampshire, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Incorporation with the Corporation Division. You can file this document online or by mail. The articles cost $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your New Hampshire corporation.
Per NH Rev Stat § 293-A:5.01 (2019), every New Hampshire corporation must appoint a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your corporation. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the DOS’s New Hampshire Business Name Search and browse until you find the perfect name for your corporation.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your corporation name is, you’re ready to file your New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation
Learn more about each Articles of Incorporation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Better yet, skip the form entirely and hire us to incorporate your New Hampshire business. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private. And for the cheapest way to start a business? Pay just $45 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option.
1. Business Name
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited” or an abbreviation of one of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it simple with “Corp” or “Inc.”
2. Principal Office and Information
This section requests your principal office address (main business office), business phone and business email. Note that this information is optional and that all the information in your Articles of Incorporation becomes part of the public record. Tip: If you skip this section, the state will use your registered agent’s address as your principal office.
3. Authorized Shares
List the number of shares you wish to create. You must create at least one share. Tip: You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting. If you have different share types, such as common and preferred shares, you can note the share type and list the rights and restrictions in the comments section. You can also choose to list par value (the face value of the share and typically the lowest price at which it can be traded).
4. Registered Agent and Office
For your New Hampshire registered agent, you can list an individual state resident (like yourself) or a business that provides registered agent service (like Northwest). The registered office is the New Hampshire street address where your agent will be available to accept legal notifications. When you hire Northwest, our New Hampshire office address will go here.
Your corporation’s “purpose” is your primary business activity (for example, “real estate” or “janitorial services”). You can also list the NAICS code for your business. These are six-digit codes that describe pretty much any business activity you can think of.
6. Benefit Corporation
Benefit corporations are businesses that create general public benefit. These corporations are subject to additional regulations. If you’re creating a benefit corporation, you must declare this in your articles and include your fiscal year end date. Tip: Most corporations are not benefit corporations.
7. Officer/Director Information
The form has a space to enter the names, business addresses and titles of initial directors and officers, but this information is not required. If you’d rather not list this personal information in a permanent public document, you’re free to skip this section.
8. New Hampshire Incorporator
Your incorporator is the person who signs your Articles of Incorporation. This can be someone in your corporation, such as a director or officer, or it can be another person you authorize to submit your Articles. Your incorporator must include their name and address. We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest to form your New Hampshire corporation.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your NH Corporation?
Professionals in New Hampshire hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent for incorporation—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is in Nashua, NH. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Corporation Division. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Nashua registered office address on your corporation’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Manchester, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding, Business Address and More
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
Plan on accepting credit cards? We also offer a Free Credit Card Processing Consultation. Our specialists work with processors to negotiate low rates and better contracts for our clients.
And now, try our in-house Northwest Phone Service for 60 days, free of charge with our formation service. Get a virtual phone number with your choice of area code, make and receive calls from any device, and more—for just $9 a month.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your corporation in New Hampshire. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My NH Corporation Is Formed?
After your New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting bylaws, holding your first meeting, opening a bank account, and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
Your federal employer identification number (commonly known as an EIN or FEIN) is similar to a social security number for your business. The IRS assigns these numbers and uses them to easily identify individual corporations on tax filings, including federal corporate income tax returns.
Why does my New Hampshire corporation need an EIN?
The IRS requires corporations to get an EIN for their federal tax filings. You may also be asked for your EIN when opening a bank account, securing a loan, or applying for local business permits and licenses.
How do I get an EIN for my corporation?
You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service. Or choose our Corporate Guide Service—an EIN is included.
Write Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business. They put into writing how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. All the major organizational processes and procedures for your corporation will go in your bylaws.
For more on New Hampshire Corporate Bylaws (including a free New Hampshire Corporate Bylaws template), see our New Hampshire Corporate Bylaws resource.
Do I need bylaws for my New Hampshire corporation?
Yes. NH Rev Stat § 293-A:2.06 (2019) notes that bylaws shall be adopted either by the incorporators or the board of directors, but it makes no requirement for when the bylaws must be adopted.
You don’t have to submit bylaws to the state though. Corporate bylaws are internal documents you keep with your other corporate records, such as meeting minutes and resolutions.
What should bylaws include?
Corporate bylaws cover basic policies and procedures for issues such as company finances and management. Bylaws should cover a range of topics, answering key questions like those below:
Meetings: When and where will meetings for shareholders and directors be held? How many attendees are required to transact business? What are the procedures for voting or proxy voting? How do you call a special meeting? What actions can be taken without a meeting?
Stock: How are stock certificates issued and transferred? How is voting affected by issues such as corporate stock owners or fractional shares?
Directors and officers: How many directors must there be? Which officer positions are required? What powers do they have? How do you fill a vacancy or remove a director or officer?
Finances: What are the procedures for retaining profits, issuing dividends, and paying bills? Who can withdraw money from the corporate bank account or sign checks?
Records: Where is the corporate book to be kept? What information will be maintained? How are requests for review or access honored? Can records or copies be kept or distributed digitally?
Amendments and emergencies: Who can amend bylaws and how? Can emergency bylaws be adopted in the case of disaster?
New Hampshire bylaws can make other provisions as well, assuming additions are in accordance with state law.
How do I write bylaws?
Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you start? Northwest can help. We give you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your New Hampshire corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We offer many other free corporate forms as well, including templates for resolutions and meeting minutes.
Hold an Organizational Meeting
An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of the corporation after the business is legally formed with the state. At this meeting, bylaws are adopted, officers are appointed, and any other initial business is conducted. The first meeting minutes should also be recorded and added to your corporate record book.
Are there any special rules for New Hampshire organizational meetings?
The organization of the corporation is not complete until an organizational meeting is held, officers are appointed and bylaws are adopted. The organizational meeting doesn’t have to be held in New Hampshire.
Open a Corporate Bank Account
Businesses that mix personal and business finances together risk losing their liability protections, so your corporation will need its own bank account. In addition, a corporate bank account is essential for easily accepting payments, paying bills and holding funds.
How do I open a bank account for my New Hampshire corporation?
To open a corporate bank account in New Hampshire, you’ll need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the New Hampshire corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
The corporation’s bylaws
The corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account. The resolution would state that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation. At Northwest, we provide free corporate bank resolutions, along with many other free corporate forms, to help you get started fast.
File New Hampshire Reports & Taxes
In New Hampshire, corporations file an annual report each year. Corporations are also subject to state taxes, including two unique state taxes: the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax.
What is the New Hampshire Annual Report?
The New Hampshire Annual Report is a form you file each year to update your corporation’s contact and ownership information. The report and $100 fee are due April 1st each year.
How much is the New Hampshire Annual Report?
$100 ($102 if filing online). This is the filing fee for the mandatory New Hampshire Annual Report.
When is the New Hampshire Annual Report due?
The New Hampshire Annual Report is due April 1st. A $50 late fee applies if you miss it.
This filing can be easy to forget—which is why we send our clients automatic reminders. Or better yet, let us file for you. With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about New Hampshire corporate taxes?
All New Hampshire business entities, from LLCs to corporations, are subject to two somewhat unusual state taxes: a business profits tax and a business enterprise tax.
The business profits tax takes the place of a more traditional income tax. It’s a tax on income from “conducting business activity in New Hampshire.” The rate is currently 7.9% but varies by year. Only businesses with over $50,000 in gross business income have to file.
The business enterprise tax is a tax on “enterprise value,” which the state’s Department of Revenue Administration defines as compensation (such as wages, interest or dividends) paid or accrued. The rate is currently 0.675% but also varies by year. Your business only has to file a return for this tax if your enterprise value is more than $104K or your gross receipts are over $208K.
Both taxes are due on the 15th day of the 3rd month following the end of the taxable period (for most businesses, that’s March 15th).
It’s not all bad news when it comes to New Hampshire taxes. The personal net income tax is very limited (only affecting interest and dividend income), and there’s no sales tax (not even on the city or county level).
Do corporations have to register with the NH Department Of Revenue Administration?
No. New Hampshire corporations do not register with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration, but you must obtain the appropriate state tax forms to file your state taxes.
Additionally, there are tax licenses required if you are a meals, rooms or motor vehicle rental operator, communications services provider, or tobacco manufacturer, wholesaler or subjobber.
New Hampshire Corporation FAQs
How can I submit the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation?
You can file New Hampshire articles online or by mail. Mailed filings must be submitted to the following address:
NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301-4989
How much does it cost to start a New Hampshire corporation?
New Hampshire’s Corporation Division charges $100 to submit Articles of Incorporation. If you file online with New Hampshire QuickStart, you’ll also pay a $2 convenience fee.
Hire us for a one-time fee of $327, including the state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, business address and more. Or, pay just $45 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a New Hampshire corporation?
File online using the New Hampshire QuickStart portal and get your approval in a day or two. File your Articles with a paper form and you’ll have 1-3 weeks to kill—plenty of time to hit up the lake or maybe hike a section of the Appalachian Trail.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your New Hampshire corporation formed within 2 business days.
Does a New Hampshire corporation need a business license?
The state itself doesn’t require a general business license (and neither do most local areas). Your corporation may, however, need a license or permit for specific business activities. Manchester, for instance, requires licenses for a variety of businesses, from pawnbrokers to carnivals.
What is a foreign New Hampshire corporation?
A corporation formed outside of New Hampshire—but which conducts business in the state—is considered a foreign New Hampshire corporation. For example, if you incorporated in Vermont but decide to open a storefront in New Hampshire, you would be a foreign New Hampshire corporation. This also means you would need to register with the state by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. Foreign corporations are required to file the New Hampshire Annual Report, and are also subject to the business profit tax and business enterprise tax.
Can Northwest help me form a nonprofit corporation?
Absolutely! We’re happy to start a nonprofit corporation for you. Note that incorporating an New Hampshire nonprofit requires a different form. The filing fee is lower as well ($25).
How can I get a New Hampshire phone number for my corporation?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your corporation, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order New Hampshire Incorporation Service
Our New Hampshire incorporation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
We offer flexibility with two different options for payment. You can pay everything up front, which includes a full year of registered agent service. Or, pay just $45 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option. With our Corporate Guide Service, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
Next, we’ll prepare and submit your New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State, Corporation Division. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the New Hampshire Corporation Division has approved your filing, we notify you that your New Hampshire corporation has been legally formed. You can now move on to next steps, like holding your organizational meeting and opening a bank account.