New Hampshire LLC
To start an LLC in New Hampshire, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the New Hampshire Corporation Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Certificate of Formation costs $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your New Hampshire LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Everything You Need to Know About New Hampshire LLCs:
How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire
To start an LLC in New Hampshire, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file a Certificate of Formation with the New Hampshire Corporation Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The document costs $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your New Hampshire LLC.
According to New Hampshire Revised Statute § 304-C:36 (2019), every New Hampshire LLC 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 filings wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the New Hampshire Department of State Business Name Search and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your New Hampshire Certificate of Formation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation
Learn more about each Certificate of Formation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your New Hampshire LLC. 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 VIP monthly payment option.
1. Company Name
You must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses go with “LLC.”
2. Principal Office
This includes your official business address (where you’ll receive official mail besides legal notifications). Maintain your privacy and avoid having to update multiple addresses by using our address here when you hire Northwest. A phone number is optional, so there’s no reason to include it—you’ll just end up on telemarketing lists. An email address is required for online filings, but at Northwest, we allow our clients to use our email address so yours doesn’t get clogged with spam.
Your purpose may be to make money, but don’t put that in your Certificate of Formation. “Purpose” here is what your business actually does. Include a few words that describe your specific business activities, like “cosmetics sales and manufacturing” or “dog grooming.” You can also include an NAICS Code—these are six-digit codes used to classify business activities. You can search the NAICS website for a code that matches your business activities.
4. Registered Agent
For your New Hampshire registered agent, you can list an individual (such as yourself), or a business that offers registered agent services (such as Northwest). As your registered agent, we accept your state and legal mail and provide you limited mail forwarding and use of our business address to help you better protect your privacy.
5. Registered Office
This is the street address in New Hampshire where your registered agent needs to be available. When you hire us, our address will go here on this public document instead of yours.
6. LLC Management
In this section, you can only enter “is” or “is not” to indicate whether or not your LLC is managed by managers. If the members of your LLC do all the decision-making (like a partnership), you’re member-managed and would choose “is not.” If you don’t plan to oversee the day-to-day operations, you can turn over decision-making powers to one or more managers and choose “is.”
7. Manager/Member Information
The Certificate of Formation provides space to include member or manager names, business addresses and titles. This information isn’t specifically required by NH Rev Stat § 304-C:31 (2019), but if you decide to include this information, note that you can list our business address here as well if you hire us.
While the document suggests that signatures are limited to members or managers, NH Rev Stat § 304-C:28 (2019) allows for alternative signatures, including those of someone authorized by the LLC to sign. When you hire us, we can be your authorized signatories.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your New Hampshire LLC?
Professionals in New Hampshire hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—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 LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Rochester, 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 LLC in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire LLC Formation Options
Skip the state fees! Get a New Hampshire LLC and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
Sign up for a free account and use our online tools to start your New Hampshire LLC today. Includes New Hampshire LLC formation and maintenance walkthrough and company document creation. All for free.
Pay in Full
Includes New Hampshire LLC, business address & free mail forwarding, free 60-day Phone Service trial, Privacy by Default®, lifetime support from local Corporate Guides® and a year of registered agent service.
What Do I Do After My New Hampshire LLC Is Formed?
After your New Hampshire Certificate of Formation is approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does an New Hampshire LLC need an EIN?
New Hampshire does not specifically require an LLC to obtain an EIN. BUT, If you have employees or file certain federal excise taxes, you’ll need an EIN. Plan to open a business bank account? Nine times out of ten, you’ll need an EIN. Just to file some local taxes, you may need an EIN as well. Generally speaking, it’s best to get an EIN even if you don’t think you need it right now. They’re free from the IRS (and a better option than handing out your personal social security number).
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
If you don’t want to fill out the application, you can even hire us to get your EIN for you. At Northwest, our aim is to give you everything you need to launch your business—whether that’s cost savings or a reduced workload. Save a few bucks and file your own EIN for free. Or, save yourself a little headache and hire us. Either way, we’re happy to form your New Hampshire LLC. And if you choose our VIP service? An EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart.
For more on New Hampshire operating agreements (including free operating agreement templates), see our New Hampshire LLC Operating Agreement resource.
Do I need an operating agreement for a New Hampshire LLC?
New Hampshire doesn’t legally require an operating agreement. According to NH Rev Stat § 304-C:40 (2019), an operating agreement MAY be written—but the law doesn’t declare that they must.
That said, an operating agreement isn’t just annoying paperwork. It’s one of your LLC’s most important internal documents, and creating one can help your LLC with everything from opening a bank account to handling major events from mergers to dissolution.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
Profits, losses, and distributions
Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
Transfer of membership interest
Dissolving the business
Your operating agreement can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to New Hampshire law. If you’d like your LLC’s processes and procedures to vary from the default rules outlined in the New Hampshire statutes, you’ll need to specifically state it in your operating agreement. For example, NH Rev Stat § 304-C:67 (2019) states that a majority vote is required to add members or amend the operating agreement or Certificate of Formation. Prefer a unanimous vote for such significant changes? You’ll want to spell that out in your operating agreement.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my New Hampshire LLC?
To open a bank account for your New Hampshire LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation
The LLC operating agreement
The LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and New Hampshire laws.
File New Hampshire Reports & Taxes
New Hampshire LLCs are required to file a state report each year and are also subject to the state’s tax filing requirements.
What is the New Hampshire Annual Report?
Your New Hampshire LLC Annual Report is essentially a $102 hit to your wallet each year. More specifically, it’s a form you’re required to file by April 1st ever year in order to update the state on your contact and ownership information (even if nothing has changed).
How much is the New Hampshire Annual Report fee?
The fee for the New Hampshire LLC Annual Report is $102. The base fee is actually only $100, but you can only file online, which requires a $2 processing fee. And if you file late? There’s an additional $50 penalty. When you sign up with Northwest, we’ll help you remember to file by sending you reminder notifications. You can even hire us to file your report for you each year.
When is the New Hampshire Annual Report due?
Your New Hampshire Annual Report is due on April 1st of each year. A $50 fee is assessed for reports received after April 1st.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your annual report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? 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 LLC taxes?
New Hampshire has no statewide general sales tax and only a limited personal net income tax (taxing investment income such as dividends and interest at 5%). Before you order a cake to celebrate, however, it’s important to note that New Hampshire does have a few other unique (and hefty) business taxes: a business profits tax and a business enterprise tax.
The business profits tax is basically an income tax. Technically, it’s a tax on income from “conducting business activity in New Hampshire.” The rate varies by year but is around 8%, and only businesses with more than $50K in gross receipts have to file.
The business enterprise tax is a tax on “enterprise value.” What the heck is enterprise value? It’s compensation (such as wages, interest or dividends) paid or accrued. This tax rate also varies by year between 0.5 and 0.7%. Who has to pay? Luckily, most small businesses are off the hook, as only businesses with an enterprise value of more than $108K or gross receipts over $217K have to file.
New Hampshire LLC FAQs
How can I submit the New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation?
You can file New Hampshire Certificate of Formation online or by mail. Mailed filings may be filled out online then printed in black ink and mailed to:
New Hampshire Department of State
Limited Liability Division
204 107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
How much does it cost to start a New Hampshire LLC?
The New Hampshire Corporation Division charges a $100 filing fee for your Certificate of Formation. If you file online, there’s an additional $2 processing fee.
Hire Northwest and your total out-the-door cost is $327, including state fees, a year of registered agent service, lifetime customer support, and loads of forms and resources to help get your New Hampshire LLC up and running. Or, pay just $45 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a New Hampshire LLC?
When you file online using a New Hampshire Department of State QuickStart account, you get your approval in two business days. Have between one and three weeks to kill? Save two dollars in processing fees and file your Certificate of Formation by mail. Maybe go skiing for a few days. Or weeks. Eventually someone will process your form by hand.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your New Hampshire LLC formed within 2 business days.
Does a New Hampshire LLC need a business license?
While New Hampshire doesn’t have a state-level business license, some cities and counties require business licenses. For example, Manchester only requires licenses for specific business activities, such as “dealers of junk” or motels.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs for your license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Can a New Hampshire LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from New Hampshire public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), a New Hampshire LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. For example, you can maintain a degree of address privacy by listing our address on public docs instead of your own. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign New Hampshire LLC?
A foreign New Hampshire LLC is any LLC formed outside of New Hampshire but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Vermont but wanted to conduct business in New Hampshire as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in New Hampshire by filing an Application for Foreign Limited Liability Company Registration with the New Hampshire Department of State. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual New Hampshire annual reports. Northwest can register your foreign New Hampshire LLC for you today!
How can I get a New Hampshire phone number for my LLC?
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 LLC, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our New Hampshire LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $45 out-the-door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your New Hampshire Certificate of Formation and send them to the Corporation Division for approval. 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 LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.