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Starting an LLC in New Hampshire: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Starting a New Hampshire Limited Liability Company (LLC) is popular for entrepreneurs. An LLC is a business structure that offers flexibility and protection for its owners. If you’re considering setting up an LLC in the Granite State, here’s a guide to get you started with six easy steps. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Name Your LLC

First things first, your LLC needs a name. In New Hampshire, there are a few rules you need to follow when naming your LLC. Your business name must include phrases like “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviations (LLC or LLC). However, you can’t use terms that could confuse your LLC with a government agency or specific restricted terms without the proper licenses (like “Bank” or “Insurance”).

You can do a quick, free name check online to see if your chosen name is available. If you consider getting a website name that matches your business name, you can find good deals for website domain names on Namecheap.

Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

Next up, you’ll need a registered agent. This sounds fancy, but it’s someone who agrees to receive important legal documents for your LLC. This can be you, someone you trust, or a professional service. A registered agent like Bizee or Northwest Registered Agent ensures you will receive important notices, like lawsuit papers or tax reminders. 

Check out our blog: ‘Is a Registered Agent Necessary? Your Guide to Finding an Affordable Option

Step 3: File Your Certificate of Formation

It’s time to make things official with the state! You must file a Certificate of Formation to establish your LLC in New Hampshire legally. This document is crucial as it officially registers your LLC with the state.

How much it costs:

Filing the Certificate of Formation in New Hampshire costs $100. This is the primary fee to get your LLC off the ground. Remember, other forms or filings related to your LLC may have different fees, but this is the standard cost for starting up.

How to send your form:

  • Online: The fastest and easiest way to file your Certificate of Formation is online through the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website. You can access the filing portal and complete the process digitally, ensuring a quicker turnaround time for your LLC’s registration.
  • By Mail: If you prefer the traditional route or want to keep a paper trail, you can also file by mail. Download the Certificate of Formation form from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website, fill it out, and send it to the Corporation Division, New Hampshire Secretary of State, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301-4989.
  • In-Person: For those who’d rather hand-deliver their documents, you can file your Certificate of Formation in person. The office is located at the same address as the mailing option, allowing you to submit your documents directly and ask any questions about the process.

Step 4: Making an Operating Agreement for Your Business

Let’s discuss setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it as a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section covers how new people can enter your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized so everyone knows what to expect, and it can save you a lot of headaches down the road! 

Step 5: Getting Your EIN from the IRS

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts and credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees.

It’s free, and you can get it from the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small

Step 6: New Hampshire Additional Permits or Licenses

Depending on what your business does, you might need extra permits or licenses. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, you’ll need health permits; if you’re starting a construction company, you might need a contractor’s license. This step requires a bit of homework to figure out what’s necessary for your specific type of business, either at the state or federal level.

For more detailed information on the licenses and permits your business may require. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a comprehensive guide on how to obtain them. You can access this resource at the SBA Business Guide on Licenses and Permits.

Additionally, the state provides an online platform for managing licensing needs for businesses operating in New Hampshire. Whether you’re applying for a new license, renewing an existing one, or need to check the status of an application, New Hampshire’s Online Licensing portal is your go-to resource. Visit New Hampshire Online Licensing to get started.

Ensuring you have all the necessary permits and licenses, you comply with legal requirements and set your business up for a smoother operation. Take the time to research and understand what your specific business needs to operate legally and efficiently in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire LLC Annual Report

Once your LLC is up and running, maintaining your business’s good standing with the state is crucial. Part of this involves submitting an annual report to the New Hampshire Secretary of State. This report is more than just paperwork; it’s a way to keep the state updated on your business’s current information, such as contact details and the names of members or managers. Here’s what you need to know to stay compliant:

How to Report:

  • Online Submission: The most convenient way to file your annual report is through the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s online portal. This digital method streamlines the process, allowing you to enter your LLC’s current information quickly and pay the filing fee electronically.
  • Mail Submission: You can also complete the annual report form, available for download from the Secretary of State’s website, and mail it to their office. Ensure all information is accurate and include the appropriate payment for the filing fee.

Where to Report:

  • Online: Visit the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website and look for the Corporations Division section to access the online filing system.
  • Mail: Send your completed form and payment to the Corporation Division, New Hampshire Secretary of State, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301-4989.

Deadline:

  • The annual report must be filed by April 1st of each year. This deadline is crucial because failing to file your annual report on time can result in penalties and may even lead to your LLC being administratively dissolved or revoked by the state.

Filing Fee:

  • The fee for filing an annual report in New Hampshire is $100. This fee applies whether you file online or by mail and is required to process your annual report.

What to Include:

  • Your annual report should include up-to-date information about your LLC, such as the legal name of the LLC, the principal business address, the name and address of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the principal officers or managers.

By staying on top of your annual report filings, you ensure that your LLC remains in good standing with the state of New Hampshire. This keeps you legally compliant and ensures that your business maintains its credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the state and your customers. 

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:

 

First Report Deadlines:

  • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
  • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you must file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.

 

Who Needs to Report:

  • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and similar entities within the U.S.
  • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities registered foreign entities must also adhere to these new rules.

 

Exceptions to Reporting:

  • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.

 

What Must Be Reported

What you need to report is all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about your LLC’s ownership and control.

 

When Must Reporting File Reports

Timing is key! Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.

 

Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You must file on January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and accurate.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information: Providing false information or failing to report accurately is a big no-no.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. They’re not trying to trip you up; they want to help you get it right.
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? If you discover inaccuracies in your initial report, you have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, please visit the FinCEN website for all the details.

 

What to Do After You’ve Started an LLC 

  1. Open a Separate Business Bank Account: Keeping your personal and business money apart is super important. Mixing them up can cause significant problems, like losing the protection of having an LLC. This mix-up is sometimes called “piercing the corporate veil,” it can put your stuff, like your car or house, at risk if your business runs into trouble. To open a business bank account, you’ll need:
  • Your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
  • Your Operating Agreement.
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN).

When picking a bank for your business, consider the fees, minimum deposits, and benefits (like earning interest) they offer. Look for features that help your business, like using a debit card to pay for things.

Get a Business Credit Card

A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review.

Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024.

  1. Set Up Your Finances Right: Use good habits to track your money. This means not mixing your cash with your business’s. Good record-keeping makes tax time less stressful and helps avoid problems with the rules. You should use a program like QuickBooks to track your money, inventory, payroll, and sales. Talking to professionals like accountants or business lawyers is also intelligent, especially when understanding your LLC state’s tax rules. Find experts who know a lot about the area where your business is.

 

  1. Create a Professional Website: Having a website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. You can check out SiteGround or Hostinger for web hosting. They’re both good options to get your site up and running.

 

  1. Announce Your Business with a Press Release: A press release is a fantastic way to promote your new business and attract customers.

 

Starting an LLC in New Hampshire might seem like many steps, but it’s just a matter of following the process. Each step is designed to protect you and ensure your business is set up correctly. By taking it one step at a time, you’ll have your LLC up and running before you know it. If you need help, services like Northwest Registered Agent or Bizee exist. They can handle any legal details your LLC requires, like getting your EIN and sorting out your operating agreement. Good luck with your new business venture in New Hampshire!

 

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent Pricing: What to Expect

Northwest Registered Agent keeps pricing simple. They have a clear, straightforward fee structure, which is a big plus. No hidden fees or surprises – that’s the kind of honesty we all appreciate, right?

Why is Their Pricing Affordable?

  • Transparent Costs: They tell you exactly what you’re paying for so you can make informed decisions.
  • Competitive Rates: Their prices align with your expectations for top-notch services, ensuring you get good value.
  • One-Stop Shop: Since they offer a whole suite of services, you can bundle things together, potentially saving time and money.
  • Location: They’re headquartered in Spokane, Washington, but don’t worry – they have offices in all 50 states. So, wherever you are in the U.S., they’ve got local expertise ready for you.
  • Experience Counts: These folks have been in the game for over 20 years. That’s a lot of experience under their belt, helping businesses like yours start and grow.

Core Services

  • LLC Formation: Dreaming of starting your own LLC? They can help make that happen.
  • Registered Agent Service: The main event – they’ll be your reliable point of contact for all those essential legal documents.
  • Address Privacy: Keep your address off the public records. It’s all about your privacy.
  • Lifetime Customer Support: Got questions? They’re there for you, not just today, but for the life of your business.
  • Annual Report Reminders: Never miss a deadline with their handy reminders.
  • Online Document Dashboard: All your important documents are organized in one easy-to-access place.

 

Additional Services (Because There’s Always More)

  • EIN Number: They can help you get your business’s unique tax ID.
  • Annual Report Service: Let them handle your annual reporting needs.
  • Operating Agreements: Need help with the rules for running your LLC? They’ve got you covered.
  • Virtual Office Service: Get a professional business address without the office.
  • S-Corp Election: Thinking about S-Corp status? They can help with that.
  • Mail Forwarding Service: Keep your mail organized and forward it where needed.
  • Foreign Qualification: Expanding your business to new states? They can assist.
  • Legal Forms: Access a variety of legal forms easily.
  • Legal Services (in Indiana): If you’re in Indiana, they’ve got specific legal services just for you.
  • Incorporation Services: More than just LLCs, they can help incorporate your business, too.

 

So, if you want to create an LLC, Northwest Registered Agent is very beneficial. They ensure everything runs smoothly, keeping you focused on what you love – growing your business. 

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