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How to Form an LLC in New Hampshire

How to Form an LLC in New Hampshire
(Last Updated On: April 19, 2024)

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Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Missouri is a straightforward process that offers entrepreneurs a flexible and protective business structure. To initiate the formation of an LLC in the state, aspiring business owners need to navigate through a series of essential steps. 

From selecting a unique and compliant business name to filing the necessary formation documents with the Missouri Secretary of State, the process involves careful consideration of legal requirements. 

Additionally, understanding the state-specific regulations and tax implications is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful establishment of an LLC in Missouri. This guide will comprehensively overview the key steps and considerations in starting an LLC in the “Show-Me State.”

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Starting an LLC in New Hampshire Step-By-Step

1. Select a Name for Your LLC in New Hampshire

Choose a name for your New Hampshire LLC that adheres to the state’s naming requirements. Before LLC registration, selecting a name for inclusion in your articles is crucial. Key considerations include:

  • Ensure your business name incorporates a limited liability company, LLC, or L.L.C.
  • Verify that your chosen name is distinct from existing businesses by conducting searches on the Secretary of State’s website. 
  • Exclude words associated with government agencies (e.g., State Department, CIA, FBI, Treasury, etc.) from your business name.
  • Certain restricted words (such as bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.) may necessitate additional documentation and licensure paperwork.
  • Familiarize yourself with the comprehensive list of New Hampshire’s naming rules.

In addition, consider the following:

  • Check the availability of a corresponding URL. Even if a webpage isn’t an immediate requirement, securing your domain name now ensures the option is available for future use.
  • Suppose you’re not yet prepared to register your LLC but are concerned about name availability. In that case, you can secure your chosen name by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name, which incurs a $15 fee. These reservations remain valid for 120 days.

Submit your application via mail to:

Corporation Division

NH Dept. of State

107 N. Main St., Room 204

Concord, NH 03301-4989

For a faster response, you have the option to file online.

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2. Choose a Registered Agent in New Hampshire

Designating and upholding a New Hampshire registered agent for your LLC in the state is mandatory.

What constitutes a registered agent? A registered agent can be an individual or a business entity tasked with receiving crucial tax forms, legal papers, notifications of legal actions, and official government communications on behalf of your company. Visualize your registered agent as the primary contact point between your business and the state.

Who qualifies as a registered agent? A registered agent must either be a resident of New Hampshire or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to operate within New Hampshire. You can nominate an individual from within your company, including yourself.

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Northwest Registered Agent

Commencing a business involves navigating through various state-mandated paperwork, often perplexing for new business owners. Northwest offers business services to assist entrepreneurs in locating the right documentation, completing it accurately, and submitting it promptly to the relevant government agency. 

Beyond aiding in LLC establishment, Northwest provides additional services, including registered agent services, which prove beneficial for new business owners.

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3. Prepare and File a Certificate of Formation

To formally register your new enterprise, you must submit a New Hampshire LLC certificate of formation to the state. This crucial step ensures that the state formally acknowledges the existence of your business, enabling you to initiate your business operations. When preparing to fill out this two-page form, gather the following information:

  • The official name of your New Hampshire LLC
  • The primary address, mailing address, business email, and phone number of your company
  • A statement outlining the purpose of your company
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The count of LLC members involved in establishing the business
  • The names, business addresses, and titles of all LLC members and/or managers you wish to document formally

This form requires the signature of a manager or member, depending on the structure of your New Hampshire LLC.

You can submit the Certificate of Formation for a New Hampshire LLC online or by mail. There is a $100 fee for form completion ($102 for online filing), and you will receive a file-stamped copy of your certificate within 30 days. Payments should be made payable to the “State of New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire NAICS Requirement:

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) assigns six-digit codes to businesses based on their trade type. When submitting the formation documents for your New Hampshire LLC, it’s mandatory to include your NAICS code.

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4. Draft an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that delineates how your LLC will carry out its business activities. Although New Hampshire doesn’t mandate an operating agreement, it constitutes a crucial aspect of your business. Possessing a readily available, written operating agreement proves beneficial for various reasons, such as resolving disputes that may arise regarding financial arrangements and potential legal matters. 

Without an agreement, the courts make determinations based on state law, which may not necessarily align with the LLC’s and its members’ best interests.

The operating agreement can encompass, among other things, the following details:

  • The name and principal address of the LLC
  • Duration of the LLC
  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • Information on the certificate of formation
  • Business purpose
  • Details about members and their contributions
  • Guidelines for profit and loss distribution
  • Procedures for admitting new members and handling outgoing members
  • LLC management structure
  • Indemnification and liability clauses

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5. Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Similar to your Social Security number, a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) serves as a means for creditors, lenders, and the government to authenticate the identity of businesses. Like SSNs, EINs consist of nine digits and are uniquely assigned to individual entities.

If you’re establishing a multi-member LLC of any scale or a single-member LLC with plans to hire employees, applying for a free EIN online is necessary. This number will validate your LLC’s identity when filing taxes, employing workers, opening a business bank account, and seeking financing.

Pro Tip: Sole proprietors of single-member LLCs can use their SSNs for all the mentioned purposes except when hiring employees. However, opting for an EIN instead of an SSN enhances privacy and reduces the risk of identity theft, making it a prudent choice to apply for one regardless.

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6. Submit Business Taxes

Business Profits Tax

Many states categorize LLCs as pass-through entities exempt from business income taxation. LLC members receive their share of the company’s profits directly and then pay state income tax on their earnings.

In contrast, New Hampshire doesn’t mandate LLC members to pay income tax on their earnings from the company’s revenue. Instead, the state imposes a flat 7.6% Business Profits Tax (BPT) on LLCs with gross receipts exceeding $92,000. This tax is payable on the 15th day of the third month following the conclusion of the tax year.

You can register for and remit the BPT online or via mail.

Business Enterprise Tax

Beyond the Business Profits Tax, New Hampshire businesses must also file a return for the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) online or through mail. This flat-rate tax pertains to “the sum of all compensation paid or accrued, interest paid or accrued, and dividends paid by the business enterprise, after special adjustments and apportionment.”

Even if your LLC falls below the filing threshold, you must submit a BET summary return.

7. File the Annual Report

New Hampshire mandates LLCs to file an annual report with the New Hampshire Department of State. This can be done online, accompanied by a $100 filing fee.

Annual reports are due by April 1 each year, with a $50 penalty imposed for missing the April 1 filing deadline. After two years of non-compliance, New Hampshire dissolves LLCs that have not submitted an annual report. LLCs cannot file a new annual report if the prior year’s report was neglected.

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8. Ensure Compliance for Your Company

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial for the operation of your New Hampshire LLC, and adherence to federal, state, and local regulations is imperative. The fees and prerequisites associated with licenses and permits vary based on the specific requirements of your business.

It’s advisable to consider employing professional services to investigate your business’s licensing requirements. 

9. Meeting New Hampshire LLC Tax Obligations

To maintain your business’s good standing, staying informed about the tax obligations applicable to your New Hampshire LLC is essential.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to register for one or more types of state tax, including:

New Hampshire Sales Tax

New Hampshire is one of the five states that doesn’t levy a sales tax.

New Hampshire Employer Taxes

If you have employees in New Hampshire, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax on the New Hampshire State website.

Income Tax

  • State: New Hampshire doesn’t impose an individual income tax on wages and salaries. However, interest and dividends are subject to a flat-rate 5% tax.
  • Federal: Report your federal income tax using either Form 1065 (multi-member LLC) or Form 1040 Schedule C (single-member LLC).

Employing Staff in New Hampshire

If you’re planning to hire employees for your business, ensure compliance with the law by following these steps:

  • Verify that new employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Report employees as “new hires” to the state
  • Provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees
  • Withhold employee taxes
  • Display workplace compliance posters in visible areas of your workspace

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10. Explore the Available Business Insurance Choices in New Hampshire

Sudden setbacks can severely affect small businesses, even in New Hampshire. While limited liability companies (LLCs) provide some protection for personal assets in the face of debts or legal challenges, it’s advisable to consider purchasing insurance to safeguard uncovered assets. The standard policy options in New Hampshire encompass:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance: According to New Hampshire state law, all businesses with employees, including part-time staff, must invest in workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage addresses injuries or illnesses employees may encounter while on the job.
  • General liability insurance: Offering comprehensive coverage, general liability insurance protects your business against losses from lawsuits related to accidents, injuries, or negligence linked to the company or on company premises.
  • Commercial property insurance: This type covers the expenses associated with repairing or replacing lost or damaged company property. It extends coverage to fires, weather damage, or theft.
  • Professional liability insurance: Geared towards businesses offering specialized services, such as law, accounting, or real estate, professional liability insurance, also known as “malpractice insurance,” protects in case of claims arising from errors or negligence in providing these services.
  • Cyber liability insurance: In the age of data breaches and ransomware attacks, safeguarding your customers and maintaining your LLC’s reputation is crucial. Cyber liability insurance covers losses incurred from notifying customers of an attack, compensating them for any claims, and covering expenses related to credit monitoring for those affected.

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How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire – FAQs

What Distinguishes a Member-Managed LLC From a Manager-Managed LLC?

In a member-managed structure, the operations are solely handled by the members. In contrast, in a manager-managed setup, a manager, who may or may not be a member, takes on the primary oversight. When establishing a multi-member LLC, choosing between member-managed and manager-managed frameworks becomes pivotal. 

Opt for a member-managed LLC if all members wish to actively participate in the company’s operations. Conversely, suppose at least one member is serving as a passive investor. In that case, hiring a manager to oversee the business may be considered, provided it aligns with the preferences of the LLC members.

What Is the Cost of Establishing an LLC in New Hampshire?

The filing fee for a New Hampshire LLC is $100; if submitted online, an additional $2 service fee is incurred along with the $100.

What Tax Flexibility Does an LLC Offer?

LLCs can be taxed as sole proprietorships, partnerships, C corporations (C-corps), or S corporations (S-corps). This flexibility empowers LLC members to optimize their tax liabilities according to their business structure and preferences.

Are Sales Taxes Applicable to LLCs in New Hampshire?

No, New Hampshire, one of the five states without a sales tax on goods sold, exempts LLCs from the obligation to collect, track, or file sales tax returns.

Who Is Responsible for New Hampshire Business Tax Payments?

Businesses with a gross income of $50,000 or more must pay a 7.7% Business Profits Tax (BPT) on income derived from business activities in New Hampshire. Effective for taxable periods concluding on or after December 31, 2022, the income threshold increases to $92,000, accompanied by a reduced tax rate of 7.6%.

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Bottom Line

In conclusion, establishing an LLC in New Hampshire requires attention to detail and adherence to state regulations. By carefully selecting a unique business name, appointing a registered agent, and fulfilling necessary documentation with the Secretary of State, entrepreneurs can establish a solid legal foundation for their business endeavors in the state. Staying informed about regulatory changes is crucial for ongoing compliance and success.

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