How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire
If you intend to commence a new business in New Hampshire, you should contemplate establishing a business entity for your company. Setting up a limited liability company (LLC) can create a legal boundary between you and your company's obligations. Forming a New Hampshire LLC is a straightforward process and can be completed within a few weeks.
To assist you in setting up a New Hampshire LLC, we have created a guide outlining the necessary steps to launch your business. Keep reading to learn about the measures you must take to start your company.
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1. Name Your New Hampshire LLC
To register your LLC, you must first choose a name to include in your articles. However, you need to ensure that the name complies with New Hampshire naming requirements.
Here are the most crucial requirements that you should keep in mind:
- The name of your business must include the words Limited Liability Company, LLC, or L.L.C.
- The name should not be the same as an existing business in the state. You can conduct searches on the Secretary of State's website to determine if a particular business name is in use. To check the availability of a name in New Hampshire, follow this link.
- The name should not contain words used to name a government agency (such as State Department, CIA, FBI, Treasury, etc.)
- Certain restricted words (such as bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.) may require additional documentation and licensure paperwork.
2. Appoint a Registered Agent
For every New Hampshire LLC, it is mandatory to have an agent for service of process within the state. This individual or business entity is responsible for accepting legal papers on behalf of the LLC if it is sued.
The registered agent can either be a New Hampshire resident or a corporation, LLC, or limited liability partnership authorized to do business in New Hampshire. It is essential that the registered agent has a physical street address within New Hampshire.
You can find a list of registered agents on the New Hampshire Secretary of State website.
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3. File a Certificate of Formation
To create a New Hampshire LLC, you need to file a Certificate of Formation of a New Hampshire Limited Liability Company with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
This Certificate should contain the following information:
- Name of the LLC
- Office address, email address, and business phone of the LLC
- Nature of the LLC's business, including specific details like "software development"
- Name and address of the LLC's registered agent
- Indication of whether the LLC will be run by managers
- A list of all managers and/or members
- Signature of the LLC's manager, if any, or a member
4. Create an Operating Agreement
In New Hampshire, an operating agreement is a document that details the manner in which your LLC will operate. Although it is not mandatory to have one, an operating agreement is a crucial element of your business.
A written operating agreement that is easily accessible can be beneficial for several reasons, such as resolving conflicts that might emerge concerning financial arrangements or potential lawsuits.
If there is no agreement in place, the courts will decide based on state laws, which may not always be in the best interests of the LLC and its members.
5. Obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN)
In the United States, every newly established LLC, except for single-member LLCs, must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.
The EIN is a nine-digit number that serves as a business's equivalent to a social security number and is essential for various tasks, including paying income tax, filing tax returns, opening business bank accounts, and carrying out several other critical functions.
Applying for an EIN is free and can be done online through the IRS website.
6. File Annual Reports
The state of New Hampshire requires all LLCs, including foreign LLCs authorized to conduct business in the state, to submit an annual report by April 1 each year.
The filing fee for the report is $100. To file the report, you must use the New Hampshire Annual Report Online Filing webpage.
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