Frequently asked questions about starting and running an LLC, or limited liability company.
Under New Hampshire law, an LLC name must contain the words: "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C.," or a similar abbreviation.
Your LLC's name must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities already on file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State Corporation Division. Names may be checked for availability at the New Hampshire Secretary of State business name database.
You may reserve a name for 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. The application must be filed by mail. The filing fee is $15.
Every New Hampshire LLC must have an agent for service of process in the state. This is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC's behalf if it is sued. The registered agent may be a New Hampshire resident or a corporation, LLC, or limited liability partnership authorized to do business in New Hampshire. The registered agent must have a physical street address in New Hampshire. A list of registered agents is available at the New Hampshire Secretary of State website.
A New Hampshire LLC is created by filing a Certificate of Formation of a New Hampshire Limited Liability Company with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. The Certificate must include:
The certificate may be filed online or by postal mail. The filing fee is $100.
An LLC operating agreement is not required in New Hampshire, but is highly advisable. This is an internal document that establishes how your LLC will be run. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, including how the LLC will be managed. It can also help preserve your limited liability by showing that your LLC is truly a separate business entity. In the absence of an operating agreement, state LLC law will govern how your LLC operates.
If your LLC has more than one member, it must obtain its own IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), even if it has no employees. If you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees or you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). You may obtain an EIN by completing an online EIN application on the IRS website. There is no filing fee.
All New Hampshire LLCs and foreign LLCs authorized to do business in the state must file an annual report. The report must be received by the Secretary of State prior to April 1. The filing fee is $100. The report must be filed online through the New Hampshire Annual Report Online Filing web page.
All of the paperwork and procedural steps to start a limited liability company can be done online using Nolo's Online LLC Formation service.