Forming a limited liability company (LLC) is one of the options that many new entrepreneurs in New Hampshire consider. After all, the advantages that this business entity structure offers are ideal for startups as well as small and medium-sized companies.
Generally, the LLC structure limits the liability of the owners to protect their assets in case the company incurs debts and other liabilities. That is because an LLC is treated as a separate entity. Additionally, the filing requirements, administration, and compliance obligations are easy to understand.
The Certificate Of Formation
To start a New Hampshire LLC, you have to follow the formation process. This includes the submission of formal paperwork, which is known as the Certificate of Formation. In other states, it is called the Articles of Organization. This document will formalize and legalize your business operations in the state.
You will have to file it with the Secretary of State. You can do that by mail, personally, or online. Additionally, you have to pay the corresponding fee. It is $100 for mailed submissions, $102 for online applications, and $125 for in-person filings. The processing time also varies:
- Mail – 1 to 3 weeks
- Online – 3 to 7 business days
- In Person – 15 minutes to 2 hours
What To Prepare
To complete the form, you will have to disclose some pieces of information related to your New Hampshire LLC.
- Company Name – The state has set guidelines for naming LLCs. Make sure you follow them to avoid any issues in forming your business.First, you have to ensure that your LLC name is distinguishable. You cannot use a name that another business entity in New Hampshire has already taken. You can check if it is already on file by conducting a business name search on the state database. Second, you also need to use a proper designator, so you have to include the phrase “limited liability company” or any of its abbreviations.
- Principal Office Address – You have to inform the state where your main business office in New Hampshire is located. You can put a home address, an actual office address, or the address of a friend or family member that you will use as the principal office.In case your company has a different mailing address, you also need to disclose this on the Certificate of Formation. Place the information on the Principal Mailing Address part. Otherwise, you can leave it blank.
- Contact Information – This part requires you to write the phone number and email address of your company. These do not have to be official. You can use your home, mobile, or office phone number. You may also enter your primary email address.
- Nature Of The Business – You have to describe what your company is planning on doing. You do not have to think of something specific. You can choose a few words such as “real estate investing,” “restoration of old cars,” “pizza shop,” “life coaching services,” and “landscaping.”
- NAICS Code – If you know the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code of your company, enter that information. But answering this portion is optional, so you can skip it. Generally, the government uses this code to identify a company’s line of business and activities.
- Registered Agent Information – Your New Hampshire LLC needs to have a registered agent to serve as the point of communication of your company with the state. They will receive all legal correspondence and other important business mailings on behalf of your company. You can appoint an individual resident of New Hampshire or a commercial registered agent that is authorized to transact in the state. Read this article to learn more about state requirements. In preparing the Certificate of Formation, you will have to provide the name and complete address of your registered agent.
- Management Structure – You have to indicate whether your company will be member-managed or manager-managed. Additionally, you should list the names of all the members and managers.
Aside from the Certificate of Formation, there are other types of paperwork you will have to know before starting an LLC in New Hampshire.
- Name Reservation – If the company name you have thought of is available and you want to reserve it while you are still preparing for the registration, you may file an Application for Reservation of Name with the Secretary of State. Doing this will reserve the name for 120 days. The application has a $15 filing fee.
- Trade Name – The state allows companies to use a name different from the legal name that they have registered in the Certificate of Formation. This is known as a trade name, fictitious name, or doing business as (DBA). If you want to do this, you will have to register the trade name with the Secretary of State by filing an Application for Registration of Trade Name. You can register it by postal mail or online. It comes with a $50 filing fee. However, you can only do this process after successfully filing your Certificate of Formation.
- Operating Agreement – This formation document is internal, so you do not have to submit it to the state. It will set out the rights and duties of the LLC members and managers. It will also help you preserve the limited liability protection of the structure by showing that the company is a separate entity. Additionally, this paperwork will outline the operating procedures of your LLC.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – LLCs with multiple owners are required to get an EIN from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). Meanwhile, LLCs with sole owners have to obtain one if they are planning on hiring employees or thinking of electing to be taxed as a corporation. The EIN will also be useful when opening a business bank account. You can get this number by completing the application form on the website of the IRS. This particular paperwork is free.
Getting Help With Your New Hampshire LLC
Aside from the paperwork mentioned above, your LLC will have other tax and reporting obligations. To learn more about these or get help in filing formal paperwork, contact DoMyLLC.
Business Filing Section