How to Start a Business in New Hampshire


If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, New Hampshire is a great place to do it. With its low cost of living and friendly business climate, it’s an ideal location for a startup or young company to get started. To start your own company in New Hampshire, follow these steps:

Choose a name for your business.

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a name for your business:

  • It should be easy to remember and catchy so people can talk about you and spread the word.
  • Make sure it isn’t already being used by someone else or one of your competitors. Most people don’t want their money going into something that already exists!
  • Choose something that doesn’t offend anyone or confuse them when they hear it on social media posts, TV commercials etcetera (this could include avoiding misspellings).

File a New Hampshire Business License

If you’re going to start a business in New Hampshire, you’ll need to file for a business license. You can do this online through the state’s Department of Resources and Economic Development. If your business is located in Manchester, Nashua, or Concord, however, you will have to file for your license in person at one of those locations.

The cost for a new business license depends on the type of business: $50 for businesses that are exempt from local taxes and $100 for all others. The license fee is valid for one year from the date of issuance and can be renewed annually through filing an application with the town clerk’s office where your company is based.

Register your Company with the State

You can use the online registration form provided by the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office to get started. Once you have completed this application, you will need to mail it in along with a $100 fee and proof of your identity (e.g., driver’s license). The state will assign your business an identification number and send back a certificate confirming its existence as well as other necessary documents like certified copies of articles or bylaws and charters if applicable.

Set up your Financial Accounts

  • Open a business checking account.

    This is where you will deposit your company’s money and pay bills, and it should be with a bank that has branches in New Hampshire (many banks only have branches in their own state).

  • Open a business savings account.

    You’ll need this to keep some of your company’s funds safe from creditors if they sue you and win the lawsuit, so they can’t take all of your cash out of the bank at once. This doesn’t have to be the same bank as your checking account, but it should also be located in New Hampshire so no other state will claim jurisdiction over it.

  • Open a business credit card.

    Like most states, New Hampshire does not allow owner liability for corporate debts—if someone sues your company for something related to its work and wins, there may still be some assets left behind after paying off the debt (but not very many).

Submit a tax registration application.

  • Submit a tax registration application.
  • File your first tax return.
  • Pay taxes, if applicable.

New Hampshire’s tax rate is 5%, although it is scheduled to drop to 4% by 2022 and eventually fall further in subsequent years. You may also be required to pay local or state business fees, depending on where your business operates.

Apply for any Additional Licenses and Permits

New Hampshire requires businesses that sell alcohol, or that have employees, to obtain a liquor license from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. If you are selling food and/or drinks, this is a good idea anyway as it gives you more flexibility as well as helps with liability issues (i.e., an underage customer having an accident). The application form can be found here:

You’ll also need a business license if your company will be doing work in multiple cities or towns within New Hampshire (the state has no county government). This license allows local officials to contact one central office rather than every city or town where your business operates during any given month; however, it doesn’t require paying separate taxes on gross receipts earned in each area where you operate — only once per year at the state level — so there isn’t much financial incentive beyond the convenience of doing business across multiple jurisdictions at once without having separate receipts everywhere else too often!


If you operate a business that is licensed by the state of New Hampshire, you will need to pay a tax once per year in order to be properly registered with the Department of Revenue Administration. This tax is based on gross receipts from all sources during the previous year, so it doesn’t matter if your company has only one location or many.


If you are a business owner in New Hampshire, it’s important to understand your state tax obligations. The state government offers many resources to assist with this process, including a helpful website that provides all of the information you’ll need to file your state return on time and without error.

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