How to Register a Business Name in New Hampshire

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    Introducing our extensive manual on registering a business name in New Hampshire! Whether you’re looking to establish an LLC or corporation or simply want to adopt a “doing business as” (DBA) name, we have everything you need. New Hampshire provides an environment for aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself, presenting exciting prospects. 

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? To ensure a smooth and stress-free experience, we recommend teaming up with ZenBusiness, your reliable partner in all things related to business registrations. Together, let’s transform your aspirations of starting a successful venture in New Hampshire into reality!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in New Hampshire

    To establish your presence as an entrepreneur in New Hampshire, register your business name. To assist you with this procedure, we have outlined four easy steps that will enable you to register your business name in New Hampshire officially.

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in New Hampshire

    If you’re considering registering a business in New Hampshire, one of the key tasks is registering your business name. To accomplish this, choose the right business structure that aligns with your objectives and plans for growth.

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? In New Hampshire, various options are available for incorporated and unincorporated businesses. Let’s delve into each of these choices in depth to assist you in making an educated choice.

    Sole Proprietorship

    In New Hampshire, a sole proprietorship is the most basic form of business organization. Under this structure, the owner and the business are considered the same. You’re personally responsible for any debts or obligations incurred by your business. Although it’s not required to register a sole proprietorship with the state of New Hampshire, there may be a need to obtain local licenses or permits.

    General Partnership

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? In a general partnership, the business is co-owned by two or more individuals who share the profits and losses. Each partner handles debts or legal obligations of the business. While it may not be necessary to register a general partnership with the state officially, it might be required to file a “New Hampshire Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where your business operates.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    In New Hampshire, a limited partnership is composed of general partners who have unlimited personal liability and limited partners who contribute capital but have limited liability. To form an LP, you must submit a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” to the Secretary of State in New Hampshire.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC provides the advantage of a flexible business structure that offers liability protection like a corporation, as well as the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. To establish an LLC in New Hampshire, submit a “Certificate of Formation Limited Liability Company” to the New Hampshire Secretary of State and develop an Operating Agreement that outlines how the company will be managed and owned.


    A corporation offers limited liability protection and is considered a separate legal entity from its shareholders. In the state of New Hampshire, there are two types of corporations available: C-corporations and S-corporations.

    To establish a corporation in New Hampshire, you must submit either the “Articles of Incorporation For-Profit Corporation” or the “Articles of Incorporation Nonprofit Corporation” to the New Hampshire Secretary of State, depending on your business. The business registration New Hampshire process also involves additional formalities such as setting up bylaws, issuing stocks and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

    When deciding on an appropriate business structure in New Hampshire, consider liability protection, taxation implications, and management requirements. Seek guidance from legal or business experts to ensure that your decision aligns with your specific business objectives. 

    Once you have selected the ideal structure for your business, you can register it through the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office.

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    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in New Hampshire

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? When establishing a business in New Hampshire, follow certain guidelines and regulations to ensure professionalism, originality, and legal compliance when selecting a name. 

    There are various choices for naming your business, such as registering a legal entity name, obtaining a trademark, or operating under a Doing Business As name while maintaining the legal name. However, naming rules and regulations can differ from state to state. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with the specific requirements in New Hampshire is crucial.

    To safeguard your business name and prevent others from using it without permission, you may pursue all three options mentioned above. Choosing one of these alternatives can also be an effective approach. Although not obligatory by law, maintaining consistency across all registration methods by utilizing the same business name is recommended.

    Now let’s delve into each naming option in New Hampshire for further understanding:

    Legal Entity Name

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? Businesses in New Hampshire must register a legal entity name, which functions as the official identifier for the company within the state. This name needs to be one-of-a-kind, guaranteeing that your business stands out and reducing the likelihood of another entity having an identical name.

    Naming laws in New Hampshire also encompass rules about company suffixes such as LLC, LP, or Corp and mandate that the name accurately represents the type of business being registered. To check whether a specific name is available, you can consult the database of the New Hampshire Secretary of State.


    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? In New Hampshire, a business name or logo can be legally protected through a trademark. Perform an extensive search within the USPTO database to ensure that the name or logo still needs to be registered to safeguard it. 

    Once registered, the trademark provides exclusive rights and prevents others from using a similar name or logo for similar goods or services, ensuring nationwide protection. However, obtaining a trademark doesn’t guarantee unrestricted usage of the name or logo in all situations.

    Doing Business As (DBA)

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? In New Hampshire, you can register your business with an “official” name and then operate under a different name, which is known as a Doing Business As (DBA) name. To establish a DBA, submit a Fictitious Name Registration application to the Secretary of State’s office. While federal trademark laws protect these names, a DBA doesn’t need to be unique at the state level.

    By understanding and carefully considering these naming options, you can successfully register your business name in New Hampshire while complying with legal requirements and protecting your brand’s identity. Research the specific requirements and guidelines set forth by the state to make informed decisions that best suit your business needs.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in New Hampshire

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? Before formally registering your business, verify that the desired name isn’t already in use and is available. To achieve this, perform three necessary categories of searches:

    Trademark Search

    Start by searching for federal trademarks to determine if the desired name for your New Hampshire business is already trademarked. Verify that your preferred name still needs to be protected, as federal trademarks hold more weight than state-level registrations. If the name is already trademarked, you must find an alternative business name.

    To perform the federal trademark search, access the TESS Search tool on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.

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    New Hampshire Business Name Search

    Once you have confirmed that your name isn’t protected by trademark, check if it’s available specifically for New Hampshire. Use the New Hampshire QuickStart Business Search tool to investigate registered business names in the state.

    During this search, ensure that not only your exact business name is available but also be cautious of any considerably similar business names that might cause confusion.

    Website Domain Search

    After confirming that any trademarks don’t restrict your business name and are available in New Hampshire, it’s advisable to check the availability of the .com domain for your selected name. While not every business needs a website, it’s a good practice to secure the .com domain early on.

    Registering your business name with ZenBusiness as a .com version, you gain exclusive rights to that website name, ensuring that others cannot use it. By conducting these three searches, register your business under a unique and legally available name.

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    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of New Hampshire

    How to register a business name in New Hampshire? Once you have completed the business registration New Hampshire process of determining your business structure and selecting a name, the subsequent task is to register your business with the State of New Hampshire officially. Let me guide you through the steps:

    • Registering a New Hampshire LLC

    To establish your LLC in New Hampshire, submit the Articles of Organization to the New Hampshire Department of State. This can be done either online or by mail.

    • Registering a New Hampshire Corporation

    When establishing a company, submit the Articles of Incorporation to the New Hampshire Department of State.

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    After confirming that your company name is available and secured, contemplate applying for a trademark. While not obligatory, obtaining a trademark offers comprehensive protection nationwide under federal law. This ensures that your brand is shielded from any other businesses using a similar name. 

    However, it comes at a price, ranging between $225 and $400, besides attorney fees. It causes renewal every 10 years. This option holds greater significance for companies intending to operate nationally.

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    How to File a New Hampshire Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To register a Fictitious Name (also known as Doing Business As or DBA) in New Hampshire, you can follow these instructions:

    1. Choose a Fictitious Name: Choose a suitable name for your business, ensuring it’s not currently being used by any other organization based in New Hampshire.
    1. Conduct a Name Search: Check if your desired name is available by searching the business name database of the Secretary of State in New Hampshire.
    1. Download the Registration Form: Head over to the official website of the Secretary of State in New Hampshire and grab a copy of the “Trade Name Registration” form.
    1. Complete the Form: Please complete the form with precise details, such as your preferred made-up name, the address of your company, and the type of business you’re engaged in.
    1. Notarize the Form: Before submitting the form, it’s necessary to have it notarized. Find a notary public who can witness your signature.
    1. Submit the Form: Send the filled-out and duly authenticated document to the Corporation Division of the New Hampshire Secretary of State. Enclose a check or money order with the filing fee, usually around $50, payable to “State of New Hampshire.”
    1. Renewal: You have a five-year window to use fictitious names in New Hampshire. Don’t forget to renew the registration promptly to continue using the DBA name.

    When you register a fictitious name, you can run your business using a different name while keeping its legal name unchanged. This can be especially beneficial for sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and entities looking to operate under a distinctive brand identity.

    How to Change the Name of a New Hampshire Business?

    If you find yourself when you need to alter the name of your business in New Hampshire, there are two available options.

    1. Filing for a Trade Name (DBA Name)

    Operating your business under a different name without changing its legal name is the most straightforward method. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships can use trade names. LLCs and corporations can use this strategy, enabling them to use brand names without including the necessary LLC or Inc. suffix typically found in their legal names.

    1. Submitting an Amendment to the Legal Name

    If you desire to modify the registered name of your LLC or corporation formally, submit an amendment. This procedure entails presenting either a Certificate of Amendment for LLCs or Articles of Amendment for corporations to the Corporation Division of the New Hampshire Department of State, accompanied by a filing fee of $35.

    Remember that for most small businesses, getting a trademark may only be necessary if they intend to operate nationwide. Select the approach that best fits your business objectives and requirements when altering or registering your business name in New Hampshire.

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    Business Name Registration Laws in New Hampshire

    Under the laws in New Hampshire, businesses must register their business name. Here are several important factors to consider:

    • Doing Business As (DBA) Name: If you’re the owner of a sole proprietorship or a general partnership and wish to employ a business name that differs from your legal name, submit a registration for either a “Trade Name” or “Doing Business As” (DBA) with the Secretary of State.
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Corporation Names: To establish an LLC or corporation in New Hampshire, verify that the desired business name is accessible and follows the state’s guidelines for naming. Typically, the Secretary of State’s office examines name availability as part of the business formation procedure.
    • Name Availability and Restrictions: In New Hampshire, your company name must be distinct and not already taken by another registered business. The chosen name must avoid forbidden terms or expressions while adhering to specific naming criteria established by the state.
    • Registration Process: To register a DBA or trade name, complete the relevant form and submit it to the office of the Secretary of State in New Hampshire, along with the required filing fee. In the case of LLCs and corporations, the registration of a name usually occurs as part of the process for establishing a business.
    • Renewal and Maintenance: Depending on local regulations, it may be necessary to renew DBA registrations at regular intervals. With LLCs and corporations, there’s no specified renewal requirement after registering the name during formation. However, ensure that your business entity remains in good standing by meeting annual filing and compliance obligations.
    • Business Structure and Legal Considerations: The choice of business structure you make (such as sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation) affects the registration procedure and legal obligations. Comprehend the legal consequences associated with each structure before deciding.

    For accurate and current details regarding the laws on registering business names in New Hampshire, refer to the official website of the New Hampshire Secretary of State or consult a knowledgeable attorney or business consultant well-versed in state-specific regulations.

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    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in New Hampshire

    To summarize, officially naming your business in New Hampshire paves the way for an exciting venture in this picturesque state. By handpicking a unique business structure and name, fulfilling all necessary registrations with the Secretary of State’s office, and considering trademark protection if applicable, you establish a firm foundation for success. 

    Using LLC services such as ZenBusiness can provide valuable expertise and help throughout the business registration New Hampshire process, enhancing your prospects in New Hampshire’s business realm. With determination and enthusiasm, you’re positioned to make a significant impact on the local economy and establish a lasting presence in the Granite State.

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