If you are planning to start a New Hampshire limited liability company (LLC), you need to know how much it will cost you. But understanding all of your potential expenses can be challenging, particularly if you don’t know where to look.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about starting a New Hampshire LLC.
Read on to learn:
- How much you will spend on a new New Hampshire LLC
- Extra costs you might want to incur
- How to decide on the most suitable LLC formation method
By the time you reach the end of this article, you will know the basic details of New Hampshire LLC formation costs.
Total New Hampshire LLC Cost – Starting at $100
According to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Forms and Fees, the lowest possible cost to start a New Hampshire LLC is $100.
This only includes one item:
- New Hampshire Certificate of Formation filing fee: $100
After forming your limited liability company, you may also be required to pay for professional and local business licenses, the costs of which vary.
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New Hampshire LLCs – the Basic Costs
The total cost of starting a New Hampshire LLC depends on various factors. However, the bare minimum cost is $100. We’ve laid out your potential mandatory costs in the sections below.
Certificate of Formation Filing Fee — $100
A Certificate of Formation is a legal document that officially creates an LLC. To start an LLC in New Hampshire, you will have to file one with the Secretary of State. Fortunately, this task is simpler than it sounds. You just need to fill out some basic details about your business.
Professional Licenses and Business Permits — Variable
Some New Hampshire businesses will be required to obtain a state-level license or permit in order to legally operate. Check out the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification’s website to learn more.
Additionally, while New Hampshire does not levy sales taxes, some businesses will need to get a tax operator's license from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration.
You might also need to obtain a local permit or license for your LLC. For instance, the city of Manchester requires certain types of companies to obtain business licenses.
New Hampshire LLCs – Optional Costs to Consider
In addition to these required LLC formation costs, you may want to spend a little extra cash on some optional expenditures. Although you do not need to do so, these expenses can help you improve your business.
Expedited LLC Filing Fees — N/A
New Hampshire does not offer expedited services for LLC filings. However, online filing allows for faster processing since the office will receive the documents immediately. So, if you need your LLC to be registered quickly, filing online will make things go faster.
Registered Agent Fee — about $100 per year
New Hampshire law requires every LLC to name a registered agent to receive papers on behalf of the business. You will list your registered agent details on your certificate of formation for no additional charge. However, if you ever want to change your agent, there is a $15 fee.
Some new business owners want to be the registered agents for their own LLCs. But they are often signing up for more than they thought. Registered agents must always be available to accept documents during regular business hours. Plus, their addresses will be published online, which can result in loads of junk mail.
That’s why we recommend that you hire a professional registered agent service instead. These services only charge about $100 annually, and they manage all your LLC’s registered agent tasks.
Check out our Best Registered Agent Services article for some of our recommendations.
Operating Agreement — Variable
An LLC operating agreement is a legal contract that states how the members will run the business in writing. For instance, an operating agreement can list vital details like the LLC member’s rights and responsibilities or how they can join or exit the company.
New Hampshire law does not say that LLC owners must have an operating agreement. But we strongly suggest that all LLCs have one. And while you are allowed to write your own New Hampshire LLC operating agreement, it’s not advisable unless you have some level of legal expertise.
You can choose to hire a lawyer to make your LLC an operating agreement. This option will ensure you receive a well-drafted contract that meets your needs. Just remember that attorneys can be pricey. So if you want to spend less on your operating agreement, an LLC formation service can write one for as little as $39.
DBA Fee — $50
LLC owners often decide to run their businesses with a “doing business as” or “DBA” name. A DBA is any name that a business “goes by” other than its official legal name. For example, many drop the “LLC” from their LLC’s registered name so it will be more casual.
New Hampshire calls DBAs “trade names.” If you want to use a DBA for your New Hampshire LLC, you must submit an Application for Registration of Trade Name to the Secretary of State.
You can file online or submit a paper form. There is a $50 filing fee.
Name Reservation Fee — $15
If you have chosen a name for your LLC but aren’t quite ready to file the formation paperwork, New Hampshire lets you reserve a name for 120-day periods. Doing so will prevent anyone else from registering the name while it is reserved.
Domain Name — about $20 per year
In today’s economy, many LLC owners choose to make websites for their businesses. But you must purchase a domain before you can build a website. Luckily, domain names are fairly cheap and easy to buy.
Still, it’s crucial that you get your domain name as quickly as you can. Doing so will prevent someone else from buying it first. For example, “domain squatters” will purchase a new LLC’s potential domains so they can resell them for a profit.
You can buy a domain name from GoDaddy.com or a similar service for about $20 to $50 per year. These websites often offer sales and other discounts, so you can usually get one even cheaper.
Getting an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) — Free
An EIN is a 9-digit identification number for tax purposes that is assigned to a company by the Internal Revenue Service. It might help to think of EINs as social security numbers for businesses. While some LLCs are legally required to get an EIN, others are not.
Either way, we strongly suggest that LLC owners get an EIN. Many banks require you to have an EIN to open a business account. Plus, an EIN can also help protect against identity theft by allowing you to keep your SSN private.
Foreign LLC Qualification Fees — about $100 per extra state
If you plan to expand into other states, you should budget for some expenses. Although you aren’t required to start a new LLC in each state where you want to do business, you must register as a foreign limited liability company.
Foreign LLC filing fees vary between states but typically are about $100.
Writing Formation Costs Off
You can usually deduct your LLC formation costs as business startup expenses when you do your federal income taxes. The IRS offers significant advice on this topic, so we recommend that you check out the IRS website for more info.
By default, the IRS classifies LLCs as “pass-through” tax entities. This status allows LLC owners to deduct up to $5,000 in startup costs from their federal taxes in the year they start their business.
Nancy decides to start a single-member LLC and open a corner store in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her formation costs are as follows:
- New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation: $100
- Manchester High-Impact Retail Sales License: $50
- Operating Agreement: $40
- New Hampshire Registered Agent service Fees: $100
- DBA Fee: $50
- Name Reservation Fee: $15
- Web Domain Costs: $25
The LLC itself won’t pay any federal income taxes since it’s a pass-through entity. Rather, Nancy will report her income from the LLC and any deductions on her own federal income taxes. (New Hampshire does not assess a personal income tax.)
Nancy’s total formation expenses were $380. Before she deducted her costs, her total taxable income was $38,000. However, deducting her formation costs reduces her taxable income to $37,620. This will lower her 2023 federal income taxes from $4,361 to $4,315.
While this is not a significant decrease, LLC owners who consistently deduct expenses will see their savings add up as time goes on.
Cheapest Way to Start an LLC in New Hampshire
When choosing an LLC formation approach, make sure you think about the unique needs of your business. To help you pick one, we’ve summarized some of the most common methods in the sections below.
Formation Service – $39 + state fees
Using an LLC formation service is a popular choice. Although these companies aren’t law firms, they specialize in forming all types of business entities. And they’ll handle the entire process for you.
LLC formation services are a good option for most LLCs. The advantages of this approach include:
- They’re easy. In most cases, a formation service will have helped hundreds of people through the exact process you are struggling with now. They have all the documents, information, and expertise you need right on hand.
- They don’t cost much. Because formation services have such a large volume of business, they don’t have to charge their clients that much money.
- They’re reliable. All of the formation services’ products and procedures have been tested hundreds of times over in the real world. That kind of experience should give you peace of mind and confidence going forward.
- They’re fast. Formation services have seen almost every business formation situation already. Chances are, they have many solutions for you that are ready right now before you even know you need them.
Still, a formation service isn’t the right option for every business. The disadvantages to this approach include:
- They’re not the best solution for complex LLCs. If you are forming a complicated company or one in a heavily regulated industry, you will have concerns that probably need more focused expertise in that area of business.
- Even if a formation service is a good fit, you can expect upselling. Formation services have to make money too, and some of them may pressure you to buy formation products or business services you don’t need. Even when you are using a formation service, you need to be a smart and informed consumer.
Using a professional LLC formation service can be a great way to set up a business. Check out our Best LLC formation services article for some of our suggestions.
The most reliable method is working with an attorney to start your LLC. This option will provide you with expert legal services that are tailored to the needs of your business. Just don’t forget that lawyers can be expensive. Attorneys usually charge for their services by the hour, often at a rate of several hundred dollars per hour.
Despite the expense, there are significant benefits to hiring a lawyer:
- Lawyers help you manage risk. If you are starting a business with complicated legal issues, hiring a lawyer would be the best choice.
- Lawyers offer more customization when you need it. Do you need specific things put in an operating agreement? Is your company going to have a unique ownership structure? You may need an attorney to make sure these issues are handled properly.
Still, the drawbacks of this method typically outweigh the advantages for the average LLC:
- Lawyers cost more than any other option. The price tag alone should convince you that if you don’t need a lawyer, it’s not worth hiring one.
- Finding a lawyer takes a long time. Getting a lawyer who specializes in what you need, costs what you’re willing to pay, and can work with you well is a tall order.
- Lawyers also take longer to form a business than a formation service. Because lawyers are also very careful people, they will generally take much longer to form your company than non-lawyers would. Fortunately, most people don’t need a lawyer. In 90% of cases, a formation service will do just fine.
Do it Yourself
Finally, you can always roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. But don’t forget to account for the value of your time before you choose this option. The time you spend filling out LLC formation paperwork may be better spent on other parts of your business.
The advantages of a DIY formation approach include:
- Personal knowledge. A DIY business owner will learn a lot about the process while forming their own business, and they probably will retain that knowledge for years to come.
- It costs less upfront. If you don’t account for the value of your time, a DIY solution is the cheapest option.
Just make sure you consider the disadvantages as well:
- You’re losing money when you consider how much time it takes to DIY. If you figure out that your time is worth $30 per hour, and you take 20 hours to complete your business formation, you have essentially spent $600 on business formation.
- There’s the risk of making a mistake. DIY business owners can easily make a mistake with all the paperwork that can cost them even more time and money.
- It’s a headache. State workers are very helpful, capable people. But they will also tell you that the laws and rules governing business formation are not easy, and they follow those rules for a living. It’s going to be even harder for you.
Annual New Hampshire LLC Fees: How Much Will it Cost to Maintain your LLC?
New Hampshire law requires LLCs to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State each year. You can submit your report online, and there is a $100 annual report filing fee.
You also may be required to periodically renew your LLC’s business licenses and permits.
Additionally, some of your optional expenses must be paid each year. Your ongoing optional costs might include:
- Registered agent service fee: approximately $100
- Domain name registration: $20 to $60
How Much are LLC Taxes in New Hampshire
New Hampshire does not require individuals to pay income taxes. So, while you’ll need to pay federal income taxes on your LLC’s profits, you will not have to pay personal state income taxes on the money you make.
However, some New Hampshire LLCs will be required to pay the state’s business profits tax and/or business enterprise tax.
As of the 2023 tax year, the business profits tax applies to LLCs with more than $92,000 in annual business income. Your LLC will also be subject to the business enterprise tax if its gross receipts or “enterprise value tax base” exceeds a certain amount. The threshold is adjusted biennially for inflation.
New Hampshire LLC Formation Costs Quick Links
- New Hampshire Online Filing
- New Hampshire Forms and Fees
- New Hampshire Secretary of State
- New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
- IRS — apply for an EIN online
- IRS information regarding the federal tax treatment of LLCs
New Hampshire LLC Formation Costs FAQs
How much does it cost to start an LLC in New Hampshire?
The minimum cost is $100. But, depending on your LLC’s location and industry, it could cost more.
What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in New Hampshire?
The do-it-yourself approach is the least expensive in terms of cash investment. But if you account for the value of your time, the most cost-effective method is usually an affordable LLC formation service.
Do I need to hire an attorney to form an LLC in New Hampshire?
No. You can start an average LLC without help from a lawyer. A DIY method or an LLC formation service will be suitable for most.
Can I pay to form an LLC more quickly in New Hampshire?
No. However, your paperwork will be received and processed more quickly if you file online.