Think about your LLC a year from now: raking in profits and taking New Hampshire by storm. You have big plans, but before your business can officially take off, you’ll need to make a bit of an investment.
And we’re not talking about renting office space or paying employees – before you sell a single product, there are startup costs associated with launching an LLC in New Hampshire.
While you’re making plans and dreaming big, make sure that you consider all the possible costs associated with starting an LLC. To help you out, we’ve compiled the most common New Hampshire startup fees here.
Quick Note: If you’d like to keep your costs of starting an LLC as simple and low as possible, consider hiring ZenBusiness – a reliable business formation service. To get a better idea of the value they offer and how it works, we compared them to the two most well known services:
Bare Minimum Cost to Start an LLC in New Hampshire
- Optional: LLC Name Reservation Fee
- $15 to submit a hard copy
- Required: Certificate of Formation Fee
- $100 to submit online or using a hard copy
Overall New Hampshire LLC Formation Costs
LLC Name Reservation Fee
You don’t need to reserve a business name before starting your LLC, but it can be a useful tool if you aren’t ready to file the Certificate of Formation yet. You can protect any available name for 120 days by paying $15 and filing an “Application for Reservation of Name.” The Certificate of Formation automatically registers a business name, so if you’re ready to start your LLC, it saves time and money to skip name reservation and move on to the formation documents.
Certificate of Formation Fee
This is the big one, the most important (and most expensive) form that you’ll file to start your New Hampshire LLC. Filing the Certificate of Formation puts your LLC on record with the Secretary of State, giving it authority to do business in the state. No Certificate of Formation, no business. This filing comes with a $100 fee and you can file it online or on paper. You only file the Certificate of Formation once, so you won’t need to pay this $100 again.
Business and Professional Licenses
Even after you’ve filed the Certificate of Formation, your LLC might need additional licenses before commencing business in New Hampshire, although the type and cost of licensure depend on what kind of business you’re doing. For example, barbers must obtain licensure through the New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics. On top of that, your city or county may have its own licensing requirements. Your LLC may or may not need licenses, but you’ll want to check with the New Hampshire Employment Security and your local government to see which (if any) you need to obtain.
LLC Formation Service
Starting an LLC can be a complicated and time-consuming process. If you want to spend less time on paperwork and more time planning your business, you might opt for an LLC formation service. These services take care of the registration process for you, so you don’t have to spend the time on research, paperwork, and filings.
Most of these services (like ZenBusiness and Northwest) offer basic LLC formation service like Articles of Organization filing, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like Employer Identification Numbers, Operating Agreements, and expedited filing.
Registered Agent Service
Appointing a registered agent is an important part of your LLC formation process. Your registered agent is responsible for handling sensitive legal and tax documents and keeping your business compliant with New Hampshire business law. In short, you need an agent you can trust.
While you can be the registered agent for your own LLC, this puts pressure on you to keep up with business filings and potential legal disputes. Sometimes it’s better to hand off that responsibility to a professional. A registered agent service ensures that your annual reports and other forms are filed efficiently and on-time, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.
Not all registered agent services are equal, so you’ll need to be careful in choosing one. Fortunately, we’ve done some research for you, and we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. In addition to registered agent services, Northwest also handles LLC formation — and they’ll include a registered agent free for one year when you form your business with them. We think they’re the most reliable choice, but if you’d like to evaluate all your options, check out our Best Registered Agent Services guide.
If you have questions or concerns about the LLC formation process or if it’s the best business structure for you, sometimes it’s best not to take chances and consult an attorney. They’re not cheap, but they can provide essential business advice, professional filing assistance, and peace of mind.
Some attorneys offer free consultations (usually 30-60 minutes) but will charge by the hour after that. On average, business attorneys charge between $150-350 per hour. Some will offer a flat rate for setting up an LLC, which can range from $500-2000.
Cost variations depend on the experience and location of the lawyer. Doing a little research will help you determine a good fit for your LLC. Using a site like Avvo can help – it provides a database of New Hampshire business attorneys, sortable by location, rates, areas of expertise, and more. By searching, comparing, and analyzing your options, you can be sure you’re hiring the best fit for your company.
Foreign Qualification Fee
This only applies if your LLC was formed in another state and is now expanding into New Hampshire. If your LLC is from out of state, you will file the “Application for Foreign LLC Registration” instead of the Certificate of Formation.
All foreign business entities are required to foreign qualify in New Hampshire, or they could incur some pretty severe penalties. To avoid these penalties, submit an Application for Foreign LLC Registration online or using a paper form. It comes with a $100 filing fee, same as the Certificate of Formation, and this is a one-time filing and fee.
LLC Annual Fees
Every LLC operating must pay a few one-time fees, like the Certificate of Formation or a name reservation, but there are also recurring fees, namely the Annual Report. Each year, your LLC must file an Annual Report between Jan. 1 and Apr. 1. The fee is $100, and you’ll pay it every year, so you can write it into your annual budget. Annual Reports are available to file either online or using a paper form.
LLC taxes at the federal level are simple. They’re considered “pass-through” entities, so instead of filing a corporate tax return, the LLC’s owners and members report income and losses on their own personal returns. LLC state taxes aren’t bad either, because New Hampshire doesn’t have an income or sales tax.
The state does, however, require all business entities to pay a Business Enterprise Tax and a Business Profits Tax each year. The Business Enterprise Tax is 0.75% of a company’s value tax base, which is “the sum of all compensation paid or accrued, interest paid or accrued, and dividends paid by the business enterprise.” It’s only required for businesses with over $108,000 in gross receipts. The Business Profits Tax is 8.5% of all income your LLC made from its business activities within the state, but only if that number is higher than $50,000.
In addition, an LLC with employees must pay an unemployment insurance tax on top of the other required taxes. You can register for it here.
What If I Don’t Pay?
Looking at all these fees, you might be thinking: how can I pay less? While you might be tempted to look for loopholes or find a way around them, this could cause you bigger problems in the future.
Failing to submit required filings and fees will result in monetary and business penalties. The most common filing to miss is the Annual Report. There’s a $50 late fee if you file your report later than Apr. 1. If you have an outstanding Annual Report, your LLC will lose its good standing with the state, which means that it can’t foreign qualify in most other states, apply for some business loans, renew professional licenses, and more. If you miss two Annual Reports in a row, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC and you will be prohibited from doing business in New Hampshire.
Late or missed taxes also come with serious penalties, although they’re dependent on the type amount, and the number of days overdue. See here for more information.
Planning Your Expenses
By now, your budget spreadsheet might be looking a little crowded, but have no fear! Most of these are one-time fees that you won’t have to worry about again. Plus, with all these on the books, there won’t be any surprise costs when you register an LLC in New Hampshire.
Soon, you’ll have these fees behind you and you’ll be forging ahead, growing your business and earning profits. As you do, make sure to keep up with the few recurring fees – like Annual Reports, Business Enterprise Taxes, and Business Profits Taxes – so your business doesn’t fall out of good standing.