DBA for New Hampshire LLCOne of the most important parts of any business is its name. Your limited liability company’s name is your first impression with prospective clients, whether they hear about your business by word of mouth, drive past a billboard advertising your business on the freeway, or if they stumble upon your business as a result of a Google search.

One way to change your business name — or to add an additional name that your LLC can use interchangeably — is by filing a “doing business as” name application, commonly known as a DBA. There are many reasons to get a DBA — from marketing a new product line to granting a sole proprietorship the ability to use an assumed name — so this article will walk you through the process of registering a DBA for your New Hampshire LLC.

Keep in Mind: A DBA does not provide you with asset protection. However an LLC does and allows you to operate under the business name of your choice as long as it is not already claimed. Plus, it is fairly straightforward to file through an LLC formation service (like ZenBusiness) or on your own.
Find Your Zen

What Is a DBA?

To begin, let’s quickly run down what exactly a DBA is. One point of confusion we often hear about is that a DBA is not a business entity, like an LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship, general partnership, etc. Instead, you can think of a DBA as an add-on feature of sorts.

The DBA allows you to create alternate business names for your entity, which you can then use interchangeably with your LLC’s official business name. In addition, for informal business entities that don’t have exclusive business names (like sole proprietorships and general partnerships), a DBA can be a great way to inject some additional professionalism into a business venture.

But let’s talk strictly about LLCs, shall we? Why would an LLC want an additional business name? There are several potential reasons, although they obviously vary considerably depending on what your business does. One popular reason is to differentiate a new product line from a company’s existing offerings.

Let’s say that you own a business called “Fine Footwear, LLC” that produces high-end shoes. If you decide to also start a new product line that sells inexpensive flip-flop sandals, you might want a way to differentiate this brand from your core business. In this circumstance, you could register a DBA for “Flip-Flops by Fine Footwear,” and you can use this name to market your new products, while your original product line remains unaffected if your sandal side business fails.

It could also be helpful if you decide to expand your local business into a new market. For instance, if you own a New Hampshire-based plumbing business called “Manchester Plumbing,” and you want to expand beyond Manchester, you can register a DBA for “Concord Plumbing” and use that name in the Concord market.

The state of New Hampshire includes no exclusivity protections for DBA names. While the state does specifically mention that a DBA must be different from any name of a formal business entity registered with the state, and that it cannot be the same as a fictitious name used by a foreign corporation in New Hampshire, the state statutes say nothing about name uniqueness when it relates to other DBA registrations.

This means that if another business likes your business name and wants to use it for themselves, they are legally allowed to do so. Due to this lack of exclusivity, we’re not fans of registering DBA names in this state. If you want an alternate business name for your LLC, you can form an additional LLC. This is certainly more hassle and costs more money, but it’s worth it for the exclusive naming rights, in our opinion.

That said, if you still want to register a DBA in New Hampshire, we’ll discuss the process in the following section.

How to Get a DBA for a New Hampshire LLC

First off, we’ll note that New Hampshire typically refers to DBAs as “trade names,” but for the purposes of this article, we’ll continue to use both terms interchangeably because most states use the term “DBA.”

The process for obtaining a DBA in New Hampshire starts with a business name search to make sure no formal business entities have registered your desired trade name, and to ensure no one has reserved it or is using it as a fictitious name for a foreign business. Once you’ve determined your desired name’s eligibility, you can fill out the Application for Registration of Trade Name.

This form requires the following information: the trade name you’re registering, your LLC’s business address, a brief description of the nature of your business, the date you originally registered your LLC, your LLC’s official registered business name, your business phone number, your business email address, your printed name, your title, and your signature.

When you finish filling out the form, you can submit it to the Secretary of State online, by mail, or by hand, along with your $50 filing fee. If you file by mail, it will take roughly 1-3 weeks to process your filing, while online filings take just 3-7 business days. Hand-delivered documents are typically processed the same day you submit them.

In Conclusion

The doing business as (DBA) name varies more from state to state than most other business filings. In some states, a DBA grants you exclusive rights to your new trade name, but in states like New Hampshire, that simply isn’t the case. Due to this lack of exclusivity, we’re not fans of registering DBAs in this state.

Instead, it’s probably a better option to form an additional LLC if you want to be able to use multiple names for your business. This is certainly more of a hassle that registering a DBA, but at least you’ll have exclusive rights to your name.

If you’re looking for a new way to market your LLC in New Hampshire, a DBA might not be the best idea.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

BestLLCServices.com is a website now owned by ZenBusiness Inc. BestLLCServices.com reviews products and services that the ZenBusiness family of sites sells. Readers should be aware of this when evaluating service providers, reading reviews, and making purchase decisions.