Do you own a business operating in the state of New Hampshire? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.

But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to New Hampshire business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.

Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?

First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.

What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in New Hampshire?

While all New Hampshire businesses must register with the Secretary of State’s office, there is no general business license required to operate in the state. You can register a new business through the Secretary of State’s Quickstart Business Portal.

However, New Hampshire does have various industry-specific business license requirements. You can learn more about these licenses on the Quickstart Business Portal.

You might also need to obtain certain licenses based on your chosen profession. New Hampshire requires many professionals, from architects to podiatrists, to acquire a license from the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. To find out if your profession requires a license, consult this link.

Finally, there are certain commercial activities that require an environmental permit in the state of New Hampshire. These can range from internal combustion engine emissions to asbestos demolitions. For more information, check out the Department of Environmental Services website.

Which Tax Registrations are Required for New Hampshire Businesses?

In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.

Any business with over $217,000 in gross annual receipts must register to pay the Business Enterprise Tax. Additionally, any business with more than $50,000 in gross business income must register to pay the Business Profits Tax. You can learn more about the tax registration process and requirements for these tax types here.

There are also many industry-specific tax registrations in the state of New Hampshire, from communication services to room rentals. To find out which industry-specific taxes your business needs to pay, consult the Department of Revenue Administration website.

Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in New Hampshire?

The answer to this question obviously depends on where in New Hampshire you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by New Hampshire localities.

You will need to contact your county or city clerk to find out if your business requires any local permits. Additionally, some cities in New Hampshire offer business resource websites that provide useful licensing information, including cities like ManchesterNashuaConcord, and Derry.

If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of New Hampshire, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.

Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?

If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.

ZenBusiness can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. We’ll then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in. Plus, if you need help with company formation, we can help with that filing as well.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of New Hampshire. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.

We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!

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