Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.
You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in New Hampshire. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
You may reserve a business name if you’d like, but the New Hampshire Department of State does not require it. If you’re ready to get your business off the ground, you can dive right into the Certificate of Formation instead.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your New Hampshire LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $15 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a New Hampshire business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a New Hampshire Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of New Hampshire can reserve an entity name.
Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of New Hampshire gives you sole ownership of that name for 120 days. You’ll want to launch your business within that 120-day window to lock in your name for good.
No longer want your name? You can transfer it by filing Form 3: Notice of Transfer of Reserved Name for another $15 fee, or cancel it by sending a signed notice to the Department of State.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in New Hampshire?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by using the D.O.S. Business Search function. Just keep in mind that this only a preliminary check; the official check takes place when you file your name reservation or Certificate of Formation. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of New Hampshire (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
Let’s get started. There’s one way to reserve a business name in New Hampshire and it’s by using Form 1: Application for Reservation of Name (find it here). It’s fairly straightforward, only requiring your proposed name, business type, business nature, and contact info.
When you’re all done, you can mail it, along with your $15 payment, to:
Corporation Division, NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, New Hampshire 03301-4989
Or, if you live near Concord, you can deliver it directly to the State House Annex, Rm 317 at 25 Capitol St, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
To pay the fee, you can use a check or money order made out to “State of New Hampshire”
And that’s it! Your 120-day reservation will begin as soon as your form is processed, which typically takes 5-8 business days. Once your name is reserved, it’s time to start thinking forward to filing your Certificate of Formation. Check out our comprehensive guide here.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in New Hampshire to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $15 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 New Hampshire LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $15 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.