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Starting a Business in New Hampshire

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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Doing Business In New Hampshire

New Hampshire Business Facts

Smart Manufacturing/High Technology (SMHT): SMHT is the largest and most important sector of the state’s economy.  New Hampshire’s SMHT sector is mainly known for using high-tech equipment to produce electronic components. 

TourismNew Hampshire has traditionally depended on its natural resources and recreational opportunities to draw in out-of-state visitors throughout the year.  The Seacoast, Lakes Region, and White Mountains are the primary tourism hotspots. 

Health Care Fields: The Seacoast is a major hub for biomedical research in New Hampshire.

Small business and Startup environment

New Hampshire has 133,052 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available.  Of those 133,052 small businesses in New Hampshire, 38,820 have employees. The remaining 94,232 are New Hampshire small businesses that have no employees.

Seeking to make New Hampshire a more welcoming place for tech startups, legislators have proposed legislation to simplify business name availability, completely overhaul securities regulation and revise the research and development tax credit to provide capital when needed in the startup phase, instead of a credit down the road.

New Hampshire has a top U.S. patent creation rate, proving that startups and new ventures can succeed in New Hampshire―from our cluster of biotech and medical device start-ups popping up near Dartmouth College to the diverse tech revitalizations happening in cities like Portsmouth and Manchester.

Major companies:

New Hampshire is home to large companies such as: C&S Wholesale Grocers, Ocean Properties, Keene State College, Standex International, University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Mt Corp, Albany International, C&S Careers, Anvil International

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STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Business Structure

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Business Name

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Business Registration

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EIN Tax Number

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Bank Account

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Licenses & Permits

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Branding & Marketing

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Resources

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Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

The most common business structures are:

Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

  1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
  2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
  3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
  4. Search and purchase a domain name.
  5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
  6. Conduct a trademark search.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

Resale license  

Department of corporations 

Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

Step 5: Open A Bank Account

– Open a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

– Get a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Licenses & Permits

Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

Here are some links for New Hampshire Businesses:

Selling products? Check New Hampshire Resale Permit

Business Licensing for the State of New Hampshire

Step 7: Branding & Marketing

Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

Join Local Networks

Small Business Development Center  

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