Form a Corporation in New Hampshire.

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Choosing a Corporation Name

The name of the New Hampshire corporation you’re starting up is very important-it’s one of your business organization’s first official acts, and it’s how people first meet your company.

Your company’s name must be distinguishable from any other registered or reserved New Hampshire business entity. Its name must be such that it cannot easily be confused with not only other business entities, but also government entities and political parties.

Your corporation’s name also is not allowed to include language that states or gives the impression that the corporation is organized for any purpose other than one permitted by state law and its articles of incorporation.

The corporation’s name must contain one or more of the following words, an abbreviation thereof, or words of similar meaning in another language: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” or “Limited.”

It also may not include words or phrases (or their abbreviations or derivations) that are prohibited or restricted by the state. Your corporation may, however, use an alternate name for a limited period of time, subject to certain state requirements.

You can reserve an available corporate name for 120 days for $15.

Articles of Incorporation

After choosing a name, the next step for your brand new corporation in New Hampshire is filing articles of incorporation with the state, along with the $100 filing fee. This fee includes the $50 articles filing fee, plus another $50 fee for filing the required addendum form.

The certificate must be delivered to the state by one or more incorporators (there must be at least one), who are not required to be a director, officer, or shareholder of the corporation. The incorporator must also execute (sign) the articles.

The certificate must specify:

  • The name and address of each incorporator
  • The principal corporate purpose (can be very brief; New Hampshire allows a corporation to be formed for any lawful business activity)
  • The number of shares that the corporation is authorized to issue

Before your new corporation can be registered with the state, however, the incorporator(s) must sign a statement of compliance with New Hampshire Securities Laws. In order to be exempt from those laws, the incorporator must certify that:

  • There will be 10 or fewer owners of the corporation
  • There will not be any published or circulated written advertising in order to ownership interests in the corporation
  • All sales of ownership interests will be completed within 60 days of the formation of the corporation

New Hampshire also allows optional provisions to be included in the articles of incorporation. These can be items such as:

  • Names and addresses of the initial directors
  • Regulations regarding the powers of the corporation, its board of directors, and shareholders
  • A par value for authorized shares or classes of shares
  • Shareholder liability for corporate debts in certain situations
  • Limitations on a director’s or officer’s liability for money damages to the corporation or its shareholders in certain situations.

Registered Agent and Office

All New Hampshire corporations must have a registered agent the state. The registered agent is the person or office designated to receive official state administrative and legal correspondence.

The corporation’s registered agent must have a business office that is the same as the registered office and must be either a natural person who resides in New Hampshire, or a corporation authorized to conduct business there.

New Hampshire requires that every corporation have a registered office in the state, which may be the same of any of its places of business.


Bylaws lay out a corporation’s basic managerial and legal operating principles; the corporation must keep a copy at its principal executive office, but is not required to file them with the state. Nonetheless, they are a critically important document for the corporation.

At its initial meeting, the incorporators or the corporation’s board of directors must adopt corporate bylaws, and then keep them updated as time goes on. The corporation’s board of directors can make, alter, amend, or repeal those bylaws, unless the articles of incorporation reserve this right to the shareholders. Bylaws normally address:

  • Shareholders’ and directors’ meetings
  • The authority, number, and tenure of directors
  • Voting procedures
  • The duties, responsibilities, and tenure of officers
  • How stock is issued
  • How and when annual financial information is provided to shareholders


If a board of directors has the power to fix or change the number of directors, the board may raise or lower by no more than 30 percent the number of directors last approved by the shareholders, but only the shareholders may increase or decrease by more than 30 percent the number of directors. The terms of all other directors expire at the next annual shareholders’ meeting following their election.

Officers may be listed in the bylaws or elected by the board, and may appoint other officers in compliance with the bylaws. Also, one officer must be given the responsibility of preparing minutes of the directors’ and shareholders’ meetings and for authenticating corporate records. The same individual may simultaneously hold more than one office in a corporation.

Requiment Reports

An annual report must be filed with the New Hampshire Corporation Division between January 1 and April 1 starting the year after the calendar year of incorporation that includes:

  • The corporation’s name and the state or country under whose law it is incorporated
  • The address of the corporation’s registered New Hampshire office and the name of its registered agent there
  • The address of the corporation’s principal office
  • The names and business addresses of the corporation’s directors and principal officers
  • A brief description of the nature of the corporation’s business
  • The signature of an officer, director, or any other person authorized by the board of directors to execute the annual report


New Hampshire’s corporate tax structure consists of two brackets, with a top rate of 9.25 percent that takes effect at an income level of $150,000. Among states levying corporate income taxes, New Hampshire’s top rate ranks the state sixth highest nationally.

S corporation status is recognized by the State of New Hampshire.

Learn more about incorporating in New Hampshire

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The Basics To Get You Started Preliminary company name clearance and filing of Articles of Organization.

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EIN / Tax ID Number Providing an EIN is required to open a
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Personalized Operating Agreement Includes most common provisions to protect members from liability

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Expedited Filing Expedited processing speeds the turn- around time for your order.

Customized LLC Kit Personalized slip binder and embossed seal with your company name and date of formation.

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Commonly Asked Questions For Starting a New Hampshire Corporation

How is a Corporation Taxed?
Unlike many other business entities in which the profits pass through to the owners' personal tax return (e.g. LLCs, S Corporations, etc.), the C Corporation is a completely separate taxable entity. The C Corporation pays federal taxes on the net profits (after all expenses, including salaries and bonuses) of the business by filing the 1120 form with the IRS. The after tax profits can be paid out to the owners (shareholders) in the form of dividends, or retained for reinvestment of the business. The first $50,000 of net income is only federally taxed at 15% rate, and the next $25,000 is taxed at a 25% rate. Different states have different rules on how they tax corporations.
What is the Management Structure of an Corporation?
An LLC is typically managed by its members/owners (referred to as member-managed). In that respect an LLC is unlike a corporation, which has a much more rigid and defined management structure, including directors and officers. All owners of the LLC are typically referred to as members, and they can have control and voting interest proportional to their ownership interest, or in proportions different from their ownership interest; however the members agree.
Are Non-U.S. Residents Allowed to Own a Corporation or LLC?
There are no citizenship or residence requirements for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC. The S Corporation however does not allow nonresident aliens to be shareholders (owner), but any US citizen or resident alien may be a shareholder (owner). You would, of course, require an in state street address for the state to forward official legal and tax correspondence including service of process, known as the registered agent address, but neither residency nor citizenship is required for ownership of a C Corporation or an LLC.
Can I form an Corporation with just one member?
There was a time when almost every state required the LLC to have two or more members, but that is no longer the case. This important change came in response to revised IRS regulations that clearly permitted single-member LLCs. As a result, in most states, if you plan to be the sole owner of a business and you wish to limit your personal liability, you can choose between forming a corporation or an LLC.
What is an Operating Agreement?
The operating agreement is akin to a partnership agreement for a General Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). It is an internal contract amongst the members/owners of the LLC, and it lays out such things as ownership interest, member responsibilities, accounting method, adding or removing members, terms for concluding the LLC, etc. It is generally not required by a given state for forming an LLC (with the exception of New York), although it is certainly recommended. When dealing with private companies for financing issues (loans, mortgages, etc.) it may be required by that company. A customizable operating agreement is included with the LLC/Corp Kit.
Can another business entity be a member of an Corporation?

In the majority of states, The members of an LLC can be individuals, corporations, or other LLCs. These members of the LLC can be out of state residents or even foreign nationals. Furthermore there is no limit to the amount of members that an LLC can have.

The flexibility of an LLC in contrast to an S Corporation is stark considering the S corporations are limited to 75 shareholders who must either be United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents.

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