How Much Does It Cost to Form a Corporation in New Hampshire?
Legal business registration — and maintaining a status of good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a permit or business license in New Hampshire may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial New Hampshire Corporation Filing Fee
When setting up a corporation in New Hampshire, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current New Hampshire corporation fees and filing times:
When you use Bizee to form a corporation in New Hampshire, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Bizee can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
New Hampshire Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into New Hampshire, you must request Foreign Qualification in New Hampshire. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a New Hampshire Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority and pay a processing fee of $100 (an additional fee of $2 is applied if filed online). The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with state law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your New Hampshire corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Bizee provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
New Hampshire Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. New Hampshire requires an annual report to be filed every year with the NH Secretary of State.
When you complete your annual report you may file it online accompanied with a filing fee of $100 (plus a $2 online service charge).
New Hampshire Business Licenses and Permits
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
You are required to have New Hampshire corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. You don't need to file them with the NH Secretary of State, but make sure you have them with your business documents and by all means, continue to follow them.
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
A set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other New Hampshire Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of New Hampshire requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
In New Hampshire, the board of directors (or the single director) elects officers, such as the president, CEO, etc. New Hampshire corporation law requires corporations to have at least one officer who is responsible for preparing the minutes of the directors' and shareholders' meetings and for maintaining and authenticating the records of the corporation. A single person can hold more than one office, simultaneously.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every corporation in the state must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
The state of New Hampshire requires corporations to hold annual meetings, however if you fail to do so, the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Title 27, Title 293-A, § 293-A:7.01 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action."
Change the Registered Agent
If your corporation is based in New Hampshire, then you must have a Registered Agent in New Hampshire. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $15.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $15. First, conduct a New Hampshire corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the New Hampshire Secretary of State forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $35. You can do this yourself or Bizee can do it for you.
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, including New Hampshire, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this via the state's website for a fee of $5.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in New Hampshire. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the New Hampshire taxes page.