How to Start a New Hampshire Corporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a New Hampshire Corporation

When you plan to start a business in New Hampshire, you must decide on the appropriate structure. Starting a corporation may be more complicated than creating an LLC in New Hampshire or a sole proprietorship. However, it is not that difficult as well. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to creating New Hampshire corporation. Starting a corporation involves a legal process, that is, the process of incorporation.

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to start a corporation in New Hampshire. I will also enlighten you on the advantages and disadvantages of having a corporation. Some people consider starting a corporation in New Hampshire more than other business structures since it has many advantages over other forms.

What is a Corporation in New Hampshire

In definition, a corporation is a formal organization established by stockholders, shareholders, or other people to make a profit. Like individuals, corporations can undertake contracts, own assets, sue and be sued, pay taxes, limit state and federal taxes, and loan funds from banking institutions.

Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with the process of forming a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

  • C-Corporation: C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.
  • S-Corporation: An S-Corporation is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. S-corps have no more than 100 stockholders and are not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.
  • Non-profit Corporation: Nonprofit businesses are frequently used by religious, educational, and charity institutions to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations. Read how to start a nonprofit corp in New Hampshire to learn about nonprofit corporations.

If you have a small business, it is recommended that you form an LLC instead of a corporation in New Hampshire. LLCs have more tax benefits than other structures. Besides, LLCs protect your personal assets. However, it is wise to consult a legal expert before you start setting up your business in New Hampshire.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Start a Corporation in New Hampshire

To start a corporation in New Hampshire, you must follow the below steps that, include forming a corporation name, appointing a board of directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, drafting corporate bylaws, meeting with the board of directors, issuing stocks, creating a shareholders agreement, requesting for an EIN, and getting a license and permit. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choose a Corporation Name in New Hampshire

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your corporation name serves as the foundation for your brand. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your corporation name. Choose a corporation name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you are forming an LLC, there is a complete guide on New Hampshire LLC name guidelines for a proper LLC name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in New Hampshire-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

Step 2: Board of Directors Initial Appointment

To form a corporation in New Hampshire, you must appoint an initial board of directors before making them permanent once the corporation is formed. In New Hampshire, you may appoint at least Five board of directors. The initial board of directors is in charge of guiding the overall strategy of your business. The structure, responsibilities, and powers given to a board of directors are determined by the bylaws of a company or organization. So, appointing your corporation’s initial board of directors in New Hampshire is a big step in forming a corporation.

Step 3: Filing the Articles of Incorporation in New Hampshire

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your New Hampshire corporation, the next step is to write and file a Articles of Incorporation. In writing, the New Hampshire Articles of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, New Hampshire Registered Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and/or initial board members, should be written.

Filing a Articles of Incorporation in New Hampshire may be done with three methods that are online, by mail and in-person. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different states. However, in New Hampshire, it costs $100 for filing online, by mail, or in person.

  • Online Filing: Create an account/Log in to the SOS site, get the online form, fill it, and submit online
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail or drop it off in person at Corporation Division, NH Dept. of State, 107 N Main St, Rm 204, Concord, NH 03301.

Step 4: Draft Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing a Articles of Incorporation in New Hampshire, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.

In creating corporate bylaws, you should include the following on how the decisions will be made-

  • The responsibilities are given to each officer.
  • How will judgments in business be made?
  • Where and when are the annual shareholder meetings?
  • The minimum number of shareholders required for decision-making.
  • Location and timing of dividend payments.

Step 5: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting

After drafting the corporate bylaws, gather all the board of directors for the first meeting. This meeting will be finalized by appointing directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approve the bylaws, choose the corporation’s accounting year, and approve the stock issue. All board meetings should have minutes taken and stored with the company’s records.

Step 6: Issuing Stock in a Corporation

After starting your New Hampshire corporation, one of the first official corporate actions is issuing stock to the shareholders. Keep track of the number of shares issued to each shareholder and the purchase price. A corporation in New Hampshire is managed by its shareholders, who contribute to the business in exchange for ownership shares.

Step 7: Draft and Finalize a Shareholders Agreement

Even though drafting and finalizing a shareholders agreement is unnecessary, I suggest you still comply since it will benefit your corporation and its shareholders. A small business’s shareholders enter into a shareholder agreement contract. It establishes how ownership will be handled in unexpected situations, like a shareholder passes away, retires, becomes disabled, or quits the corporation. Early on in the life of your New Hampshire corporation, signing a shareholders’ agreement can help maintain corporate continuity and prevent future disputes.

Step 8: Request an EIN in New Hampshire

After everything is in place, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your New Hampshire corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in New Hampshire can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The EIN online application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your corporation the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 9: Get Licenses and Permits for your Corporation in New Hampshire

Before your corporation operates in New Hampshire, you must have a business license. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs. To legally operate your corporation, you’ll need a business license. Numerous corporate licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly. Check out how to get business licenses and permits in New Hampshire to know more.

You must also register a DBA name if you intend to conduct business using a name other than your corporation’s legal name. The DBA name is sometimes known as “doing business as” or a “fictitious business name.” Depending on your location, you may need to register the DBA with your state, city, and county. You can skip this step if your business solely uses your legal company name.

Important Information

Paying your Taxes in New Hampshire

Even if you have established your corporation in New Hampshire, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in New Hampshire has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in New Hampshire are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in New Hampshire

A filing and annual fee must be paid to form a corporation in New Hampshire. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. The initial filing fee for a corporation may vary depending on the state. However, in New Hampshire, it costs $100 for filing online, by mail, or in person. The corporation in New Hampshire also has to file an annual report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly. If, in the future, you make any changes to your corporation, you must file the New Hampshire Amendment. It costs $35 to file an amendment in New Hampshire.

Advantages of Starting a Corporation in New Hampshire

  1. Limited Liability: The biggest advantage of setting up a New Hampshire corporation is that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts of the company. As a result, when you incorporate as a corporation, personal assets like homes, vehicles, and other possessions are prohibited. One of the main benefits of setting up a corporation over a general partnership or sole proprietorship business structure is that neither the business nor the owners are held legally responsible for the obligations of the business, even if it means giving up their personal assets.
  1. Limitless Corporation: The fact that a corporation’s existence is independent of its owners is another significant benefit of incorporation. In other words, a corporation has an endless life and will continue operating normally even if the owner dies or decides to sell their ownership.
  1. Advantages in Tax: The deduction of health insurance premium payments made on behalf of an owner-employee is one of the many financial benefits to which corporations are entitled. Corporations also save on self-employment taxes since their revenue is not subject to workers’ compensation, Social Security, or medical taxes. Tax rates on corporate profits are lower than those on individual income.

FAQs

How do I start a corporation in New Hampshire?
To start a corporation in New Hampshire, you will need to file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Office. The filing fee is $100.
What are the general requirements for forming a corporation in New Hampshire?
To form a corporation in New Hampshire, you will need to file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Office. You will also need to appoint a registered agent in New Hampshire and comply with the state’s other regulations.
What is the filing fee to start a corporation in New Hampshire?
The filing fee to start a corporation in New Hampshire is $100.
What is the minimum paid-in capital required to form a corporation in New Hampshire?
There is no minimum paid-in capital required to form a corporation in New Hampshire.
Does New Hampshire allow online filing of the Certificate of Incorporation?
Yes, New Hampshire allows online filing of the Certificate of Incorporation.
Does New Hampshire require an initial meeting of the incorporators?
No, New Hampshire does not require an initial meeting of the incorporators.
What is the deadline for filing the Certificate of Incorporation in New Hampshire?
The Certificate of Incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State’s Office within 10 days of the date of filing.
Can a foreign corporation register to do business in New Hampshire?
Yes, a foreign corporation can register to do business in New Hampshire.
Does New Hampshire require corporate bylaws to be filed?
No, New Hampshire does not require corporate bylaws to be filed.
Does New Hampshire require annual reports to be filed?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to file an annual report every year.
Does New Hampshire require an annual franchise tax to be paid?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to pay an annual franchise tax.
Is there a fee for registering a trade name in New Hampshire?
Yes, there is a fee of $25 for registering a trade name in New Hampshire.
Does New Hampshire impose any special taxes on corporations?
Yes, New Hampshire imposes a Business Profits Tax and a Business Enterprise Tax on corporations.
Is it necessary to obtain a business license in New Hampshire?
Depending on the type of business, it may be necessary to obtain a business license in New Hampshire.
What is the process for dissolving a corporation in New Hampshire?
To dissolve a corporation in New Hampshire, you must file a Certificate of Dissolution with the Secretary of State’s Office. You must also comply with the state’s other regulations.
What are the requirements to start a corporation in New Hampshire?
There are several requirements for starting a corporation in New Hampshire. These include registering the business with the New Hampshire Department of State, obtaining a business license from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration, obtaining an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service and filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to form a New Hampshire corporation?
The cost to form a New Hampshire corporation is $100 for filing the Articles of Incorporation. Additional fees may apply depending on the complexity of the business’s structure.
Does New Hampshire require a minimum amount of capital to form a corporation?
No, New Hampshire does not require a minimum amount of capital to form a corporation.
Is there a minimum number of shareholders required to form a corporation in New Hampshire?
No, there is no minimum number of shareholders required to form a corporation in New Hampshire.
What type of taxes does a New Hampshire corporation need to pay?
A New Hampshire corporation is required to pay both state and federal income taxes, as well as any applicable local taxes.
Does New Hampshire have a corporate income tax?
Yes, New Hampshire has a corporate income tax. The rate of taxation depends on the total income of the corporation.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to file annual reports?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to file annual reports with the Secretary of State.
Does New Hampshire have an annual franchise tax?
Yes, New Hampshire has an annual franchise tax that all corporations must pay. The amount of the tax is based on the value of the corporation’s assets.
Does New Hampshire require businesses to obtain a business license?
Yes, businesses in New Hampshire must obtain a business license from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration.
Is there a limit on the number of shares a corporation can issue in New Hampshire?
No, there is no limit on the number of shares a corporation can issue in New Hampshire.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to hold annual meetings?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to hold annual meetings of their shareholders.
Are there any restrictions on the type of business that can be formed in New Hampshire?
No, there are no restrictions on the type of business that can be formed in New Hampshire.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to maintain registered agents?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to maintain registered agents to accept service of process and other official documents.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to keep detailed financial records?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to keep detailed financial records in order to maintain good standing with the state.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to hold directors’ meetings?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to hold directors’ meetings at least once a year.
Does New Hampshire require corporations to issue stock certificates?
Yes, New Hampshire requires corporations to issue stock certificates to shareholders.

Also Read

Why New Hampshire Corporation is So Important

First and foremost, the state’s business-friendly environment is a major factor in its appeal to corporations. New Hampshire has no sales tax or state income tax, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to reduce their tax burden. Additionally, the state has low annual fees for maintaining a corporation, making it more affordable for businesses to operate and stay compliant.

Furthermore, New Hampshire has a streamlined process for incorporating, with minimal red tape and bureaucracy. This allows businesses to quickly get up and running without being bogged down by cumbersome paperwork and administrative processes. The state also has a strong legal framework that protects businesses and ensures fair treatment in case of disputes or legal issues.

Another key advantage of incorporating in New Hampshire is the state’s strong economy and business ecosystem. The state boasts a diverse economy with thriving industries such as manufacturing, tourism, and technology. This provides businesses with access to a broad range of opportunities for growth and expansion. In addition, the state’s strategic location in the Northeast makes it easy for businesses to reach key markets in the region and beyond.

New Hampshire also has a highly skilled workforce, thanks in part to its world-class educational institutions. With a high level of education and training, the state’s workforce is well-equipped to help businesses succeed and thrive. This skilled labor pool is a valuable asset for corporations looking to innovate and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

In conclusion, choosing to form a corporation in New Hampshire offers numerous advantages for businesses looking to establish a strong presence in the United States. From its business-friendly environment and favorable tax policies to its strong economy and skilled workforce, the state has much to offer businesses of all sizes and industries. As a result, New Hampshire remains a top choice for corporations looking to establish a strong foundation for success.

Conclusion

When determining which corporate form is best for you, be selective. You must know which business structure is bet-fitted for your product/service in New Hampshire. Consult a legal professional before you take the first step while setting up your business. Finding the ideal ratio of corporate advantages and legal protection that meets your unique needs is very important. In forming a corporation in New Hampshire, you need to ensure that every detail is well-formed so that your corporation will be successful. And if you have any questions, share them in the comment section below.

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