How to File a Trade Name (DBA) in New Hampshire
A Trade Name, also known as a DBA or “Doing Business As,” “Assumed Name,” or “Fictitious Name,” is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.
When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of New Hampshire, like most states, requires the business to register its business name. The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.
Who needs to register for a New Hampshire Trade Name?
The requirements and need to register for a Trade Name vary depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA.
The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering. For example, if John Smith starts a New Hampshire business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name, he doesn’t have to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, then he will need to register.
Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships, and Limited Liability Partnerships won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a new Trade Name if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC/LP/LLP umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.
How much does it cost to register a business name in New Hampshire?
The filing fee to register a Trade Name in New Hampshire is $50.
Trade names need to be renewed every five years.
What are the steps to file a DBA in New Hampshire?
Step 1: Verify Name Availability
Every business name registration must be unique and not too similar to any other names that are on record. Before filling out the form, visit the New Hampshire Department of State’s business name database to see if the name you want is available.
Step 2: Fill out the Trade Name Form
Step 3: Submit the Application for Registration of Trade Name Form
File the form along with the filing fee online, or mail to:
New Hampshire Department of State, Corporation Division,
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301-4989
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the New Hampshire Secretary of State at email@example.com or 603-271-3246.
Can someone steal my business name after registering a New Hampshire DBA?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in New Hampshire, it does very little to stop someone else from operating a business under that name in other states.
If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Learn more about trademarking a business name.
Does NH require a DBA?
Any New Hampshire sole proprietorship or partnership that wants to do business under a name that is different from the owner’s full name or a New Hampshire corporation or LLC that wants to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the business is required to register the name.
In addition to the legal requirement, the trade name offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.
Does NH require a business license?
The Trade Name registration isn’t a business license, so there may be additional requirements you have to complete before starting your business.
Every business will have different requirements, so check out what business licenses and permits are needed in New Hampshire.
Does a Trade Name need an EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number (also informally referred to as a tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.
Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.
Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Trade Name?
A Trade Name can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of business entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.
Words that infer a financial institution, such as “bank,” “banker,: “savings and loan,” “credit union” or other similar words, are restricted.
Additionally, a Trade Name can’t include terms such as a political party or farmers’ market unless the entity has prior approval.