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 their legal name, the state of New Hampshire, like most states, require the business to register their 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?
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 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 and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.
New Hampshrie DBA Registration Form
How much does it cost to register?
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 name registration must be unique and not too similar to other names on record. Before filling out the form, visit the Secretary of State’s business name database to see if the name you want is available.
Step 2 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:
- Business name
- Business address
- Description of the business
- Date the business was organized
- Name and address of the applicant
Step 3 – Submit the Form
File the form along with the filing fee online or mail to:
Corporation Division, NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301-4989
Protecting your business name
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in New Hampshire, it does very little from someone else 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 trademark – See how to protect your name through a trademark.
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 603-271-3246.