What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in New Hampshire?

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Quick Reference

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in New Hampshire?

Starting a business in New Hampshire will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in New Hampshire.

Before applying for any licenses, the business structure will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

New Hampshire State Business Registration

All businesses operating in the State of New Hampshire are required to register with the New Hampshire Secretary of State‘s Office.

Local Business License

Many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does. Below are a few cities that have general business license requirements.

Manchester – The Business Licensing and Enforcement Division of the Office of the City Clerk issues licenses to several types of businesses such as food service establishments, second-hand dealers, tattoo and body piercing establishments and several others.

Nashua – Businesses operating in city limits such as pawnbrokers, places of amusement, and others will need licensing from the Nashua City Clerk.

Concord – A business license in Concord is needed for certain activities such as food service, second-hand dealers, tattoo artists and others.

The cost of business licenses varies on location and the type of business.

Building & Zoning Permits

Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit, or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit.

Building PermitA building permit may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.

Signage Permit Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.

Occupational License

A variety of occupations in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require licensing in New Hampshire include; accountants, barbers, body artists, hunting & fishing guides, manicurists and many more. Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security.

In addition to professional licenses from the Department of Employment Security, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, daycares, auto recyclers and many others also require licensing.

Trade Name Registration

While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a business name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Trade Name (also known as a Doing Business As, DBA, or Fictitious Business Name) with the New Hampshire Department of State’s Office.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number). The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.

There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN

 

These are just some of the most common business licenses a business will need to register before starting. Before starting your business, be sure to check with City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.

For some additional peace of mind, companies like IncFile or CorpNet can do the research and ensure you have all of the proper federal, state, and local licenses to start your business.