What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in New Hampshire?

Last Updated on

Quick Reference

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.

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 licensing 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.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification 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.

Professional License – A variety of professions 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 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 or DBA) with the Department of State’s Office.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in New Hampshire for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.