How to Get Business Licenses in New Hampshire | A Comprehensive Guide

WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.

New Hampshire Business License

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it’s essential to understand the various licenses required to operate legally within New Hampshire. Forming an LLC in New Hampshire requires licenses, as different industries and locations have specific regulations. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to New Hampshire Business Licenses, helping you navigate the process and ensure your new venture complies with all necessary requirements. By understanding the permitting landscape in New Hampshire, you can ensure that your business is fully prepared to succeed while avoiding potential legal pitfalls.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you easily obtain a business license in New Hampshire. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

What is a Business License in New Hampshire?

A business license is a legal authorization, permit, or document that allows a business to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city, county, or state. New Hampshire business licenses are issued by New Hampshire Secretary of State and ensure businesses comply with applicable laws, regulations, and standards in their respective industries.

A business license protects public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring businesses operate responsibly and lawfully. Acquiring a business license often involves registering the business, paying applicable fees, and meeting specific requirements or qualifications for the type of business.

Business licenses can vary greatly depending on the location and nature of the business. Some common types of business licenses include:

1. General Business License: This is a basic license required for most businesses to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city or county.

2. Professional and Occupational Licenses: These licenses are specific to certain industries or professions, such as healthcare, construction, real estate, or cosmetology, and are typically issued by state licensing boards or agencies.

You must have a professional and occupational license to form New Hampshire General Partnership and offer your service. 

Here are some examples of Professional and Occupational Licenses:

  • Medical License: Physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals must obtain a medical license to practice medicine in a specific state. The New Hampshire medical board issues this license after verifying the applicant’s education, training, and examination results.
  • Realtor License: To become a realtor in New Hampshire, you must obtain a real estate license to buy, sell, or lease properties on behalf of clients. New Hampshire has its own real estate commission or board responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the industry.
  • Contractor License: General contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other construction professionals must often have a contractor license to work in New Hampshire. 
  • Cosmetology License: Professionals in the beauty industry, such as hairstylists, estheticians, and nail technicians, must obtain a cosmetology license to provide services. New Hampshire Boards of Cosmetology oversee licensing and regulations for this industry.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License: Accountants who wish to become a CPA in New Hampshire must designate and provide specific services, such as auditing financial statements and obtaining a CPA license from New Hampshire’s Board of Accountancy.
  • Architect License: Architects must obtain a license to practice architecture in New Hampshire. This typically involves meeting education and experience requirements and passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).
  • Attorney License: New Hampshire Business Attorneys must obtain a license to practice law in a particular jurisdiction, typically by passing the state’s bar examination and meeting other requirements set by the New Hampshire bar association.

3. Health and Safety Permits: New Hampshire businesses involved in food service, hospitality, or other industries directly impacting public health and safety may require specific permits from local health departments or regulatory agencies.

4. Environmental Permits: New Hampshire businesses that involve activities that may impact the environment, such as waste disposal, air or water emissions, or hazardous materials handling, may require permits from local, state, or federal environmental agencies.

5. Sales Tax License: New Hampshire businesses that sell goods or services may be required to collect sales tax from customers and remit it to the appropriate tax authority. A sales tax license is typically required to collect and remit sales tax legally.

New Hampshire business owners must research the specific licensing requirements for their business in their jurisdiction and obtain all necessary licenses and permits to operate legally and avoid potential fines, penalties, or legal troubles.

Requirements For Getting Business Licenses in New Hampshire

If you start an LLC or any other type of business, you must wait until your New Hampshire business registration is complete. Once you have completed the necessary steps to register your business in New Hampshire, you must be prepared with the required documents to apply for business licenses.

  • Name of your company
  • Phone number and company address
  • Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your company’s legal structure (Corporation, Partnership, or LLC)
  • Your business strategy, which includes revenues and costs

Recommended: Empowering your entrepreneurial journey, LegalZoom’s business license service simplifies the process of obtaining a business license in New Hampshire, allowing you to focus on what you do best, running your business. Thet’s why we recommend –

LegalZoom – Starts at $99.99

How to Get a Business License in New Hampshire

To get a business license, you must follow the guidelines below, including determining if your New Hampshire business requires a license or permit, identifying the appropriate licensing agencies, researching license and permit requirements, completing and submitting license applications, and maintaining license and permit requirements.

Step 1: Determine The Required License or Permit

The first step in obtaining a business license is determining if your business needs one. Some businesses may not require a license or permit, while others may need multiple licenses depending on their industry and location. Some businesses typically require some form of licensing or permit:

  • Professional services, such as medical, legal, and accounting
  • Food establishments, including restaurants, bars, and catering businesses
  • Retail businesses, including stores, shops, and online retailers
  • Construction and contracting companies
  • Manufacturing and industrial businesses

State Licenses

The licenses that you must get first are the licenses within the state. New Hampshire state licenses require individuals or businesses to engage in certain activities or professions legally. The state government issues these licenses and serves as proof that the license holder has met certain qualifications and standards set by the state. The types of licenses vary depending on the profession or activity, including but not limited to healthcare professionals, contractors, real estate agents, and drivers.

State licenses assure the public that the license holder has undergone the necessary training and education to perform their duties safely and competently.

Federal Licenses

Federal licenses in New Hampshire are granted by federal agencies and are required for certain activities and industries that fall under federal jurisdiction. These licenses ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations and are necessary for individuals or businesses engaged in the following services.

  • Agriculture: License issued by The U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Aviation: License issued by The Federal Aviation Administration
  • Alcohol & Tobacco: License issued by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Ammunition, Explosive, & Firearms: License issued by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
  • Commercial Fisheries: License issued by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Mining & Drilling: License issued by The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Nuclear Energy: License issued by The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Radio & Television (Broadcast): License issued by The Federal Communications Commission
  • Transportation by Sea: License issued by The Federal Maritime Commission
  • Wildlife & Fisheries: License issued by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Obtaining a federal license in New Hampshire involves meeting specific criteria and adhering to federal laws and regulations, which can vary depending on the activity or industry.

City-Based License

City-based licenses in New Hampshire are granted by local municipalities and are required for certain activities or businesses operating within the city limits. These licenses ensure businesses comply with local regulations and ordinances and typically cover business operations, health and safety, zoning, and permits.

City-based licenses vary depending on the location and the nature of the business, but examples may include restaurant licenses, liquor licenses, taxi licenses, and street vendor licenses. Obtaining a city-based license in New Hampshire involves submitting an application, paying the necessary fees, and meeting specific requirements set by the local government.

Home-Based License

Home-based licenses in New Hampshire are required for individuals or businesses that operate from their residential property. These licenses regulate and permit activities conducted within a residential setting, such as home-based businesses or rental properties. Home-based licenses ensure these activities comply with local regulations, building codes, zoning requirements, and health and safety standards.

The specific requirements for obtaining a home-based license in New Hampshire can vary depending on the type of activity and the local municipality but typically involve submitting an application, paying any necessary fees, and meeting specific criteria set by the local government.

Professional License

Professional licenses in New Hampshire are mandatory for individuals pursuing specific careers or professions that require specialized knowledge, skills, and expertise. The state government grants these licenses and serves to regulate and ensure the competency and ethical practice of professionals in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, teaching, and accounting.

To obtain a professional license in New Hampshire, individuals must meet education, experience, and examination requirements specific to their profession. These licenses assure the public that they receive services from qualified professionals and protect consumers from potential harm or malpractice.

Step 2: Identify the New Hampshire Licensing Agencies

Once you’ve determined that your business requires a license or permit, you must identify the appropriate New Hampshire agencies responsible for issuing these documents. In New Hampshire, numerous agencies oversee licensing and permitting, including:

  • New Hampshire Secretary of State: This office is responsible for issuing licenses for many professional services, including legal, medical, and accounting.
  • New Hampshire Department of Health: Food establishments, healthcare providers, and other businesses related to health and safety may require licenses from this department.
  • New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration: If your business sells goods, you may need a sales tax license or permit from this department.
  • New Hampshire Department of Labor: Businesses that involve construction or contracting may need licenses from this department.
  • Local City or County Governments: Depending on your business’s location, you may also need to obtain licenses or permits from your local government.

Step 3: Research License and Permit Requirements

After identifying the appropriate agencies, research the specific requirements for each license or permit your business needs. This may involve reviewing the New Hampshire agency’s website, contacting their office directly, or consulting a legal or business professional. Some common requirements for obtaining a business license or permit include:

  • Completing an application form
  • Providing proof of insurance or bonding
  • Passing background checks or inspections
  • Paying application fees

Some licenses or permits may have ongoing requirements, such as annual renewals, inspections, or reporting.

Step 4: Complete and Submit License Applications

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and documents, complete the application forms for each required license or permit. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided by each New Hampshire agency, as incomplete or incorrect applications can lead to delays or denials.

In addition to the application forms, you may also need to submit supporting documentation, such as:

Proof of Business Registration

You can find it on the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website. There should be a search feature specifically for businesses. This will often be labeled “New Hampshire QuickStart Business Lookup“. In the search feature, enter the name of the business you are looking for, and once it appears, you will now have proof of your business registration.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Aside from opening a bank account, you must have an Employer Identification Number in New Hampshire to file and submit for a business license. An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, file taxes, and hire employees. 

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

  • Apply Online- The online EIN 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 the 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 four 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.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)
Proof of Insurance, Bonding, or Worker’s Compensation Coverage

To have a business license, you need proof of insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation. You need to obtain a certificate or policy document as additional documents for your proof of insurance. Also, there is a database of businesses with worker’s compensation coverage or require businesses to register their insurance or bonding information. Visit your New Hampshire Department of Labor, Department of Insurance, or another relevant agency website for information about the business’s coverage.

Professional Certifications or Licenses

As I have mentioned, if you will form a general partnership and offer your service, you must have professional certifications or licenses. 

Submit your completed applications and the New Hampshire business license fee, which ranges from $50 – $300. The processing times for license and permit applications can vary, so plan accordingly and allow ample time for approval.

Step 5: Maintain License and Permit Compliance

Once you’ve obtained the necessary licenses and permits for your New Hampshire business, it’s essential to maintain compliance with all requirements. This may include:

  • Keep your New Hampshire licenses and permits current by renewing them on time, typically annually.
  • Reporting any changes to your business, such as a changing New Hampshire LLC address. You may amend your New Hampshire Certificate of Formation if you change anything in your New Hampshire business.
  • Maintaining proper insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation coverage.
  • Complying with any inspection, reporting, or record-keeping requirements.

Failing to maintain compliance with your New Hampshire business licenses and permits can result in fines, penalties, or even the loss of your license. Hiring the Best Registered Agent Services in New Hampshire is better if you plan to start an LLC and maintain your licenses. They won’t just help you with the formation of your business but also the compliance. We reviewed some of the services for you to check out.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$299 Per Year

  • Free LLC Formation

  • RA service in all states

  • Legal consultation

$125 Per Year

  • Flat price for RA service

  • LLC formation package

  • Fast service

Additional Considerations

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when navigating the New Hampshire business licensing process:

  • Licenses and permits are often industry-specific, so research your business type’s requirements.
  • Some businesses may need licenses or permits from multiple agencies at the state and local levels. Be sure to research and comply with all necessary requirements to avoid complications.
  • If your business operates in multiple locations or across state lines, you may need to obtain licenses or permits for each jurisdiction in which you operate. You can form New Hampshire Foreign LLC
  • Stay informed about licensing and permitting requirements changes, as regulations can change over time.

FAQs

Do I need a license to start a business in New Hampshire?
Whether you need a license to start a business in New Hampshire depends on the type of business you plan to operate. Some businesses require a license, while others do not.
How do I know if my business requires a license in New Hampshire?
You can check with the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office to determine whether your business requires a license.
How do I apply for a business license in New Hampshire?
Business licenses in New Hampshire are typically issued by individual municipalities. To apply for a business license, you’ll need to contact the appropriate city or town clerk’s office.
Do I need to register my business in New Hampshire before applying for a license?
Yes. Before you can obtain a business license in New Hampshire, you’ll need to register your business with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
What information do I need to provide when registering my business in New Hampshire?
When registering your business in New Hampshire, you’ll need to provide information such as your business name, address, and type of business.
Is there a fee to register my business in New Hampshire?
Yes. The fee to register a business in New Hampshire typically varies depending on the type of business entity you’re registering.
Can I register my business and obtain a license online in New Hampshire?
Depending on the municipality, you may be able to register your business and obtain a license online in New Hampshire. Check with the appropriate city or town clerk’s office for details.
How long does it take to obtain a business license in New Hampshire?
The timing of obtaining a business license in New Hampshire varies by municipality, so be sure to check with the appropriate city or town clerk’s office.
What happens if I apply for a business license in New Hampshire and it’s denied?
If your application for a business license in New Hampshire is denied, you may have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
How often do I need to renew my business license in New Hampshire?
The renewal schedule for business licenses in New Hampshire varies by municipality.
Do I need to notify New Hampshire if I close my business?
Yes. If you go out of business, it’s important to notify the New Hampshire Secretary of State and the appropriate city or town clerk’s office.
Is there a penalty for operating a business without a license in New Hampshire?
Yes. Operating a business without a license in New Hampshire may result in penalties and fines.
Can I operate more than one business with a single license in New Hampshire?
It depends on the type of businesses you plan to operate. Be sure to check with the appropriate city or town clerk’s office for details.
Can I transfer my business license to another owner in New Hampshire?
Depending on the municipality and type of business, business licenses in New Hampshire may be transferrable. Check with the appropriate city or town clerk’s office for details.
Can I use a business license from another state to operate a business in New Hampshire?
Generally, no. In most cases, you will need to obtain a New Hampshire business license to operate a business in the state.
Do I need a separate license to sell alcohol in my business in New Hampshire?
Yes. If you plan to sell alcohol in your business in New Hampshire, you will need a separate license from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.
Where can I find information about zoning laws in New Hampshire?
You can find information about zoning laws in New Hampshire by contacting your local planning and zoning department or state zoning office.
Do I need to obtain any other permits or licenses to operate my business in New Hampshire?
Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses from other state or federal agencies.
Who should I contact if I have questions about obtaining a business license in New Hampshire?
You should contact the appropriate city or town clerk’s office or the New Hampshire Secretary of State for guidance on obtaining a business license in New Hampshire.
Are there any resources available to help women and minority-owned businesses obtain licensure in New Hampshire?
The New Hampshire Office of Minority Health and Multicultural Services provides resources and support to women and minority-owned businesses that are looking to obtain licensure in the state.
Can I rely on a business attorney to help me obtain a license in New Hampshire?
A business attorney may be able to provide valuable guidance on obtaining a business license in New Hampshire, but be sure to also get information from the appropriate government agencies.
Can I operate a business out of my home in New Hampshire?
In some cases, yes. However, home-based businesses in New Hampshire may face different requirements and regulations than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
Do I need insurance to obtain a business license in New Hampshire?
Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, you may need to provide proof of insurance in order to obtain a business license in New Hampshire.
How will obtaining a business license affect my taxes in New Hampshire?
Obtaining a business license in New Hampshire is unlikely to affect your taxes directly, but you may need to obtain additional licenses or pay additional taxes depending on the type of business you plan to operate.
Can I obtain a business license in New Hampshire even if I am not a resident of the state?
Yes. Non-residents of New Hampshire can apply for and obtain business licenses in the state, but you will need to have a registered agent located within the state.
Are there any grants or funding opportunities available to help me start my business in New Hampshire?
The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development provides resources and support to entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to start or expand their businesses in the state.
Can I start my business in New Hampshire without a physical location?
Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, you may be able to start your business in New Hampshire without a physical location. Check with the appropriate government agencies for details.
What type of business licenses are required in New Hampshire?
The state of New Hampshire requires licensing of certain types of business activities, such as trades, professions, and enterprises.
What are the licensing requirements for a New Hampshire business?
The licensing requirements in New Hampshire vary depending on the business activity.
What is the process for applying for a New Hampshire business license?
Application processes and fees can be found online on the New Hampshire’s Division of Licensing and Registration webpage.
How long does it take to get a New Hampshire business license?
The processing time for a New Hampshire business license depends on the type of business and application requirements.
How much does it cost to get a New Hampshire business license?
Costs for business licenses in New Hampshire vary depending on the type of business license.
How often do I need to renew my New Hampshire business license?
License renewals in New Hampshire are generally required every three years.
How can I check to see if my New Hampshire business license is active?
Business licenses in New Hampshire can be checked on the Division of Licensing and Registration webpage.
What happens if I don’t renew my New Hampshire business license?
Failure to renew business licenses in New Hampshire can result in suspension of business activities, which would bring operations to a halt.
Do I need a separate license for every location my business has in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire does not require a separate business license for each location.
What type of insurance coverage should be considered before obtaining a new business license?
New Hampshire requires that all businesses have workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an injury on the job.
Can a separate business license be obtained to sell online only?
There are no separate New Hampshire business licenses needed for online sales as long as you already have a trade license for selling the product or service.
Can businesses in New Hampshire unauthorized by the state operate as a legitimate business?
Operating a business in New Hampshire without a license is illegal.
Are interim licenses provided when obtaining a temporary New Hampshire business license?
Most New Hampshire business licenses are valid for up to three years of continuous activity.
Are statutory licenses protected under trademark and intellectual property laws?
Just like any other business assets, statutory licenses are eligible for intellectual property licensing rights and protections in New Hampshire.
What is the minimum financial investment needed to start a business licensed in New Hampshire?
While there are no standard requirements, the amount of the financial investment needed to start a business varies based on the size and function of the business.
Can out-of-state businesses participate in New Hampshire’s business license programs?
Specific license situations vary by state and may allow for out-of-state businesses to conduct business in New Hampshire without additional registration.
How can a license be confirmed as legitimate against phony business operations?
Access to the Division of Licensing and Registration’s website to find information on legitimate licenses.
Are business license fees different based on governmental combination states/county officials?
Penalties for not maintaining business insurance or affordable workers’ compensation coverage are regulated by the state of New Hampshire.
Can doing business without a business license be challenged in New Hampshire for damages suffered even against press claims labeling unauthorized business as fake?
Legal ramifications exist in New Hampshire if caught conducting business functions without legitimate licensing credentials.
Are security firms liable to the public without business licenses issued in New Hampshire?
Yes, all security businesses in New Hampshire need to have occupational licensing documentation.
Can solicitation applicants receive money before approved to receive a license for conducting New Hampshire business transactions?
No payments should be exchanged prior to an approved licensing process through the Division of Licensing and Registration.
Can state legislation change after a successful business license application as in declining State revenues if lower due to economic factors?
Legislative validity not updates as factors of new regulations should be followed up with legal professionals during appropriate situations.
Who to contact for small business start-up consulting and referral assistant programs in New Hampshire?
Programs have financial consultants and guidance specialists as well as networking professionals to bolster fresh business launches.
Do restaurants need a separate business license for serving wine in New Hampshire?
No separate licensing is necessary for restaurants to serve wine.
Is cybersecurity a legitimate concern for licensed businesses in New Hampshire?
Yes, as cybersecurity challenges businesses on a global scale, New Hampshire stakeholders work to protect local digital investitures.
Is hiring employees from abroad an issue with business licenses as it pertains to New Hampshire?
The Division of Licensing and Registration has solid plans to work with applicants on guidance as planned employment is arranged with International screenings required in many cases.
Should new business owners process their own license fees?
The process puts much at stake, and we highly advise owners to decide on legal guidance prior to generating licenses for business operation.
How long does the renewal process for business licenses take in New Hampshire?
Business owners should anticipate submitting license renewal applications online during later calendar months no more than 90 days prior to expiration.

Also Read

Conclusion

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial in starting a new business in New Hampshire. Following the steps outlined in this guide and consulting with the appropriate agencies or professionals, you can ensure that your business complies with all state and local requirements. This will protect your business from legal issues and help establish your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy business operator.

Leave a Comment