In this lesson, we will walk you through forming a Professional LLC (PLLC) in New Hampshire. This is different from a regular New Hampshire LLC.
In order to create a PLLC in New Hampshire, you need to file a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. This is the document that officially forms your New Hampshire PLLC.
- Prior lesson: Before proceeding with this lesson, make sure you have selected your PLLC’s New Hampshire Registered Agent.
There are 3 methods of filing a PLLC in New Hampshire: by mail, online, or a walk-in filing.
Before we get into the steps, let’s first go over the basics of what a PLLC is, who’s required to form them, and what the benefits are.
What is a New Hampshire PLLC?
A New Hampshire PLLC is a Professional LLC governed by New Hampshire state law.
The state of New Hampshire requires professionals to form this special type of LLC.
“Professionals” refers to those who need a state license, registration, or certification to carry out their services because the services they provide tend to carry higher risk of financial or personal harm to the public.
Who’s required to form a PLLC in New Hampshire?
According to Chapter 304-D of New Hampshire law, the following professionals are required to form PLLCs (instead of regular LLCs):
- Certified Public Accountants
- Public Accountants
- Land Surveyors
- Medical Services
- Mental Health Practitioners
- Physician Assistants
- Physicians and Surgeons
- Professional Engineers
- Registered Professional Nurses
- And all other professionals licensed, registered, certified, or otherwise authorized and permitted to practice independently under the provisions of RSA (Revised Statutes Annotated) 309-B, 310-A, 311, 315, 316-A, 317-A, 318, 326-B, 327, 329, 329-B, 330-A, or 332-B.
Differences between New Hampshire LLC and PLLC?
Forming a Professional LLC (PLLC) in New Hampshire is very similar to forming a regular LLC in New Hampshire.
Some differences are:
Your designator, the identifier at the end of your business name, is different from a regular LLC (“PLLC” instead of “LLC”).
You need to submit a license, certificate, or a consent letter during the filing process.
Only licensed professionals can be members of a PLLC in New Hampshire. Non-licensed people cannot be members. See section 304-D:7.
A New Hampshire PLLC cannot engage in any profession other than the profession governed by their licensing agency or department (besides investing money in real estate, stocks, mortgages, or other types of investments). See section 304-D:3.
You are subject to regulation, enforcement, and the laws of your licensing agency.
Typically, most New Hampshire PLLCs operate within just 1 profession. However, a New Hampshire PLLC can engage in 2 or more professions, as long as the combination of professions is permitted by the applicable licensing laws. See section 304-D:2.
In case you are sued for malpractice, you (or the people you supervise) can be held liable as if you are the sole professional providing the service. In this case, your personal assets can be seized as payment to the injured party. See section 304-D:9.
In a Multi-Member PLLC (2 or more members), members are not liable for each other’s negligence. Said another way, if you run a doctor’s office and your business partner is sued for negligence/malpractice, your assets are protected. See section 304-D:9.
Note: I know that last one is a bit of a mouthful and hard to understand. If you need clarity, we recommend talking with a business attorney in New Hampshire.
What are the benefits of PLLCs in New Hampshire?
For its members, the PLLC still serves the same purpose as a regular LLC: asset protection. But, there is one exception for PLLCs.
Creating a PLLC will not protect the members against malpractice claims.
Because the public often puts their life in the hands of professionals (or subject themselves to higher financial risk), professionals are held to a higher standard than the average person.
If a licensed professional was able to “hide behind” a regular LLC, it would be more difficult for injured parties to seek damages in a malpractice case.
For this reason, professionals that want to form an LLC are governed by different laws, held to higher standards, and required to form a Professional LLC instead.
If you are a licensed professional starting a business, not only is it a good idea to form a Professional LLC in New Hampshire, it’s also a good idea to purchase malpractice insurance.
New Hampshire Professional LLC Name Requirements
Before forming your PLLC in New Hampshire, there are a few name requirements you need to know:
1. Your New Hampshire Professional LLC name must end with “Professional Limited Liability Company”, or the abbreviations “P.L.L.C.” or “PLLC”. The abbreviation “PLLC” is the most common.
2. Because a New Hampshire PLLC is not a Corporation, your desired PLLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.”, “Inc.”).
3. Your desired PLLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in New Hampshire. You can search your name in the New Hampshire database here. For instructions on making sure your PLLC name is distinguishable, please see this lesson: New Hampshire LLC Name.
How to Form a New Hampshire PLLC
Again, there are 3 ways to form a Professional LLC in New Hampshire:
1.) You can file by walk-in
2.) You can file by mail
3.) You can file online
Since filing online is the easiest method, that is what this lesson will focus on.
If you prefer to file by walk-in or by mail, please follow our regular New Hampshire LLC lesson, but use the specific PLLC-1 form from the Secretary of State.
Certificate of Formation for PLLCs (Form PLLC-1):
New Hampshire Secretary of State: PLLC-1 Certificate of Formation for PLLC
Instructions for Filing New Hampshire PLLC Certificate of Formation Online
Create a New Hampshire QuickStart Account
To form a Professional LLC online in New Hampshire, you need to create a “QuickStart” account. QuickStart is the online filing system for the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
1. Visit the New Hampshire QuickStart login page
2. Click the “Create a User Account” button.
3. Enter your contact information and then click “Continue”. Note: your “Contact Number” can be the same as your mobile number.
4. Create a User ID, password, and security question, then click the “Create My Account” button.
5. The next page will tell you that your registration has been successful. Before logging in, we recommend you print your login details by clicking the “Print the Login Details” button. A PDF file containing your account information will automatically download to your computer.
Then click the “Login” button, enter your username and password, then click the “Log In” button to proceed.
6. In your QuickStart dashboard, click the “Create a Business” link (it’s in the vertical menu on the left).
7. On the next page, click “I am creating a new Domestic Business/Trade Name (D/B/A)“.
From the “Business Type” drop down menu, select “Limited Liability Company (LLC or PLLC)“.
From the “LLC type” drop down menu, select “Professional Limited Liability Company“, and then click the “Continue” button.
Complete your New Hampshire PLLC’s Certificate of Formation Online
Article First: Business Name:
Enter your Professional LLC name exactly as you would like it, including your preferred capitalization, as well as the designator “PLLC” or “P.L.L.C.” (the abbreviation “PLLC” is the most common).
You can use a comma in your Professional LLC name or you can leave it out. For example, “ABC Dentistry, PLLC” and “ABC Dentistry PLLC” are both acceptable.
Article Second: Principal Purpose:
An NAICS Code (North American Industry Classification System) is used by government agencies to identify your PLLC’s line of business and activities. It’s mostly used for statistical purposes.
Select the NAICS Code number from the drop down menu which represents the purpose of your PLLC. Then select the NAICS sub code from the drop down menu in the right box. Then click the “Save Selection” button.
If you’re having a hard time locating an NAICS Code, don’t sweat it. It’s not a requirement to provide one. Instead, select “Other” from the drop down, then enter a few words about your business (in the “Other Business Purpose” box), then click the “Save Selection” button.
Make sure that what you enter describes the professional activities for which you are licensed/certified, and for which your PLLC will carry out.
Upload Professional License(s):
From the “Profession” drop down menu, select your profession.
If additional fields appear below, enter the name of your license/registration/certification in the “File Description” box. Then locate a copy of your license/registration/certification and upload it.
If additional fields do not appear below, just continue through the application. On the next page, you’ll have the chance to upload any license, certificate, or consent/approval letter.
Note: We understand that the above user-experience can be a little confusing. It would be better to allow everyone to upload their licenses/certifications on same page.
Article Third: Registered Agent:
If you’re not sure who can serve as your New Hampshire PLLC’s Registered Agent, please refer back to this lesson: New Hampshire Registered Agent.
If your Registered Agent is an individual (such as you, a friend, or family member), click the “Create Agent” button.
- From the “Agent Type” drop down, select “Individual”. Then enter their contact information. Next, enter their street address on the left, under “Registered Office Address”. Remember, PO Boxes are not allowed and the street address must be located in New Hampshire.
- To the right, under “Registered Mailing Address”, most people check off the box at the top for “Same As Office Address”. On some occasions, the individual serving as your PLLC’s Registered Agent may prefer to get mail at a location different from what you entered on the left. If that’s the case, enter that additional address on the right.
- Once finished, click the “Create Agent” button at the bottom.
If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, enter the company name in the “Search Agent Name” box and then click the “Search” button.
- Once you find your Commercial Registered Agent’s name in the list, just click the “Select” circle and the information will be automatically saved.
- If you hired Northwest Registered Agent as your Commercial Registered Agent, their full name in New Hampshire is “Northwest Registered Agent LLC”.
Article Fourth: Duration:
In this section, you need to let the New Hampshire Secretary of State know about the duration of your PLLC (how long it will remain in existence).
If you prefer for your PLLC to be “open-ended” with no set closure date, select “No specific date of dissolution is set“. Most people choose this option as it gives them the freedom to close their PLLC at any time in the future (by filing dissolution paperwork).
If you prefer for your PLLC to be automatically shut down on a specific date in the future, select “The latest date on which the Limited Liability Company is to dissolve is“, and then select that specific date using the calendar to the right.
Article Fifth: Manager/Member Information:
From the drop down menu, select whether your Professional LLC will be Member-managed or Manager-managed.
Note: Most PLLCs are member-managed, where all the owners run the business and day-to-day operations. A PLLC can also be manager-managed, where one, or a few designated people, run the business and day-to-day operations (while the members play more of a passive/investor role).
- Related article: To learn more about member-managed vs. manager-managed PLLCs, read this short article.
Article Sixth: Statement Regarding Compliance with New Hampshire Securities Laws:
This section just states that your Professional LLC will follow New Hampshire laws if you decide to sell your company. There is nothing you need to do here. You are essentially just agreeing to follow this law by proceeding. Click the “Continue” button at the bottom.
Business Email Address:
Enter your email address in the box provided. It doesn’t have to be an “official” business email. We recommend using your personal email address. The state will use this email address to send you notifications about your filing as well as future PLLC Annual Report reminders.
If you were required to upload documents when you selected your profession above, you can leave this blank.
If you were not required to upload documents when you selected your profession above, you should upload your certificate, license, or approval letter here. Enter a few words in the “File Description” which explains what the document you’re uploading is.
Principal Office Information:
In the “Business Address” section, enter the Principal Office address of your Professional LLC. This can be your home address, a friend or family member’s address, an office address, or the address of your Registered Agent.
Mailing Address (if different):
If you’d like to receive mail at an address different than your Principal Office Address, enter that address here. If not, check off “Same as Business Address”.
Check off the box to certify that you’ve read the terms and conditions. Once you check off the box, a new section will appear below.
Select the first option if you want your Professional LLC to be effective upon filing. This means your PLLC will go into existence on the date it is filed with the New Hampshire Secretary of State.
If you need your PLLC to go into existence at a later date, select the second option and enter that date in the box provided (it can’t be more than 90 days out).
Pro tip: If you’re forming your PLLC in October, November, or December, and you don’t need your business open during those months, forward date your filing to January 1st. This will save you the hassle of filing any taxes for those 1-3 months. For more information, please see LLC effective date.
Type out your full name in the “Member Signature” box. Then click “Continue” to proceed.
Review your information for accuracy and check for typos. If you need to make any changes, click the “Edit” button to the right of any section.
Once you review the page and everything looks good, click the “Proceed to pay” button at the bottom.
Select “Credit Card“, then click the “Pay Securely using Credit Card” button.
A popup message will appear telling you that you will be redirected to the Global Gateway payment system. Click the “Ok” button to proceed.
Enter all of your billing information, then click the “Pay With Your Credit Card” button to submit your filing and payment.
Congratulations, your New Hampshire Professional LLC has been filed for processing! Now you just need to wait for approval.
PLLC Approval when filing online:
When filing online, your Professional LLC will be approved in 3-7 business days. Your approval documents will be returned via email. You’ll receive a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Formation and a Certificate of Good Standing.
Note: Filing times may take longer due to government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in New Hampshire.
Note: The Operating Agreement link above is for regular LLCs. You can use this form as a guide, but we recommend working with a business attorney to make sure you include the necessary provisions and safety measures for your PLLC, such as a provision regarding malpractice insurance.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the New Hampshire Secretary of State at 603-271-3246 (Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm).