The first step to forming a New Hampshire LLC is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it is available for use.
Your New Hampshire LLC name must be unique and must follow certain state requirements.
New Hampshire LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in New Hampshire, there are a few requirements you need to know:
1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your New Hampshire LLC name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.
2. Because a New Hampshire LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.”, “Inc.”).
3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in New Hampshire.
Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.
- LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
- singular, plural, and possessive
- A, An, The
- and, or, &
- hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
- three vs. 3
The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
- Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
- Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
- Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
- Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
- Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
- Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC
Restricted Words for New Hampshire LLCs
Certain words are “restricted” when creating an LLC in New Hampshire.
Please click the link below to review the table provided by the Secretary of State:
Searching the New Hampshire Name Database
1. Visit the Database
Go to the Business Name Search page: https://quickstart.sos.nh.gov/online/BusinessInquire
2. Search your LLC
Leave “Starts with” selected. Then enter your desired LLC name into the “Business Name” field and click the “Search” button.
Leave out the designator (“LLC”, “L.L.C.”, etc.) and leave out any punctuation.
Capitalization doesn’t matter. You can search in uppercase or lowercase.
To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. (Ex: if your desired New Hampshire LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “johnny apple”).
To be even more thorough, just enter a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired New Hampshire LLC name is “Printing Solutions LLC”, just enter “print”).
3. Browse the Results
Click the “Search” button and browse the list of existing New Hampshire businesses:
If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.
If a “No data found with your search criteria.” message appears in the New Hampshire database, that means your desired LLC name is unique and available for use.
If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it, your desired New Hampshire LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to yours, your desired New Hampshire LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
If you’re not 100% sure that your desired New Hampshire LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the New Hampshire Secretary of State will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
Important: Do not apply for your Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) until your LLC is approved. Also, do not purchase a domain name, business cards, letterhead, signs, marketing materials, etc., until the New Hampshire Secretary of State has approved your LLC.
Once you find a New Hampshire LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: New Hampshire LLC Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
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).