New Hampshire Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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Irrespective of the reasons behind wanting to conduct a business name search in New Hampshire, the service is offered free of charge by the Secretary of State.

You may want to conduct a name search if you are interested in registering a new business and you want to ensure that the name is available for use. Alternatively, you may just want to access information on a specific business entity in the state.

The New Hampshire Online Database will help you search for registered businesses in a few simple steps. The following step-by-step guide will show you how to conduct a New Hampshire business entity search.

New Hampshire search tips

When searching for a New Hampshire-based business, the following guidelines will help get you the best results:

  • The New Hampshire business name search is not case-sensitive, so whether you enter them or not will not affect the results.
  • The search is affected by punctuation marks and special characters, so if a business name does not have punctuation or special characters, do not add them.
  • Do not add or remove spaces in business names
  • Be careful whether you’re entering singular or plural terms, as they may narrow down or broaden your search results.

The New Hampshire business entity search allows you to conduct n “Advanced Search” where you may use the following search types:

  • Business ID
  • Filing #
  • Registered agent

Business search by name

Refer to the New Hampshire Department of State business search page to begin searching for registered businesses by name.

1
Enter the business name

To begin your business entity search on the New Hampshire business registry, simply enter the name into the search bar and remember to keep the guidelines mentioned in the New Hampshire search tips section in mind.

Click on “Search.”

2
Review the results

If matching entries are found, they will be displayed on this page. Some of the information you’ll be able to access on this page includes:

  • Business name
  • Business ID
  • Homestate name
  • Previous name
  • Business type
  • Principal office address
  • Registered agent name
  • Status

3
Review additional business information

If you require further information on a specific entity, simply click on the name of the entity, and it will take you to the business summary page.

On the business summary page, you’ll have access to detailed information that includes the business email, business status, mailing address, etc.

Advanced search option

When you click on the “Advanced Search” options link, it will take you to the next page, which displays the additional search criteria.

You may search via the company’s business ID, filing number, or registered agent name. You may also choose to narrow down the search by selecting either “Starts with,” “exact match,” “contains,” or “all words.”

If matching results are found using either one of these search types, it will take you to the page displayed in step two of the “Search by business name” option.

Then when selecting or clicking on the entity’s name, it will take you to the business summary page, where you’ll have access to all of the information and functionality that you did with the “Search by name” option.

New Hampshire search results

After conducting the New Hampshire Department of State business entity search, you’ll be able to access the following information on any specific business entity:

  • Business name
  • Business type
  • Expiration date
  • Business creation date
  • Date of formation in jurisdiction
  • Principal office address
  • Business email
  • Notification email
  • Business ID
  • Business status
  • Last renewal date
  • Name in state of formation
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Fiscal year end date

Additionally, you’ll also be able to access trade name information and click on the tabs at the bottom of the page to access:

  • Filing history
  • Address history
  • Businesses linked to the registered agent

Copies of documents and certificates

Once you’ve conducted your New Hampshire business name search, you may want to request copies of business documents.

Irrespective of whether you want to obtain plain copies or certified copies, you’ll need to do it through the Secretary of State’s office. This is because they are the only ones allowed to issue certified copies of business documents.

There are a number of reasons why you could want to obtain copies of these documents, including opening up a corporate bank account and applying for business loans.

The most commonly requested business documents include:

  • Articles of formation
  • Certificate of Authority
  • Mergers
  • Articles of amendment
  • A fictitious name or DBA registration
  • Annual filings, such as annual reports
  • Dissolution and withdrawals

Additionally, while plain copies are adequate in certain cases, certified copies are accompanied by a seal, endorsement, and certificate from the Secretary of State. This serves as evidence that the documentation is a true and correct copy of what the state has on file.

Additionally, the New Hampshire Department of State Corporation Division has started issuing computer-generated black-and-white seals on all certificates issued by the office. So you’ll no longer receive a certificate containing a raised gold seal.

Additionally, the new certificates contain a business ID number along with a certificate number. The authenticity of the certificate may be verified on Quickstart.

Business name availability

Even if your selected name does not appear in the search results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can register that name for your business. You’ll need to conduct a trademark search on the Secretary of State’s website to determine whether the name is available or has been trademarked by another entity.

Alternatively, conduct a trademark search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website to find out if the name is trademarked on the national level.

If the name is available, but you still need more time to initiate the business formation process, then you can reserve the name with the state’s office. Simply complete the Application for Reservation of Name with the New Hampshire SOS, and your name will be it reserved for approximately 120 days.

Ensure that you include:

  • The name to be reserved
  • Business type
  • Nature of the business
  • Address of the applicant
  • Contact information of the applicant
  • The applicant’s signature

To reserve a name in New Hampshire, it will cost you $15, and the filing fee needs to be paid to the state of New Hampshire. You may complete the application electronically or alternatively have the Name Reservation Form mailed to the following address:

Corporation Division
NH Dept. of State 107 N Main St,
Rm 204 Concord,
NH 03301-4989

You may also drop off your form in person at this address:

State House Annex
3rd Floor,
Rm 317 25 Capitol St Concord,
NH 03301

Ensure that you read through the New Hampshire Department of State name availability guidelines before deciding on a name for your business.

Domain name availability

Domain names are important for various reasons, such as giving your business professional credibility and authority, brand visibility, and establishing your online presence. Additionally, it’s also more cost-effective than printing out catalogs, flyers, etc., for your business.

With a domain name, potential customers can find your website and browse through your products and services quickly and easily.

That said, choosing a domain name is one of your biggest decisions as a website owner.

Consequently, if you choose your domain name poorly, it will have a negative impact on your brand and business. The good news is that choosing an ideal domain name is not complicated. However, it will include ample research, staying on brand, and ensuring that the name is user-friendly and makes a good impression on your business.

It’s important to ensure that it is not too long as it may seem like a red flag to potential customers. Additionally, a longer URL will be harder to remember than a shorter one. So the best way to choose a domain name is to ensure that it is both short and memorable.

Additionally, choosing a domain extension deserves some consideration. While the .com domain extension seems to be the most popular choice, if it’s taken, you could always opt for the alternatives.

Also, try to ensure that your domain name includes targeted keywords which are relevant to your audience and your website. Try to make sure that the domain name is also easy to pronounce and spell.

While you are allowed to use hyphens and double letters, it’s advisable that you avoid doing this as they are tough to express verbally.

Also, try to ensure that your domain name is unique and, therefore, will not be confused with competitors’ websites.

One of the best ways to ensure that you find the most suitable domain name for your business is to use a professional service like Namechk.com.

Namechk.com checks your domain name against several online platforms and social media networks. It also filters options and offers suggestions in the event that your selected domain name is not available.

It’s also recommended that you protect your brand with multiple domains. Investing in common misspellings of the domain name will ensure that you do not miss out on lost traffic due to “user error.”

Fictitious business name search

The New Hampshire DBA, also known as a “doing business as,” trade, fictitious or assumed name will come in handy if you plan to transact under another business name from your formal business name.

Ultimately, filing a fictitious name with the state allows you to open corporate accounts under your DBA name and helps when applying for a federal trademark as well. It also keeps other businesses from filing the DBA name that you are using.

However, it’s important to note that a DBA does not offer any type of legal protection, and it’s purely for branding purposes.

Additionally, when registering a New Hampshire trade name, you need to ensure that it is unique and distinguishable from other business entity names in the state.

The process starts with conducting a New Hampshire Business Name Lookup to ensure that no one else is using your selected DBA name.

Additionally, when deciding on a DBA name, ensure that you keep the following naming requirements in mind.

The trade name should not contain:

  • Words that may imply that your company is organized for any unlawful or illegal purposes
  • The name of a political party without prior consent
  • The words “farmers’ market.”
  • Any terms that are used by financial institutions, such as a bank, credit union, trust company, Savings, Loan Association, etc.
  • Any business entity suffix such as Corp., Corporation, LLC, etc.

Try to use a name generator to come up with some creative DBA names for your business.

Once you’ve decided on the ideal DBA name, go ahead and complete the Application for Registration of Trade Name.

Ensure that the form includes the following information:

  • Your trade name
  • A description of your business
  • The date your business was formed

You may choose to use the state’s online services to file the application electronically on the NH QuickStart website or refer to https://quickstart.sos.nh.gov/. Alternatively, have it mailed to the following address:

Mailing address:
Corporation Division
NH Dept. of State
107 N Main St, Rm 204
Concord, NH 03301-4989

A New Hampshire DBA will cost you $50.

Feel free to contact the Department of State Business Filings Department at (603) 271-3246 for further information on registering a fictitious name in the state.

FAQs

What does a Certificate of Good Standing prove?

A Certificate of Good Standing is simply an indication that your business has filed all of the necessary reports and paid the necessary fees to the Department of State’s office. Essentially, it is evidence or proof that your entity exists legally and is fully authorized to transact business in the state.

What is the purpose of a registered agent?

A registered agent who also goes by the name of resident, statutory, or service of process agent is responsible for receiving legal correspondence on your organization’s behalf. This includes the tax, legal, and government correspondence from the state.

What is the key difference between for-profit corporations and nonprofits?

For-profit corporations are businesses whose primary goals are to generate income and profit for their employees, leaders, and founders. Nonprofit businesses, on the other hand, are organizations that are primarily focused on providing a charitable benefit to the community.

What is the purpose of the Uniform Commercial Code?

The purpose of a Uniform Commercial Code, also known as UCC, is to regulate business activities and ensure that they are consistent across all states. The UCC applies to contracts for the sale of goods to a merchant and by a merchant.

Is a limited liability company (LLC) better than a limited liability partnership(LLP)?

Both limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships have an equal amount of pros and cons. Additionally, it could be quite costly to change the structure of the business once you’ve made the state filings. However, if your primary concern is tax liability or limited liability, then an LLC would prove to be the better option.

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