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How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in New Hampshire

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on July 27, 2022

Updated on November 23, 2022

How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in New Hampshire

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How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in New Hampshire

Before you register and form your limited liability company (LLC), you need to make sure the name you’ve chosen is available in your state. If you choose a name that’s already in use, the state will deny your LLC application. So checking name availability is absolutely crucial. In New Hampshire, it’s a simple process — just follow the steps outlined below. 

Follow New Hampshire LLC Naming Guidelines

Like all states, New Hampshire has a set of restrictions when it comes to business names. You need to follow these or your preferred name could be rejected by the state. 

In New Hampshire, it’s important that your name be distinguishable from any other businesses in the state and contain either the words limited liability company or LLC or some variation of those. 

Your name also must not imply any other business activity than the one you’re legally permitted to engage in or confuse your business with a government entity. Your name cannot contain any vulgar language or words like “bank” or “credit union”.

Related read: How to Name Your LLC

business woman typing on laptop at workplace

Search for Name Availability

Now it’s time to do the actual search. In New Hampshire, this requires a visit to the Department of State website, as detailed in this screenshot. 

New Hampshire Business Entity Search Form

First, select “exact match”. 

Next, enter your preferred name in the search box and press enter. Do this with similar names as well to see if businesses exist with similar names. If you find the name during your search, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and choose a different name.

Before you register or reserve the name for your LLC, you should visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure it’s not already trademarked. If it has been, you’re not allowed to use the name. 

Checking for Domain Name

Check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. Once you’ve finished your name checking process, you can register the domain name by choosing an ICANN-accredited registrar such as GoDaddy.

The fee for maintaining your domain name usually ranges from $10 to $20 per year. When you purchase the name, you generally must pay for the first year up front. 

Reserve or Register Your LLC Name 

Now that you know your preferred business name is available in New Hampshire, not nationally trademarked, and has an available web domain, it’s a good idea to take the next step and make it official. 

In New Hampshire, you have two options. You can either reserve the name here, which means the state will hold it for you for 120 days, or you can go ahead and formally register your LLC name here. You’ll need to create an account on the site and log in before you can register your LLC.

The first option gives you more time to be absolutely sure you want to create a new business, while registering right away lets you start your entrepreneurial journey more quickly. The choice is yours. 

You should also consider trademarking your LLC name with the US Patent Office so it’s protected throughout the country. 

New Hampshire Department of State Contact Info

New Hampshire Department of State

107 North Main Street

Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3246 | [email protected] 

Conclusion

Your business name is your business identity, so before you officially register your LLC it’s absolutely crucial to confirm that your preferred name is available. This will ensure you avoid any business naming potholes and set your LLC up for smooth sailing.