Economic Development Department, 1 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801, Phone: (603) 610-7220

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How to Get Started:
How to start a business in New Hampshire

From the Office of Business and Industrial Development

  1. What type of business entity do you have?
    Sole Proprietor
    C Corporation
    S Corporation
    General Partnership
    Limited Partnership
    Each of the above has legal, tax, and practical consequences that may require the advice of an attorney and/or CPA. Please contact the NH Bar Association for a listing of attorneys at 603-224-6942.

  2. How do you register your business in the State of New Hampshire?

    Unless you are a Sole Proprietor with the exact same name as yourself , you must register with the Secretary of State either as a domestic or foreign corporation. You are a domestic corporation if you have incorporated in New Hampshire and a foreign corporation if you have incorporated in another state. To register a business trade name please go to:

    The contact numbers as follows:
    Telephone number: 603-271-3244 (note that the phone is a voice mail system and you may not get through to a person)

    Website address:*
    • If you are a domestic corporation: reserve your corporation name and register by selecting forms number 1, 11 and SRA.
    • If you are a foreign corporation: reserve your corporation name and register by selecting forms number 1, 40 and SRA.

    Note that corporations do not enjoy pass through status and may be subject to NH business profit taxes and enterprise taxes.

  3. How do you protect your company's trade or service mark?

    You must also register your trade mark/services mark with the state of New Hampshire through the Secretary of State's office. Please use the same web site as above (forms and laws click on trade names and/or trademarks and down load the forms for your use). Please note that you should also request your trade/service mark with the Federal Patent and Trade Office and that if you wish to protect your trade name and mark in other states, you must also register with those states.

  4. Will you be hiring employees?

    If so, please contact the New Hampshire Employment Security Office and the New Hampshire Department of Labor.

    Employment Security: You must register with this Department to cover unemployment benefits.
    Telephone number: 603-228-4424
    Website address:*
    Look under Employers, then under Unemployment Compensation
    Then Click on "Forms & Publications"
    Then select and fill out:
    --"The Employer Status Report"
    (This is for your state ID)
    --"The New Hire Report Form"
    If you have further questions, call 603-229-4349

    Department of Labor:
    This Department covers two areas: Workers Compensation and Inspection.
    Workers Compensation:
    Although you do not have to register with this department, since you insurance carrier will give the state notice of new coverage, you should review the website to understand New Hampshire law.
    This area covers minimum wage/hourly, safety, boiler/elevator, and apprentice issues. If you are buying a building with an elevator, boiler, or pressure vessel, then you need to contact this office.
    • Telephone number: 603-271-3170
    • Website address:* (click on "Business" and "Boiler" or other categories that apply to you.

  5. Who do you contact for state tax information?

    If your company has a business presence in New Hampshire, you need to contact the NH Department of Revenue Administration. Their website provides the forms and an overview of NH business taxes.
    • Telephone number: 603-271-2191 (this is voice mail, but a person answers if you select zero for operator).
    • Website address:*

  6. Does your company need help in financing?

    The state of New Hampshire does not provide outright grants to companies, however, there are several public sources for debt and equity and two private venture capital firms:
    For additional information on financing, contact NH Division of Economic Development at 603-271-2591 and check the website:

  7. Do you have a location for your business?

    If you require office or industrial space, the state of New Hampshire can provide a confidential survey that includes space for lease, buildings for sale, or raw land.
  8. Will you or your company need a license?

    • Professional and businesses:*
    • List of all licensed occupations in New Hampshire:
    • If your business will serve food, contact the City of Portsmouth Health Officer at 431-2000 ext. 238

  9. Do you need help with state environmental permits?

    If so, contact the NH Department of Environmental Services and review their online guide at*

  10. Do you have any other questions related to doing business in New Hampshire?

    If so, please contact the NH Division of Economic Development for prompt and courteous service 603-271-2591.
(* The above external links are not related to the City of Portsmouth Website in anyway.)

Contact Information

Nancy M. Carmer
Economic Development Program Manager
City of Portsmouth, NH
1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth,
NH 03801

phone: 603-610-7220
fax:        603-427-1593