Once you have registered your business entity in New Hampshire, the next step is to check if your business requires a license or a permit. A business license is required in most of the states for a variety of businesses but then on the other hand, not all businesses require a license to operate.
Businesses and individuals in New Hampshire require professional and occupational licenses or permits and some of the key state business permits and licenses include:
- Food services licensing
- Environmental permits
- Liquor Licensing
- Meals and rental tax license
- Child care or day care licensing
- Hotels and lodging establishments
How to Get a Business License in New Hampshire
Where and how do you apply for New Hampshire company license? Are permits required for your business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple permits or licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses or permits? The only way to answer these questions is by understanding the process of business licensing.
Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a business license in the state of New Hampshire:
Step#1: The Industry or Business Type
How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in New Hampshire? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.
Let’s take a look at some examples to understand this better:
- Retail Food Establishments – This includes Restaurant, Food Store, Food Service, Mobile Food Units, and Bed and Breakfasts. A business license in New Hampshire is issued by Division of Public Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). So, if you are planning to establish your business in the food establishment industry then you will require a license to be issued by the DHHS.
- Child Care – This includes Family Child Care Homes, Group Child Care Centers, Family Group Child Care Homes, Child Care Nurseries, Night Care Programs, School Age Program, and Residential Child Care Programs. A New Hampshire company license is issued the Child Care Licensing Unit (CCLU).
- Liquor or Tobacco Retail – Some of the types of businesses under this category or industry that are issued a business license in New Hampshire include Liquor Store, Cigar Bar, Liquor and Wine Manufacturer, Wholesale Distributor, Restaurant Cocktail Lounge, and State Fairs among others. The documents required for the license varies according to the:
– Type of business like LLC, corporation or Limited Liability Partnership etc.
– Type of event or services like cocktail lounge or Social Club etc
The license is issued by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, Division of Enforcement.
Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County
If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a statewide license then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A New Hampshire company license can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works.
If you are planning to transact your business in the City of Manchester, NH then you will require a business license for specific types of services or activities. Some of the services licensed here include farmer’s markets, pawnbrokers, motels, retail stores for merchandise or equipment, taxicab companies, carnivals, entertainment, etc. The fee for obtaining the license will vary according to the activity your business specializes in. You would be required to apply with the Business Licensing & Enforcement Division, Office of the City Clerk. Sample Business License Application
It is important to understand that each city will have different license requirements, fee, and application procedures.
Step#3: Issuance of a Business License
How is a business license in New Hampshire issued? You have to identify the following to complete the process:
- The type of business or industry
- Do you need a license or a permit?
- Will it be issued by the state or the city?
Once you have identified the above, all you need to do is either download the application online or contact the concerned state department or city of clerk office.
It is important to note that a business license or permit will have to be renewed annually unless specific dates have been mentioned, to keep the business operational.