New Hampshire Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in New Hampshire. Start with a statewide corporate business/trade name search by registering at the New Hampshire Department of State’s business portal NH QuickStart.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+New Hampshire” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

In the state of New Hampshire, registering a Trade Name does not guarantee a business sole rights to the use of that name. Other businesses in the state may also register the same Trade Name. Registered businesses are expected to legally defend their trade names.

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Business License Registration

Most businesses need to register with the New Hampshire Secretary of State in order to conduct business or advertise in the state. The only exception is sole proprietors that operate solely under their legal name.

New Hampshire provides a way to register for a business license and tax registration through the New Hampshire Department of State’s business portal NH QuickStart.

In New Hampshire, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft. You can apply for an EIN online. In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Register online for tax registration through the New Hampshire Department of State’s business portal NH QuickStart:

New businesses can also register off-line by writing to the NH Secretary of State’s Office, Corporate Division, 107 N. Main Street, Concord, NH 03301-4989 or by calling (603) 271-3246.   Get more New Hampshire business tax information here.

New Hampshire has no statewide sales tax for services. House cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue Administration.

New Hampshire requires sole proprietors and general partners to pay both the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) and the Business Profits Tax (DP-80). Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for making estimated payments on both taxes similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about both taxes by calling the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration at (603) 230-5920.

New Hampshire general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form NH-1065. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.

Selected New Hampshire City Licenses

Concord Business License: The city of Concord does not require a business license for house cleaning services.

Dover Business License: The city of Dover does not require a business license for house cleaning services.

Manchester Business License: https://www.manchesternh.gov/Departments/City-Clerk/Licenses-and-Permits/Business-License

Nashua Business License: The city of Nashua does not require a business license for house cleaning services.

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