Do You Need a Registered Agent in New Hampshire?


All business entities in New Hampshire are required to maintain a registered agent, but aside from the legal requirements, maintaining a registered agent is a prudent business move. 

Registered agents are such a major part of the business formation process that it’s difficult to legally establish your business without one. They’re also massively beneficial when it comes to keeping your business out of legal trouble with the New Hampshire Department of State Corporation Division. 

Keep reading for information about what a registered agent is, its role in your business, and why you need one. 

What Is a Registered Agent in New Hampshire?

A registered agent is an individual or business entity who receives mail, official correspondence, and service of process at your registered agent’s address during normal business hours. 

It probably seems a bit counterintuitive to send your business’s mail to another person at a different address, but the second half of registered agent services involves document delivery service. 

A good New Hampshire registered agent service will get your documents to you through mail forwarding or using an online document management system. With document-delivery service, registered agents make sure that you not only get your mail, but also that you’re updated about upcoming filing deadlines with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. 

Some people refer to a New Hampshire registered agent as a statutory agent or resident agent. If you see any of these three terms, know that they all refer to the same service. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in New Hampshire?

Some people get the crazy idea that they can set up a PO box for their business and check it from time to time to meet their New Hampshire registered agent needs. There are a few reasons that this won’t work. 

Your New Hampshire registered agent is required by the New Hampshire Secretary of State to be physically present during business hours to receive official correspondence on your behalf. Because of this physically present criterion, you can’t simply stop by and check your New Hampshire PO box for mail from time to time. 

Your business address is also required to be a physical street address in New Hampshire, so PO box addresses aren’t allowed for that reason either. 

There are lots of other services that a New Hampshire registered agent can provide.


Remembering important dates can be hard, especially for busy small-business owners. Compliance filing deadlines in New Hampshire usually only come once a year, making it even easier to lose track of. Your New Hampshire registered agent will keep track of filing deadlines for you.

Your registered agent in New Hampshire is the official point of contact for your business, and because of that it’ll send you compliance alerts or annual report reminders to remind you about impending filing deadlines. This should prevent you from missing the annual-report filing period in New Hampshire and losing your company’s good standing.

Management of Important Documents

Many of the top registered agent services in New Hampshire offer online document management systems. With these systems, your New Hampshire registered agent will scan your mail and upload it on the same day they receive it, and you can access it just as fast using an online account. 

Not only can you view your mail faster with an online document management system than you can with snail mail, it also does away with physical copies of documents and, by extension, the need for massive amounts of physical storage space. Online document management systems allow you to store your mail and documents online. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in New Hampshire?

Generally speaking, most of the requirements for registered agents are universal across the United States. Here are some of the requirements that your New Hampshire registered agent will be required to fulfill: 

  • State laws. You need to check up on state laws in New Hampshire regarding registered agents. Some states create laws that specify the requirements of registered agents in that state. So, make sure that your registered agent meets the requirements of a registered agent in New Hampshire.
  • 18+. Your registered agent in New Hampshire must be at least 18 years old.
  • Physical address. Every registered agent in New Hampshire is required to have a physical street address.
  • Who you can designate. You can choose anyone as your registered agent in New Hampshire so long as they meet the legal registered agent requirements. You can choose an employee, friend, family member, or your lawyer as your New Hampshire registered agent. They should be available during business hours and someone whom you can trust with the livelihood of your business.

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

If for some reason your New Hampshire registered agent isn’t stationed at your registered office address during regular business hours when a process server comes to deliver a service of process, it could spell disaster for your company. The process server may deliver the service of process to the New Hampshire Department of State instead of you. 

Without this important legal notice, you won’t be aware of the legal proceedings taking place against your New Hampshire company, and you can’t properly prepare a good defense. And a judge could issue a default judgment against your company without your knowledge or presence in court. 

Furthermore, it’s illegal for a business to not have a New Hampshire registered agent or miss a filing deadline, so the New Hampshire Department of State is within its rights to revoke your company’s good standing. Your business could be ineligible for business loans, prohibited from expanding to other states, or prohibited from conducting business in New Hampshire. 

Your business name reservation is no longer valid without legal good standing with the New Hampshire Department of State, which means that other businesses are free to use your name. And no matter how fast you remedy the problem, there’s a chance that you’ll never get your business name back. 

Another consequence of losing your good standing status is that the New Hampshire Department of State Corporation Division can initiate “administrative dissolution.” This is when a government agency takes away the authority of a limited liability company to operate in the state due to failure to comply with various regulations. 

Without a legally recognized New Hampshire LLC, you don’t have the safety net liability protection provides. If legal action is taken against your company, the business owner is held liable. That means that your assets and finances are up for grabs in the event of litigation. 

The aftermath of failing to maintain a New Hampshire registered agent isn’t exclusive to a limited liability company. These consequences can affect corporations, sole proprietorships, and limited liability partnerships alike. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in New Hampshire? 

It’s not illegal for you to be your own registered agent, but you should learn about the pros and cons of being your own agent vs hiring a New Hampshire registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


As your own New Hampshire registered agent, missing a service of process could result in losing your good-standing status or dealing with the fallout of default judgments against your company. 

Lack of Privacy

If you choose to be your own registered agent, your personal information (such as your name, address, and phone number) will be listed on the public record. As I’m sure you’re aware, with even the smallest bit of information, hackers and cybercriminals can steal your identity, rack up a ton of debt in your name, and ruin your credit score. 

Aside from the financial liability, there’s something creepy about everyone being able to find your home or call you. 


Being your own registered agent is essentially another full-time job. You’ll have to be present at your company’s legal address during regular business hours. Unfortunately, your company also likely operates during regular business hours. So for most people, it’s impossible to both effectively manage their business and be their own registered agent. That is, unless they figure out how to be in two places at once. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

The only benefit of being your own registered agent is that you won’t have to pay fees to a New Hampshire registered agent service. But once you’ve learned about the legal risks involved with being your own registered agent, as well as the big chunk of time that the job takes up, surely you’ll agree that it’s worth it to hire a New Jersey registered agent service. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are many different reasons a business owner might choose to use a registered agent service: 

  • You don’t have to worry about missing a compliance filing deadline because your registered agent service will issue compliance alerts for your New Hampshire annual report and other important business filings.
  • You’re guaranteed not to miss a service of process because your registered agent service will ensure that someone is posted at your business address during normal business hours to receive service of process, legal documents, and official mail.
  • You’re free to do a great job of managing your business because you won’t be forced to work two full-time jobs simultaneously (as both a business owner and a registered agent).
  • If you have a company that operates in multiple states, hiring a national registered agent service prevents you from having to designate a different registered agent in every state your company conducts business in. 
  • Owners of businesses operating outside of normal business hours (book stores, adult shops, restaurants) can use a registered agent service to get a bit of sleep once they’re off work. 
  • Business owners without a physical address can prevent their information being listed on the public record by hiring a professional registered agent service. You can list your registered agent’s name and address on the public record rather than your own.
  • You’d be surprised how much junk mail is sent to businesses. If you’re your own registered agent, it’s your job to deal with it all, but a registered agent service can deal with that annoying task for you. 
  • Some registered agent services supply premium New Hampshire registered agent services, like identity theft and other business insurance, as well as covering the filing fee for switching to their services. 
  • Many registered agent services also provide business formation services. If you haven’t established your business yet, choose one of these providers and benefit from promotions like a year of registered agent services for free. 

When push comes to shove, you’re the only person that can decide whether using a New Hampshire registered agent service is the right decision for your business. But I can tell you that I always advise new businesses to use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are lots of conditions that go into choosing the best New Hampshire registered agents. Here are some of the considerations you should make when choosing your company’s registered agent service. 

Service Features

There are so many registered agent services on the market that you can surely find one that meets all your needs. Don’t choose a registered agent service if it doesn’t meet your business needs. 

Some New Hampshire registered agents provide clients with an online document management portal for viewing and storing legal documents, official mail, and service of process in a timely manner, while others only provide mail forwarding. 

Some registered agents provide worry-free compliance by issuing compliance alerts to remind you about things like annual reports, while others only give you a trifling compliance calendar for you to throw into a filing cabinet and forget about. 

Make sure you choose a registered agent that supplies all the registered agent services you want.


A good determination of a registered agent’s merit is to compare its services to its price. If the registered agent service in question has a comprehensive list of services and an unbeatable price then it’s likely you’re dealing with a provider that offers an excellent value. 

While you’re here learning about value in regards to registered agent service providers, I should mention that you need to give “budget agents” a miss. These service providers use sign-up prices as low as $39–$59 to attract new customers before ambushing them with numerous additional fees for essential services like compliance alerts or online document management systems. So, steer clear of budget agents. 

Easy Sign-Up 

You want a registered agent service that doesn’t dilly-dally during the sign-up process. Some registered agent providers have sign-up processes that take months to complete and require stacks of paperwork to be filled out. Choose a registered agent that has a speedy and simple sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Have you ever worked for a company that makes you use a slow, confusing system every day that does nothing but give you headaches? Some registered agent services have systems that are just as annoying. You should choose a registered agent service that has a user-friendly system.

Customer Service 

No matter whether you choose the best registered agent service on the planet, you’ll still inevitably run into a technical issue or have a question about your service. And because a registered agent is such a vital business service, customer service is essential. 

I combined these ratings factors with my four-stage investigative process to choose Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service.. To learn more about the different types of services that agents provide, or how to choose your company’s registered agent service, read the Best Registered Agent Services.


New business owners are expected to process a lot of information—fast. They must learn how to use different types of equipment and software for their industries, as well as the latest business management techniques, business and legal terms, and state and federal laws and regulations. But registered agent services are designed to relieve business owners of some of that workload.

If you’ve yet to legally establish your business entity and would like to learn more about the formation process, read How to Start an LLC. And if you’d like additional guidance through the red tape and hassle of the formation process, read the Best LLC Formation Services.

New Hampshire Registered Agent FAQs

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?

A commercial registered agent is a professional registered agent service that has registered as a commercial registered agent service with the New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of State Corporation Division. In some places, all registered agent, statutory agent, or resident agent services are required to register as commercial agents. 

A noncommercial registered agent is any business or person who has been designated as a registered agent, but who hasn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. This means that if you’ve designated your Great Uncle Bob as your registered agent, then Uncle Bob is officially a noncommercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

It’s quite easy to change your registered agent in New Hampshire. All you have to do is fill out a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form with information like your new registered agent’s name and address, and then submit it to the New Hampshire Department of State Corporation Division along with $15 to cover the filing fee. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

To determine registered agent service cost, a number of factors must be considered, such as which provider you go with and the services you need. Typically, registered agent services can cost anywhere from $39–$299 per state per year. If you want to learn more about registered agent pricing, read my guide on the Best Registered Agent Services.  

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