FAQ Archives

Do I need to register the name of my business? How do I go about it?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

If you are doing business under any name but your own, you are required to register with the Secretary of State. This requirement enables people to identify who is operating a particular business.

For information on how to register your name, visit the Secretary of State’s Web site. You can also call (603) 271-3246 weekdays 8 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The Secretary of State’s office is located at the State House Annex, Third Floor, in Concord. The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts a kiosk with small business resource info at the Secretary of State’s office on Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

What is a tax I.D. number? Do I need one?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

Business tax I.D. numbers (or Employer Identification Number/EIN) are issued by the Internal Revenue Service for the purpose of identifying employers. Since business numbers are not issued by the State of New Hampshire*, many small businesses obtain an EIN for use in purchasing merchandise and supplies at wholesale prices. To obtain a tax I.D. number, you will need to fill out Form SS-4. You can find this form on-line (pdf) or at a CPA’s or tax preparer’s office. You may submit the form online, mail it in, or file by telephone at (978) 474-9717.

*The State of New Hampshire does assign State Employer Identification Numbers in order to process State Unemployment taxes.

Do I need a license to operate my business?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

It depends on the type of business as well as the location of the business. Start with your town hall to find out local requirements. The State also requires that some occupations and businesses be licensed. For information on licensed occupations, visit the State of New Hampshire Occupation Index. For food service businesses, contact the New Hampshire Bureau of Food Protection at (603) 271-4673. Starting and Operating a Business in New Hampshire, by Michael D. Jenkins, Oasis Press, lists many licensing requirements also.

Should I incorporate?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

There are several forms of business organizations: sole proprietor, partnership, corporations, and limited liability companies. Legal liability, income taxes, protection of assets, and ease of transfer are some of the issues affected by the form of business organization. In order to decide upon the best solution for you, you should consult an attorney and a CPA. These professionals can analyze your situation and make the correct recommendation. For a brief overview of the different forms of business organizations, the U.S. The Small Business Administration has a good description of the forms of business.

Which business expenses can I deduct for income tax purposes?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

Generally, all the expenses you incur to start and operate your business are deductible, however many are subject to various IRS rules; for example, start-up costs, vehicle expense, meals and entertainment, and use of a home office. Start by reading IRS publications (such as the Business Tax Kit) and looking at the tax returns for your form of business. For sole proprietors, that is a Schedule C. You can get IRS materials from the IRS Web site, from your CPA’s office, or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-3676. It is very important to set up a good bookkeeping system immediately upon going into business. QuickBooks Pro Accounting System or any accounting software package is recommended.

I would like to get a grant to finance the startup of my business. How do I get one?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

As a general rule, there are no grant programs that help individuals start or operate for-profit ventures. There may be limited exceptions; for example, individuals with disabilities may qualify for special funding. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) lists all of the federal government’s grant programs, including grants where businesses are the beneficiary. There are other web sites that list grant opportunities as well. A review of these listings will demonstrate that most government grant programs to assist businesses are in the form of grants to non-profit organizations, educational institutions or governmental units to assist small businesses, rather than grants to the businesses themselves.

How much will one-on-one counseling cost with the SBSC?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael
  • Counseling sessions with the SBSC are at no charge.

What can I expect when I call SBSC for assistance?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

When you contact the SBSC you will generally be asked some questions to find out more about the kind of assistance the SBSC can provide for you. Many times questions you may have can be answered directly or information can be sent to you. If you are just beginning to think about your business and you have not yet developed a business plan, you will receive information about some of the opportunities that are available to help you gain the knowledge you will need to start your business.

Are the SBSC services just for start-up businesses?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

The SBSC serves a broad range of businesses, ranging from those who are thinking about starting a business, to very early-stage companies, to firms that have been in business many years. The connection with Plymouth State University also provides an opportunity for existing businesses to request help from the award-winning Small Business Institute®.

I need to get financing for my business. How do I do that?

September 23rd, 2011 by Michael

Looking for financing for your business is usually a multi-step process that will take significant time and effort. We recommend the following:

  • Write your business plan first. Most programs and lenders, even those sponsored by the federal or state government, require a detailed business plan that spells out why they should risk their money by investing in your business.
  • Determine what your own resources are. This includes cash, home equity, and other personal assets. Also consider family and friends. Contact your county or city economic development agency. Many offer funding programs to foster business within a certain geographic area.
  • Go to your bank first. Then, if needed, call on other community banks in your area. These smaller banks pride themselves on helping small business owners. Ask about any revolving loan fund (RLF) program for which you might qualify. RLFs provide “gap financing” that your bank won’t or can’t offer. You can also ask your local bank about SBA guaranteed loans, which can reduce the risk for a bank providing a business loan to a business with limited assets.

Do you need assistance with:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Marketing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Accounting

Contact the SBSC for help!