Starting a Business

Starting a business is a difficult decision at best. While there is no single source that outlines all required procedures, the following steps have been developed to assist you in starting your business. Many of these steps can be researched and accomplished by visiting the websites listed, rather than calling or visiting agency offices.

The following information and links to various resources are provided for your convenience only. Please note that there may be omissions or additional requirements not represented here, which does not exempt any individual or institution from complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

1. Evaluate Your Needs and Determine Your Location

The Town of Milford's Office of Community Development can assist you in determining a path to start your business, expand an existing business, or find a new location.

Office of Community Development
Town Hall
1 Union Square
Milford, NH 03055

Milford Improvement Team (MIT)
39 Nashua Street 2nd Floor
Milford, NH 03055

2. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is like a roadmap; it shows you where you are in relation to where you want to be. Whether you believe in a business plan or not, starting a business involves many ideas that need to be documented with actions taken. Many businesses fail without a business plan, and furthermore, banks require one prior to considering your loan application.

The following organizations can provide you with business plan consultations, workshops and referrals:

3. Determine a Business Name

The name you choose for your business is important. Aside from making sure that the name clearly describes your business, you need to ensure that the name is not already being used. If the name you choose is anything other than your own legal name, you are required to file a fictitious business name statement. New Businesses must be registered with the NH Secretary of State.

4. Determine the Business Legal Structure

Several legal structures exist; your choice of legal structure will affect your income taxes and personal liability. Most businesses start as a Sole Proprietorship or a Partnership and are legally the least complicated. Corporations and Limited Liability Companies must register with the Secretary of State. Contact your accountant or attorney for advice and assistance in determining the best legal structure for you and your business.

5. Check Zoning and Building Regulations

Determining zoning requirements prior to signing a lease or contract is imperative. Check with the Town to see if the type of business you plan to operate is legal in the desired location.

Office of Community Development
Town Hall
1 Union Square
Milford, NH 03055

6. Obtain Important Permits and Licenses

The business type chosen determines the licenses and permits needed to legally operate your business.

  • Building Permits are Required if you plan to:
    • Change the use of the space
    • Do extensive renovations that require removing walls, ceilings or other structures
  • Electrical Permits are Required for:
    • All rewiring, installation of new lighting both interior and exterior, Illuminated signs
  • Mechanical Permits are Required for:
    • Upgrading or installation of boilers, furnaces and other heating equipment
  • Plumbing Permits are Required for:
    • Installing new bathrooms, kitchen, sinks or faucets
7. Get Tax Information

Several types of taxes may be levied on businesses including income tax, employment tax and the City’s business tax. For City taxes, contact:

8. Acquire Employer Identification Numbers and Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • If you will have employees, acquire employer identification numbers and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
  • For an employer identification tax number and federal tax withholding information, contact:
9. Recruit and Train Employees