New Hampshire
Secretary of State

News

New Hampshire GAP Fund

Applications for the New Hampshire General Assistance & Preservation (GAP) Fund opened on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

The Governor has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $30M of CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (“flex funds”) for the New Hampshire General Assistance & Preservation (GAP) Fund to provide emergency financial relief to New Hampshire businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that have been unable to access support from other existing state and federal programs.

Note: Applicants must be in Good Standing with the New Hampshire Secretary of State as a condition of eligibility.

Important Dates & Timeline

  • Application Period – July 21, 2020 – August 4, 2020

To get more information, or to submit an application, click here.

 

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News

CUSTOMER ALERT 2020 Certificate of Status Request Form

CUSTOMER ALERT

2020 Certificate of Status Request Form

from “NH Certificate Service”

 

Newly-registered corporations and LLCs have recently received a solicitation letter from a Florida business, NH Certificate Service, entitled “2020 CERTIFICATE OF STATUS REQUEST FORM” with an offer to provide “an elective Certificate of Status” for an $87.25 fee. The Secretary of State is receiving calls and emails from customers questioning the letter, or who may have acted on the offer before realizing the notice was a sales solicitation and not an official notification from the Corporation Division.

Businesses are warned that such notices are not from, nor authorized by, the Secretary of State

Please be aware that corporations, LLC's and other business organizations in New Hampshire are NOT required by law to obtain the "Certificate of Status". If a business organization requires a certificate of status, known in New Hampshire as a certificate of good standing, it can be obtained from the Secretary of State’s Quickstart website for a total fee of $7.00.

Unfortunately, solicitations of this kind are not uncommon.  Anytime you receive such a notice by mail or email, you should:

  • Review the fine print. Many, like the one in this example, will state that “This is not a government agency,” or something similar. However, not all similar solicitations include this disclosure, so it’s always best to confirm with the appropriate official source, especially before sending any payment.
  • Before initiating payment, verify you are required to have the item or service offered with the person in your company responsible for official reporting, such as your finance manager.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of a deceptive advertisement or business practice, or who feels they were misled into paying a fee, are encouraged to submit a complaint to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau using this link: https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm

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News

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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SBA and N.H. SOS Workshop


U.S. Small Business Administration logo 

Join us to learn how the SBA and N.H. SOS can help your
business, and submit filings on the N.H. QuickStart website

 

WebEx Corporations invites you to join this WebEx meeting:

Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM, (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Meeting number (access code): 472 675 319

Meeting password: g4mJ72AfsMq


Join meeting
 

Join by phone
Global call-in numbers

Join from a video system or application
Dial 472675319@nhgov.webex.com
You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter your meeting number.

Join using Microsoft Lync or Microsoft Skype for Business
Dial 472675319.nhgov@lync.webex.com

Need help? Go to http://help.webex.com

Hear from a representative from the local SBA office about the technical and financial assistance offered through the agency and its resource and lending partners to help you start or grow your small business.  Also hear from a representative from the Secretary of State Corporation Division that will provide information on NH QuickStart and how to register your business online.  This workshop will be offered the first Thursday of every month.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Are you looking to start your own small business?

Are you a business owner now and in need of capital or free advice?

To register online:
https://sbaandnhsos.eventbrite.com/
Or contact Miguel Moralez
(603) 225-1601 or Miguel.moralez@SBA.gov
 

 

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News

Trademark That!

The Value of State Trademark Registration for Small Businesses

When most people hear the word “trademark,” they usually associate it with applying for federal registration of their brand or logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). But federal registration is not the only option available to a business that wants to protect its intellectual property and its brand in the marketplace. If you are a new or existing small business, don’t overlook the value of state trademark registration.

 

Common law rights to a particular mark begin as soon as a business begins to use the mark in advertising and sales. Neither state nor federal law requires your business to register its brand name or logo. But registration can provide important rights and protections not afforded to owners of unregistered marks. Like the federal Lanham Act, most states have enacted some version of the Model State Trademark Act (the “Act”), which provides for registration and protection of marks registered at the state level.

 

New Hampshire’s enactment of the Act offers trademark and service mark owners protections beyond those afforded by federal law. If a business wishes to file an action in state court for infringement and damages against another party, a necessary element is registration of the mark with the New Hampshire Secretary of State (see N.H. RSA 350-A:13).State registration can also provide protections if your product is one that might be counterfeited.

 

Federal or state registration is not an “either/or” decision; you don’t have to pick one over the other.  While a federally-registered mark is considered “superior” to a state-registered mark, federally registration is more complicated, expensive, and slow.  According to the most recent data released by the USPTO, the average federal trademark application currently takes 9.6 months from the initial filing to final approval. Filing fees may be as much as $600.00, plus the cost of a trademark service firm or attorney if used.

 

Here in New Hampshire, making an application for a state trademark registration is simple, low cost, and can be completed online. The application fee is $50.00, plus a $2.00 electronic filing convenience fee. Upon receipt, a trained trademark specialist checks the mark against all other marks registered with the office, as well as all active N.H. business names. If approved, the Office issues a Certificate of Registered Trademark in the matter of just a few business days. Registration protects your mark within New Hampshire, and it is good for a period of ten (10) years. Registration places your mark in the Secretary of State’s trademark database, which provides a public record of the mark and the date you began using the mark in commerce.

 

Whether or not you decide to apply for federal registration, many trademark experts agree state registration should be part of your brand strategy.  Don’t overlook this useful and cost-effective tool to build awareness for your brand and help prevent others from trading on your business’ good name and reputation.

 

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