Senate Votes To Overhaul Business Laws

Amancay Maahs / Flickr

Yes, the bill's massive...but sponsors believe it will ultimately make life a lot easier for would-be business people

A pair of bills overhauling statutes governing LLC’s and corporations have been working their way through the New Hampshire Senate.  The AP reports the amended SB 205 passed on a vote of 22-2:

“It includes provisions for electronic communication, conflicts of interest and provides an easier path for corporations to move to New Hampshire. Supporters say this will bring New Hampshire up to speed with its neighbors.”

The bill was put together by a group working under the aegis of the Business and Industry Association.  As for today’s vote–and the bill’s future as it moves to the House–reporter Kevin Landrigan writes for

“Sen. Jim Luther, R-Hollis, has been massaging this one and Sens. Andy Sanborn, R-Henniker, and Raymond White, R-Bedford, are the only two of the 24 who had not signed on prior to Wednesday’s session.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. Matt Houde, D-Meriden, loved Sanborn’s talk of sending this 140-page bill to study.

Fine, Houde said, the Democrats will run against you as anti-business.

Luther has stitched together bipartisan and strong support for this bill that will easily also clear the House of Representatives once it makes its way over there.”

Landrigan notes that New Hampshire’s corporate statutes haven’t been comprehensively updated in about 20 years.  That puts the Granite State behind almost all of New England–except for Rhode Island.  And, he goes so far as to call the bill (and its sister bill, which we’ll get to momentarily), “the most pro-business legislation of the year.”

Another bill–overhauling how businesses file as LLC’s–is also meandering through the statehouse. A rewritten version of SB 203 unanimously passed the Senate–24-0.  Like the corporation-focused SB 205, it’s a BIA pet project.  The AP reports:

“The LLC law…would provide a standard set of operating rules for the popular business model in an effort to make operations easier and reduce litigation between business partners. Individual companies’ agreements could take precedence over the law.”

In an earlier committee hearing, supporters testified that the goal is to provide lay people with an easy-to-use law, free of legalese.  Business people could simply pull it off the shelf and file for LLC protection with a minimum of confusion.

There’s a lot going on in these bills, so feel free to check them out below if you want to get into the weeds of state business policy:

Ed. Note: In a previous version of this piece, we conflated two bills, SB 203 and SB 205.  We have expanded the post and adjusted our story structure to better reflect the differences between the pieces of legislation.  We regret the error.


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