Welcome to the official Start a Business tutorial for the state of Vermont. It is our goal to inform prospective business filers on their entity’s prescribed registration process, be it a corporation, limited liability company or partnership. The Vermont Secretary of State has made its online filing system available to all entities, both foreign and domestic, and we encourage filers to take advantage of its many benefits when registering. That being said, filers will also be able to submit their documents through the mail if they prefer. This main page is simply meant to give an overview of the various functions and filings covered by our team and we’d urge you to take a look at the tutorials linked throughout to get a full grasp of what is in store as a business representative.
Start an Entity
Vermont Online Account
If you decide to file online in Vermont, and we suggest that you do, it will be necessary for you to first register for an account with the portal. While some Secretary of State websites don’t require their filers to create an account, you can consider yourself fortunate that Vermont does. For one, once properly registered, you will be able to keep track of all filings in one, streamlined portal. Furthermore, as most entities are required to file an annual or biennial report, it allows you to renew your business from the comfort of a computer. In fact, due to the nature of the renewal process in Vermont of most entity types, it is most likely mandatory that this account be created. A full tutorial on the process can be found here.
Search for a Name
The Secretary of State name database is available to the public and contains the information of each registered or previously registered entity. It is possible to research any one of those businesses by performing a Business Entity Search, a search function made available on the government website. This inquiry can be completed by means of several search parameters, enabling filers to narrow the results as effectively as possible. We always suggest that, before registering your business, the entity search tool be employed to research the availability of your chosen name.
How to File in Vermont
Step 1– The first step that we suggest, as we’ve mentioned earlier in this tutorial, is the use of the Business Entity Search to cross check your chosen entity name with the Secretary of State name database. If you don’t find a business whose name resembles yours in any way, you will most likely be permitted to use your designation for the duration of your term in Vermont. A Name Reservation filing can also be executed for the price of $20. The name will then be secured for a period of 120 days with the opportunity to renew if more time is needed to prepare for registration.
Step 2- You will now be able to either download the PDF of the filing form or log into your online account to access the portal. Click on the link below that corresponds with your entity type to review instructions for both filing methods.
- Domestic Corporation
- General Profit Corporation
- General Professional Corporation
- Benefit Corporation
- Benefit Professional Corporation
- Close Corporation
- Close Professional Corporation
- Close Benefit Corporation
- Worker’s Cooperative Corporation
- Cooperative Housing Corporation
- Consumer’s, Marketing or Railroad Corporation
- Nonprofit Corporation
- Foreign Corporation
- General Partnership
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
Step 3- With the forms completed, you will be required to attach any certification demanded by the Secretary of State (certificate of good standing if foreign, professional license if a professional corporation) and pay the filing fee (see list below). Those filing online will be able to submit the fee by credit card or eCheck and send their completed documents immediately to the Secretary of State electronically. Paper filers will need to make a duplicate copy of their application and pay the fee by check or money order made out to the Vermont Secretary of State. When all forms and fees are consolidated, they should be sent to the below address for processing.
Vermont Secretary of State : Corporations Division
128 State Street
Montpellier, VT 05633
Partnerships- see below
- General Partnership- $125
- Domestic Limited Partnership- $125
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $75
- Foreign Limited Partnership- $125
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $100
The name reservation filing process in Vermont is very standard. As one would assume, it reserves a name of an entity prior to registration to ensure that no other business can register with it. As with all filings, this one can be conducted online, allowing the request to be sent to the Secretary of State immediately. Alternatively, a PDF form can completed, printed off and sent through the mail for those who don’t wish to file online. In this state, reservations costs $20 and last 120 days. There are opportunities to renew after the 120 days expire if you need additional time in which to prepare for filing. To learn more, visit our tutorial here.
Certificate of Good Standing/Status
A certificate of good standing is a document which is most often required when an entity is applying for registration in a foreign jurisdiction or when they’re requesting financing from a financial institution. It is used to relay the status held with the Secretary of State, enabling the authorities that request it to see that the business in question is indeed legitimate and is up to date with all necessary filings. In Vermont, this document can be purchased online for the price of $25, the process for which has been detailed here. While most entities can request a certificate of good standing, limited partnerships and general partnerships will instead use a certificate of status. Both certificates serve the same purpose.
It is beneficial for all entities to draft a binding agreement early on in the formation process to dictate the manner in which the internal affairs are to be organized. These documents are effective in clarifying the rules and responsibilities of company officials, enabling their roles to be set in stone. Furthermore, the logistical and financial affairs of the entity will be otherwise undocumented should an agreement of this nature not be filed. All this being said, none of the documents listed below are legally required in Vermont and if you do choose to have one written up, it should be filed internally and kept at the principle place of business or registered office. Click on the link below which corresponds with the entity type you’re planning on forming to gain access to our free templates, available in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formatting.
Employer Identification Number
If you plan on forming a new, domestic entity, it will most likely be necessary that you apply for an EIN immediately after your registration is accepted by the Secretary of State. This identifier is used by the IRS to keep track of all tax withholding entities operating in the United States and those businesses operating without one will not be doing so lawfully. For example, it will be impossible as an entity to hire employees, open bank accounts, acquire credit cards or request financing without an EIN on hand. For information on the application process, both Online and through the mail, follow this link to be navigated to our comprehensive tutorial.