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How To Do A Vermont Business Name Search

How To Do A Vermont Business Name Search

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How To Do A Vermont Business Name Search

Starting a business in Vermont involves several steps, but one of the first is choosing a business name. This step is a little more complicated when setting up an LLC or corporation in Vermont because these entities must have a unique name. 

To help you verify that your corporation or LLC is available to use, our step-by-step guide will show you how to quickly do a Vermont business name search using the Vermont Secretary of State business name database.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Vermont

Step 1: Visit the Vermont Business Entity Database

Go to the Vermont Secretary of State website.

Step 2: Search your Business Name

Enter the name you would like to use in the “Business Name” field.  In this example, we will do a Vermont LLC name search by looking up “Sew What.”  It is recommended to search by “Starts With,” “Exact Match,” and “Contains” to search your name thoroughly.

How to do a vermont business name search

Step 3: Review Results

Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Express Cleaning.”  To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Vermont, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name, you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.

Vermont Business Entity Search

To find more information about any of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Business Name” column to see a detailed report. 

Vermont LLC Name Search Details

While the name “Express Cleaning” by itself may not be available, other variants such as “Express Cleaning of Vermont.”  Searching for this business name brings a result that says, “No data found with your search criteria.”  Even if the name looks like it is available, the Vermont Secretary of State will do their own search to avoid confusing potential customers with a business name that sounds like someone else’s.  Typically words that sound alike but are spelled differently, and even abbreviations will make names show up as available but won’t be approved.

Vermont Business Name Availability

These are the basics of searching for a business name in Vermont.  Even when the name of the business you want looks like it is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names. 

Also, keep in mind that even though each Corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the Vermont Secretary of State and are not required to be unique. To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.

Related: Should I trademark my business name?

What information can be found on the Vermont business entity database?

The Vermont business entity search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:

  • Business Name
  • Business ID: This is the state business filing number.
  • Entity type: The business structure – Corporation, Limited Liability Company, etc.
  • Status: Active means the entity is in good standing, and all reports and filing fees are up to date. Other results include “Expired,” “Inactive,” “Dissolved,” or “Terminated.” The names of these inactive results may be available to register.
  • NAICS Code: The North American Industrial Classification System is a number that corresponds to the industry of the business.
  • Designated Office Business Address: This could be the business’s physical address or the address where business records are stored.
  • Principals Information: Members, Managers, and Officers of the entity
  • Registered Agent Information:Vermont registered agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal, or tax notice need to be sent to the business.  This is often one of the owners, and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information.  Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t publically listed.  
  • Additional information can also be found in the filed Vermont Articles of Organization (LLC), Articles of Incorporation (Corp), and Annual Report.

Vermont Business Name Search FAQs

How do I find a name for a Vermont sole proprietorship?

A Vermont sole proprietorship or partnership can use the business owner(s) full first and last name as the business name, but many will want to operate under a specific business name. In order to register the business name, they will register for a Vermont Assumed Name, which is also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Trade Name, or Fictitious Business Name.

Similar to the corporation or LLC, Assumed Name registrations need to be unique as well.

How do I form a Vermont LLC?

Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use.  Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Vermont LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.

While not required in Vermont, an LLC Operating Agreement, which contains the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.

After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to register for Vermont business licenses and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to ensure the business is legal to operate.

What are the requirements to name an LLC in Vermont?

In addition to being unique, the LLC’s name must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., etc., and it may not use restricted words such as bank or insurance unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.


  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Do A Vermont Business Name Search

How To Do A Vermont Business Name Search

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