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Vermont DBA / Assumed Business Name In 3 Easy Steps

Vermont DBA / Assumed Business Name In 3 Easy Steps

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Vermont DBA / Assumed Business Name In 3 Easy Steps

If you’re planning to start a business in Vermont under a name other than your own, you will need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as a Vermont DBA or Doing Business As, but is officially referred to as an Assumed Business Name. 

To see if you need to register for a Vermont Assumed Business Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: How to start a business in Vermont

Who needs to register for a Vermont Assumed Name?

Vermont law, 11 V.S.A. § 162111, provides the state requirements for registering an assumed business name which vary depending on the type of business entity.

The sole proprietorship and general partnership are the most common business structures to register for a Vermont Assumed Business Name. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship and general partnership is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, they will need to complete the Assumed Business Name registration.

For example, if John Smith starts a lawn care business, he can operate it under his first and last name and won’t need to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Lawn Care, then he will need to register his Vermont business name.

Related: How to start a sole proprietorship in Vermont

A corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, or Limited Partnership won’t typically register for a Vermont DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of a Vermont corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

What Are the Steps to Register a Vermont Assumed Business Name?

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

A business may not register a name that is the same or similar to another business in Vermont, so the first step is to make sure the name you want is available by doing a Vermont business name search on the Vermont Secretary of State website. 

When picking a name, it’s important to know that there are some restrictions to the words that can be registered. A few restrictions include those that:

  • Include a business entity suffix that falsely implies a different type of business entity that is being operated. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use the LLC suffix.
  • Could imply government affiliation
  • Use a term that is given to a financial institution, such as a bank, credit union, or similar words
  • Use discriminatory language
  • Use indecent or obscene language

Step 2: Fill out the Form

The Assumed Name form is available on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. Information requested on the form includes:

  • Trade Name being requested
  • Type of business entity
  • Principal office address
  • Name and address of the owners/members/officers

Step 3: Submit the Form

Submit the filing fee and form to the Vermont Secretary of State.  Name registrations typically take one business day to process.

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 888-647-4585 or in person at 128 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05633.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Vermont Assumed Business Name FAQs

How much does a Vermont Assumed Business Name registration cost?

The Vermont Secretary of State charges a $50 filing fee to register an Assumed Business Name, and it must be renewed every five years.

How long does it take to file a Vermont Assumed Business Name?

The Vermont Secretary of State normally processes the Assumed Name applications in 1 business day when filing online or 7-10 business days for mailed-in forms.

After registering the Assumed Name, can someone use my business name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in the state of Vermont, it does very little to stop someone else from operating that business name in other states. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Related: How to trademark a business name

Does a Vermont DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number (sometimes referred to as a tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.

There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Vermont

What is the difference between a Vermont Assumed Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Vermont Assumed Business Name registration, most businesses will also need a business license. The licenses a business will need vary depending on what the business does and local registration requirements.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Vermont?

Sources

  1. 11 V.S.A. § 1621 ↩︎

Author

  • 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.

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Vermont DBA / Assumed Business Name In 3 Easy Steps

Vermont DBA / Assumed Business Name In 3 Easy Steps

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