If you’re interested in creating a DBA name for your Vermont business, then use our step-by-step guide. While we don’t currently offer DBA registration services in Vermont, we can help you with starting a business. Get started below.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Vermont, you may not wish to use your business’s full legal name for all of your company’s activities. If so, a “doing business as” (DBA) name could be a helpful branding tool, allowing you to conduct your small business under a different title. Using a DBA name also presents the opportunity to use a catchy name for your small business instead of just the one that goes on file with the government.
Not only is obtaining a DBA name a useful tool for your business’s branding but if you plan to use any other name than your legal business name, registering that name is required by state law. Although we don’t currently offer DBA registration in Vermont, this guide will cover the basics of what a DBA name is as well as the rules for choosing, registering, and maintaining one in the state.
A “doing business as” (DBA) name is an alias that a business can use in place of the registered name. In Vermont, this is known as an “assumed business name” and is registered with the Secretary of State. It is important to note that a DBA name does not impact what type of business entity you have, such as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or partnership. Therefore, it doesn’t change how you do taxes. Rather, it is an alternate name that can help support your brand and express your company’s persona.
A DBA name can be beneficial to all business types. Many LLCs and corporations find it useful to obtain a DBA name to drop the business designator for ease of paperwork, while sole proprietorships take on a DBA name to operate with an official business name.
There are primarily two categories of businesses that may find it beneficial to register a DBA name:
Formally registering your DBA name gives you the opportunity to use this name for your business through a simple and cost-effective process. Numerous benefits exist when registering for a Vermont DBA name, including the following:
Continue reading for a detailed overview of how to obtain and maintain your Vermont DBA name. We will show you the steps to choose, file, and renew your DBA name in Vermont.
As required by Vermont law, registering a DBA name in Vermont is a relatively straightforward process. The only exception to the registration requirement is that individuals doing business under a name that includes their full legal name aren’t required to register their assumed business name. For all other businesses, the steps are as follows:
There is an option to mail your registration, but the state of Vermont prefers and encourages online filing. If you choose not to pursue that option, you can request a form online by completing a forms request on the Secretary of the State website. The form should contain notes on all that is needed to be mailed, but the processing time is extended for mailed documents.
Choosing a distinctive name that expresses what your business does is one of the most important considerations when choosing your DBA name. Another factor is choosing a name not already taken or too similar to another business. Vermont has a standard that a DBA name must be “distinguishable in the records” from other business names, so it does not confuse the public. To double-check if a DBA name is in use, conduct a name search Vermont’s online database for your desired name.
The exact rules of how to make your name distinguishable can be found here. One example of an acceptable difference is if the words are in reverse order, such as “Red Theatre” versus “Theatre Red.” Conversely, if words only differ in a space or punctuation, such as “ABC House” versus “A.B.C. House,” they are considered too similar and will not get approved. Since it is a requirement for a DBA name to be distinguishable in Vermont, most owners will appreciate that their business name will not get confused with other companies, supporting their efforts to create a powerful brand.
Vermont has some additional rules to keep in mind, as well. Your DBA name cannot contain any discriminatory language, indecent language, or obscene language. It also can’t contain a business designator, like “LLC” or “Inc.,” or include anything deceptive, such as appearing to be affiliated with the government.
Once you have completed your assumed business name registration and received your certificate, your name is secure for five years. However, every five years, you need to renew online and pay the $40 renewal fee.
Assumed business names can only be renewed within two months before the expiration date. If you’re unsure of your expiration date or registration status, you can search for your DBA name online.
While we don’t currently support DBA registration in Vermont, we can help you create one in states we do support, including: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas and Utah. We can make creating a DBA name in another state simple.
The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Vermont Business Resources
Fees are subject to change over time. Check the Secretary of State’s website for the most current fee schedule regarding DBA registration and renewal.
Online typically takes less than one business day. Filing by mail is a longer process, taking seven to 10 business days. Vermont encourages filing online as the preferred method.
DBA names are not a requirement in Vermont but can be beneficial to many kinds of businesses. A sole proprietorship may wish to do business under a name other than their legal name, or an LLC or corporation may wish to drop the designator from their name.
In Vermont, DBA names cannot be exact or too similar to other business names. They must be distinguishable in the records. However, some similarities may occur if they fit into Vermont’s rules for assumed business names. A DBA name alone does not override trademarks, so if you wish to protect your brand fully, obtaining a trademark would be the best approach.
No limit exists to the number of DBA names you can have in Vermont, which is particularly helpful when you want to create distinct brands under one business. One example of this could be if a photographer expands their wedding photo business to real estate photography services. They may wish to have two separate DBA names, such as “Jay’s Wedding Photography” and “Jay’s Real Estate Photography,” which would have separate branding development opportunities.
Other terms used for DBA names include “fictitious names” or “trade names.” However, in Vermont, a DBA name is officially referred to as an “assumed business name.”
Without a DBA name as a sole proprietor, you would not have the ability to do business under anything other than your legal name. A DBA name gives you the freedom to have an official business name. It is required to obtain a DBA name if you plan to do business under any other name than what is filed with the government.
No, a DBA name does not establish a new business entity. It will not impact your taxes. The type of business entity you file will determine how you are taxed at the local, state, and federal levels.
Most Popular States to Get a DBA Name
When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for filing a DBA.
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