Steps to Pay Your Vermont Filing Fees
- Pay your Vermont business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Vermont business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Vermont
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Vermont business
- Apply for your Vermont business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Vermont’s biennial report requirements & fees
- Keep your Vermont business legally compliant
If you want to start a Vermont business, the first step is to register and pay filing fees. The registration and fee requirements depend on the type of business you want to form. If you operate as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you don’t have to register, but there are benefits to registration.
Vermont requires all registered businesses including corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) to register before conducting business in the state. This page will help you identify what Vermont fees you might encounter when you start your business, and how we can help make the process easier. If you’re starting your business, we can simplify the process with our LLC Formation Service or Corporation Formation Service.
Step 1: Pay your Vermont business’s initial filing fees
Although you aren’t required to register a sole proprietorship or general partnership, if your business registers with the Vermont Secretary of State, the state will protect the exclusive use of your business name and grant the legal authority to do business in Vermont, and will pay formation fees to the Secretary of State to file any formation documents.
If you file online through Vermont’s Online Business Service Center, the state will process your registration within one business day. You may file by mail, but the state requests seven to 10 business days to process mailed registrations. You can find all the current Vermont business filing fees and forms on the Vermont Secretary of State registration fees page.
When you’re ready to register, we offer an Expedited Filing Service service that will do the work of filing for you.
Step 2: Reserve your Vermont business’s name
Vermont has a specific business name requirement called the “distinguishable on the record” standard. If your chosen business name is too similar to a name already registered with the state, the Secretary of State won’t accept your registration. If your business name is unique and passes the “distinguishable” standard, the Secretary of State will reserve the name for exclusive use by your corporation, LLC, or partnership for 120 days. You may renew the reservation for two successive periods of 120 days each. If you’re ready to reserve your business name today, we can file the reservation for you with our Name Reservation Service that includes a name search to ensure your name will be unique in Vermont.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Vermont
If your business plans to operate using a name other than its legal name, you’ll need to register your business’s “doing business as” (DBA) name. Vermont refers to a business’s DBA as its “assumed name.” Registering an assumed name is particularly beneficial for sole proprietorships because you can avoid using your personal name as your business name, but other business entities can also benefit from a registered assumed name if they use a nickname or abbreviation, or add a different service or product. Assumed names are also beneficial if the domain name you want to use isn’t available (be sure to check out our Domain Name Reservation Service to claim your domain name today).
Assumed name registration is valid in Vermont for five years. There is a fee to renew. Or, you can have us handle the process for you with our DBA Registration Service.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number
The IRS issues all businesses an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your business needs an EIN to pay federal taxes and report employee wage withholding. In addition, you’ll also need to apply for a Vermont Tax ID and a Vermont Department of Labor Unemployment ID, which you can do when filing your business registration. The IRS EIN application is free, but if you don’t have time to file yet another application, we offer an EIN Service that can take care of your EIN application and reduce the paperwork you have to file.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Vermont business
Vermont requires corporations to create bylaws, but there’s no requirement to file the bylaws once created. Although Vermont doesn’t require operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and partnership agreements, it’s good practice to have them because they set rules for the operation of your business. If you don’t have these governing documents, the default rules in the law will control any disputes.
Because Vermont has no requirements for governing documents for business entities other than LPs, you can write your own for free. But writing your own isn’t advisable because the documents you write will control the structure of the business later. You can hire an attorney to draft them, but this can be expensive. With a template like our LLC operating agreement template, you can rest assured that you’ve included all the essential provisions while saving money.
Step 6: Apply for your Vermont business’s necessary licenses and permits
Vermont doesn’t require a general business license before operating in the state, but it’s important to check your Regional Development Corporation’s website for local requirements. In addition, Vermont requires businesses selling retail, renting rooms, serving meals or alcohol, or hiring employees to create separate business tax accounts for each type of tax. Businesses in specific industries, such as regulated professions, farmers and agricultural products, education centers, and insurance companies, must register for licenses and obtain separate business tax accounts for each type of tax owed.
Because the licenses and permits required are industry and location-specific, there isn’t one place to find everything you’ll need to legally operate and pay taxes in Vermont. Our partnership with Business Licenses, LLC., can eliminate the frustration of searching by using our Business License Report Service. Through the Business License Report Service, Business Licenses, LLC., looks at your industry, location, and activities to research and compile a single, easy report that outlines your licensing, tax, and registration needs at every level of government.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
If you already have an existing out-of-state business and want to do business in Vermont, you must register as a “foreign” business. For corporations and LLCs, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State. If you are an LLP, you’ll request a Statement of Qualification form. LPs need to file a Foreign Limited Partnership Registration. A foreign corporation may register to reserve its corporate name for one year with renewal available. Foreign LLCs, LPs, or LLPs, can reserve their name for 120 days with two renewal periods. Additionally, all foreign entities that use an assumed name must register it before using it in the state.
If you are a business registered in Vermont and wish to do business in another state, you can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing through the Online Business Service Center. The Certificate confirms that your business is registered in Vermont and is up to date on any filing requirements. We offer a Certificate of Good Standing Service that can handle this process for you.
Step 8: Check Vermont’s biennial report requirements & fees
Vermont requires most businesses to file an annual report and pay annual fees to renew your business registration. Vermont imposes a harsh sentence on those who fail to file a renewal and pay their annual fees. The state will involuntarily terminate the non-compliant LLC or corporation. In addition, if your LLC or corporation doesn’t file an annual report within five years of the due date, you’ll lose the right to the exclusive use of your business name. Another business can file with your name until you file for reinstatement.
The due date of your Vermont annual report depends on the type of business entity. All corporations must renew each year within the first two and a half months after their fiscal year ends. LLCs must also renew each fiscal year, but they have three months to file.
If you’re concerned about renewal, we offer an Annual Report Service that will send notifications for your annual report date. When it comes time to file, our expert staff will help to ensure your business stays in good standing.
Step 9: Keep your Vermont business legally compliant
Over the years, you may want to change the information in your registration. Common changes include your principal office address, officers, directors, members, or partners, registered agent, fiscal year end, or termination date. To alert the Secretary of State of the change, you’ll file an amendment and pay a fee. To help you stay compliant, we offer an Amendment Service where we can prepare and submit the proper paperwork for your changes. In addition, you could benefit from our Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes two yearly amendments and your annual filings.
We understand Vermont business filing fees
It’s important for your business to register, renew, and stay in compliance with the Vermont Secretary of State. With our services, you can rest easy knowing that the experts will remind you of the Vermont filing fees. Contact us to get started today.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information 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.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Vermont?
Yes. If you do business in Vermont without properly registering and paying the associated fees, the state may charge a $50.00 penalty for each day you operate (up to $10,000.00 for each year).
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Vermont government?
If you can’t pay your fees at formation, the Secretary of State won’t accept your registration. If you don’t pay your annual fees, the state may involuntarily terminate your business. If this happens, you’ll have to pay for reinstatement.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Vermont business?
You’ll pay registration fees to the Vermont Secretary of State.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Vermont business?
The fees you’ll pay depend on the type of business entity, the industry you operate in, and the business location. Usually, the biggest fee you’ll pay is the initial formation fee.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Vermont government?
If you file online, you can pay by credit card or EFT (bank transfer). You can pay by check if you mail your registration.