Start a Vermont Business

If you are seeking to do business in Vermont as a business name other than your own personal name, regardless of the goods or services provided, you must register your business entity or trade name with the Secretary of State first.

By registering your business with this office as follows below, you gain both:

  1. Protection of your sole rights to the business name in Vermont.
  2. The legal authority to do business in Vermont as the business name.


If not already determined, your first step is to choose your business registration type:  

If you are simply seeking to register a name to do business as (i.e. not creating a business entity):

Trade Name (DBA) 


If you are seeking to create a business entity, please see the following for more information and registration instructions:

Profit Corporation (General, Close, Professional, or Benefit) 

Limited Liability Company (LLC, PLC or L3C)

Nonprofit Corporation

Cooperative Corporation (General, Consumers,' Marketing, Railroad, Workers, or Housing)

Mutual Benefit Enterprise (MBE) a.k.a. Limited Cooperative Association (LCA)

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP or RLLP)

Limited Partnership (LP) 

Please note: It is recommended, but not required, that you consult with an attorney and/or an accountant regarding selecting your business type.

Also, please DO NOT: invest in advertising, websites, signage, etc. until you have received confirmation that your business name has been successfully registered with this office — if not you may incur unnecessary expenses.


Once you have determined which business type is best: 

  1. Register your business name with this office.
    • To begin this step, please see the registration instructions for your desired business type by selecting it from the list above.

  2. Register your business, if necessary, with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

  3. Establish, if necessary, a Vermont Corporate or Business Entity Tax Account with the Vermont Department of Tax.

  4. Establish, if necessary, an Employer Tax Account with the Vermont Department of Labor.

  5. Register for incentives and opportunities, if qualified, with the Vermont Department of Economic Development.
  6. Many retailers not aware of the licensing required in order to sell or use a variety of items found in retail stores that you may normally not connect with agriculture are in fact regulated by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM). Please see the VAAFM for the current requirements.


Other helpful resources:

Online Registration Guide

Business Start-Up Guide

What's Next After Business Registration?

This page was last updated: 2019-04-23