General Partnership

General Partnership: An unincorporated business entity with two or more co-owners called partners. All partners in a general partnership take active part in the partnership's management and are equally liable for its obligations.

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A general partnership is an oral, written, or implied agreement between two or more people to carry on as co-owners a business for profit, under 11 V.S.A. § 3212.

Foreign (Non-Vermont) General Partnerships Doing Business in Vermont

Under Vermont law, there is no distinction between domestic and foreign general partnerships. To register an existing out-of-state general partnership to do business in Vermont, simply file a Statement of Partnership Authority as outlined below.

Business Name of a General Partnership

There are no standard words or phrases required to be part of a general partnership's business name. However, the business name of a general partnership may not include any word, phrase, or abbreviation that falsely implies that it is the business name of a business type other than that of a general partnership.

This restriction includes the following words and phrases, as well as any abbreviation thereof: "corporation," "incorporated," "company," "limited," "professional corporation," "professional association," "service corporation," "cooperative," "mutual benefit enterprise," "limited liability company" (includes  "LLC," "LC," "PLC," "PLLC" & "L3C"), "limited liability partnership" (includes "RLLP" & "LLP), or "limited partnership."

General Partnership Law

Please see 11 V.S.A. Ch.22 SubCh.1-9 of the Vermont Statutes Online for more information to review the sections relating to general partnerships.

Registration Fees

Please see “Fees & Filings” for the costs of registration.

Duration of Registration

Once registered, you must renew your general partnership registration every five years. For renewal information, please see “Renewals.”

STOP: Before you get started, we recommend that you consult with an attorney, accountant, or business advisor about which business structure is best for you.

General Partnership Filings: Online or by Mail

Do not invest in websites, signs, business cards, or other marketing materials until you receive a certificate confirming the availability and your ownership of the requested name.

The state of Vermont operates under a “distinguishable on the record” standard. Under this standard, if the requested name is too similar to an already registered name, such that it would confuse the public as to whom they are dealing with, it will be rejected.

All registrations with the Office of the Secretary of State are subject to name availability rules. Please search our online database for your desired business name to avoid any obvious conflicts.

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Online Filing

Online filing normally takes less than 1 business day.

Online registration is the preferred method. There is no extra fee and turnaround times are much faster. For information and instructions about online registration, please see our Online Registration Guide. To begin your online registration, please visit the Online Business Service Center:

Log In & File Online

Filing by Mail

Please allow 7-10 business days for the processing of any filings received by mail. If you require a form, please click here.

To register a general partnership:

Please use the Statement of Partnership Authority.

This page was last updated: 2018-07-17