Step 1) Verify & Secure Your Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered Vermont name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording.
Your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C.’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can file an Application to Reserve Specified Business Name form that’s good for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $20
Remember, this isn’t optional in Vermont-- it’s mandatory.
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use Weebly to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent
A Vermont registered agent can be an individual resident of the state or a legally registered business entity with a physical street address and regular M-F business hours.
On behalf of your brand they receive and help process important business documents like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so on. They’re essential and required by law.
That said, you can work with a professional and expect to pay up to $160/yr, or get a VT registered agent free when you start an LLC with a service like IncFile. They handle this along with much more depending on which startup package you opt for.
Step 3) File The Articles Of Incorporation
To be officially registered, download the Articles of Organization which needs to be filled out and filed with the Sec. of State via mail or using the Online Filing service through the Corps. Division. Some of the information that you'll disclose for the public records includes:
- Vermont LLC name and address,
- Complete name, address and signature of Vermont registered agent,
- How the LLC in Vermont is to be managed,
- Complete names and addresses of managers.
Filing Fee: $125
Step 4) Get An EIN
Your LLC’s EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is used by the state and federal government to track your business activity. It’s pretty much the same thing as a social security number for individuals.
With it, you can more smoothly process business taxes, set up your business bank accounts in the next step, legally hire employees, and so forth. Pretty straightforward.
Step 5) Setup A Business Bank Account
First of all, your brand’s financials need to be separate from all other accounts or streams of financial data.
Don’t just assume you should set it up where you or your team already have personal bank accounts. Would that be convenient? Yes, but keep in mind there are plenty of options – local, state, and national banks.
Try to look at the differences in fees, kickbacks, incentives and financial services on an annual basis when you do your comparisons. Do some homework. Here’s a quick breakdown article on Business Checking Accounts from some of the biggest banks to begin your research.
Step 6) Draft An Operating Agreement
An LLC Operating Agreement isn’t state-mandated, but in our opinion it’s a crucial for smooth operations even if you’re a solopreneur. It sets down on paper managerial/financial duties and responsibilities.
Think of it as an internal agreement on things like profit sharing, ownership percentages, and rules of operation.
Furthermore, it supersedes any state default rules in cases where there’s a misunderstanding or problems arising in your LLC. To get started, consider checking out an online Operating Agreement Tool which you can customize yourself.
Step 7) Handle Business Taxes & Licensing
So, what kind of business are you in? Have employees? Do you deal in nuclear waste or perhaps industrial procurement?
The point here is the VT regulatory system is going to be complex/simple relative to a number of variables. Just be sure to do your research on this step when forming an LLC in Vermont.
To get started bookmark the Montpelier district office of the Small Business Administration and the state’s chapter of the SBDC because they’re likely going to be go-to sources. Also, consider Business License Research packages that handle the legwork for you.
Need Help Forming an LLC?
If you'd like help forming an LLC in Vermont, feel free to read our reviews of the two most popular services available.