How to Search Available LLC Names in Vermont
1. Check Vermont LLC Naming Guidelines
Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.
Some key guidelines for Vermont LLC names include:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.). The word "limited" may be abbreviated as "Ltd.," and "company" may be abbreviated as "Co."
- The name of a low-profit limited liability company must contain the abbreviation “L3C.”
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Vermont reserved names.
Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.
Vermont also has the following restrictions on LLC names:
- Your name cannot include words or phrases that, in context, falsely imply governmental affiliation.
- Your name cannot include words or phrases that, in context, denigrate or defame people or groups based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth, age, or disability.
- Your name cannot include words or phrases that, in context, depict or describe sexual or excretory organs or the activities or products thereof.
- Your name cannot include words or phrases that, in context, appeal to the prurient interest; or depict, describe in terms patently offensive or threatening, or such words or phrases that imply such terms, regarding sexual conduct.
For more information, check out Vermont’s official state statutes.
2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search
Once you know your LLC name meets Vermont guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by using the Vermont Business Entity Search tool.
It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Vermont, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all existing and registered business names in the state.
The following differences make a business name distinguishable in Vermont:
- Different key words or numerals
- Different order of the same key words
The following differences do NOT make a business name distinguishable in Vermont:
- Punctuation, special characters, spacing
- Articles, prepositions, and conjunctions
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Business type identifiers
- Abbreviations, contractions, alternate spellings
- Homographs (words spelled the same with different meanings)
- Numerals vs. word form of numbers
- Different tenses
Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.
What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Vermont, it’s time to come up with some new ideas.
How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name
Reserve Your Name
You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Vermont for up to 120 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself.
Name reservations can be filed online with the Vermont Secretary of State. The filing fee is $20.
You will need to create an online account to access the reservation form.
Register Your Name
If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Vermont provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.
Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called a trade name in Vermont, is a separate process that requires filing with the Secretary of State.
Vermont LLC Name Search FAQ
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Vermont?
You can use the Vermont Business Entity Search tool to see if your preferred business name is available.
Should I name my LLC after myself?
While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this.
One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.
What words can’t be used in a Vermont LLC name?
Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.
Vermont also prohibits the use of obscene or offensive words.
Should I use an LLC name generator?
If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.
What is a brand name?
A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.
Do I have to include LLC in my name?
Yes. Vermont requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.
Do I need to renew my business name in Vermont?
Vermont does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed every five years with the Secretary of State.
You can renew online, and the filing fee is $40.
Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Vermont?
Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or a trade name in Vermont.
In Vermont, trade names are filed with the Secretary of State.
Does my LLC need a DBA name?
Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Vermont DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Vermont from the dropdown menu.