How to start a business in Vermont starts with creating a detailed business plan. This should include your financial plans, overall objectives, information about your target market, how you will pitch the company, and the goals of the business as a whole. The next steps include deciding on what type of structure will be used and in which state you will register the business. It is then important to follow the steps required of that specific state.

Naming a Business in Vermont

Starting a business in Vermont begins with registering a business name that is unique. The Vermont Trade Name filing fee is $50. Depending on the type of business entity that is being formed, there are stipulations that should be noted such as:

  • Corporations and limited liability companies must choose a name at the time of filing.
  • The name must be unique. To check if a name is available, visit the Vermont secretary of state website.
  • A name can be reserved with a name reservation filing. The fee is $20. This secures the name for 120 days with the option to renew if needed.
  • A registered name may not prevent another business from using it.

If a trademark exists, a name may not be used. This also applies to slogans and logos used with a specific brand, product, or service. Checking with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office prior to selecting a name will prevent future name issues.

After a name is secured, you may complete all necessary forms and pay the associated fees. Forms and payments can be filed through the Vermont secretary of state online or by mail. Online filings can be paid via credit card or electronic check. If filed through the mail, a copy of the filings should be made and sent in with a check or money order to the Vermont secretary of state.

The filing fees vary based on the entity type. They are as follows:

  • Domestic limited liability partnership - $75
  • Foreign limited liability partnership - $100
  • Corporations - $125
  • Domestic limited partnership - $125
  • Foreign limited partnership - $125
  • General partnership - $125
  • LLC - $125

Filing for an EIN

An EIN, or Employee Identification Number, is a number provided by the Internal Revenue Service. This nine-digit number is sometimes referenced as a FEIN, or Federal Employer Identification Number. Similar to a Social Security Number, an EIN is a numeric identifier used to track business activities such as filing taxes and opening a business bank account. While some businesses do not require an EIN, including single-member LLCs and sole proprietorships, they are recommended to acquire one to avoid using a personal Social Security Number with a business entity. Those who must request an EIN include corporations, partnerships, and many LLCs, as well as sole proprietorships that have employees.

If filed online, the process is fast and an EIN is available right away. If needed, filing can also take place by mail with Form SS-4 or can be done via phone by calling the IRS.

Tax-Related Requirements

A tax account through the state is required after formation. This is an easy process and allows you to meet Vermont tax code requirements. Vermont also offers resources that let you benefit from applicable incentive programs. In order to properly track tax filings and financial transactions like credit cards and bank accounts, a proper accounting system should be put in place.

Vermont also requires that all permits and required licenses be obtained. The Vermont Business Tax Registration expects any business to register for a business tax account if they sell any tangible property at retail, provide taxable services, or manufacturer physical property wholesale.

Additional Steps to Starting a Business

Other steps that will help create a profitable, thriving business include:

  • Starting a dedicated business bank account.
  • Choosing an ideal business location.
  • Financing your business.
  • Hiring quality employees.
  • Registering as an employer.
  • Obtaining company insurance.
  • Creating and publishing a business website.
  • Developing and executing a marketing plan.

When adding employees, you will also need to manage the following:

  • Withholding federal and state income tax.
  • Withholding Social Security and Medicare.
  • Paying federal and state unemployment insurance.
  • Offer and pay workers' compensation insurance.

Employers should also take the time to fully understand any laws and regulations that are related to having employees. Depending on the number of employees, federal law may take precedence over state laws.

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