Register a Trade Name in Vermont
Registering a Vermont assumed business name, also known as a DBA, is easy!
A DBA is only used for branding. A DBA doesn't offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For this reason, we strongly recommend that a DBA should only be used by a formal business structure such as an LLC or corporation for the purpose of adding new brands to an existing business.
If you are running an informal business (sole proprietorship or partnership), we strongly suggest forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets. The name of the LLC can be selected to act as the brand name for the business.
Learn How to File a DBA in Vermont yourself in 2 steps:
Note: A DBA is only used for branding. We recommend forming an LLC to separate your business and personal assets.
Step 1. Start with a Vermont Assumed Business Name Search
Vermont assumed names must be unique and must also meet Vermont’s business name requirements.
First, visit the Vermont Corporation Division Business Name Search and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use.
Next, review the Vermont naming requirements. In Vermont, assumed names should NOT include:
- Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp, etc., unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, etc.
- Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," 'banque," "banker, ''trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.
- Words or phrases that, in context, falsely imply governmental affiliation.
- 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.
- Words or phrases that, in context, depict or describe sexual or excretory organs or the activities or products thereof.
- 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.
- The word "cooperative" or its abbreviation unless the corporation is a worker cooperative corporation or it is organized as a cooperative association.
We recommend checking if your name is available as a web domain (URL). You might not plan on starting a business website today, but you may want to prevent others from acquiring your URL.
Find a Domain Now
Once you reserve a domain name for your DBA, consider setting up a business phone system to help strengthen your customer service and boost credibility. We recommend Phone.com because of its affordable pricing and variety of useful features. Start calling with Phone.com.
Need Help Creating a Brand Name and Logo?
Step 2. Register Your Vermont DBA
Your Vermont assumed name can be filed online with the Secretary of State’s Corporation Division or you can request forms via email from the Secretary of State.
The registration form requires you to provide certain information, including:
- The assumed name being registered
- Principal office address
- Name of owner
- Business purpose
A DBA does not offer any legal protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.
Manage Your Vermont Assumed Name
Call the Vermont Secretary of State’s Corporations Division: 802-828-2386
Renew Your Assumed Name With the State
Your Vermont business name must be renewed every five years. The renewal fee is $40. You can complete the renewal process online.
Change Your Assumed Name
To change the name of your DBA, you must cancel your current registration and file a new one. To make other changes to the registration, you can complete the business amendment process online. The amendment fee is $20.
Withdraw Your Assumed Name
You can cancel your business name online. The fee is $20.
If you want to use a professional service to get a DBA for your business we recommend:
Swyft Filings ($99 + state fee)
After Filing Your Vermont DBA
If filing a DBA marks the beginning of your business journey, then there are a few more steps that you should take before getting started:
- Create your Business’s Website - Every business needs a website. Luckily, drag-and-drop builders like GoDaddy and Wix make the job quick and easy. Check out our Best Website Builder article to find the tool that’s best for you.
- Get your Business Finances in Order - You’ll need to separate your business finances from your personal ones. This is accomplished by opening a business bank account. If your business has long lead times or other cash flow irregularities, you can also look into a business credit card.
- Protect Your Business - While an LLC will help to protect your personal assets in the case of a lawsuit, your business’s assets also need protection. Having the right business insurance will ensure that you’re covered if the worst happens. Most businesses start with general liability insurance as their base coverage.
DBA Vermont FAQ
How many DBAs can I have?
You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. Each one comes with additional incremental expenses and paperwork, meaning more is not necessarily better.
Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?
DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.
To learn more about EINs and when you need one for your business, read our What is an EIN guide.
Can a DBA become an LLC?
No. An LLC is a business entity, while a DBA is just a name for a business.
Sole proprietorships are often confused with DBAs, but they are not the same: a sole proprietorship is a business entity, therefore it can choose to become an LLC.
To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.
Can a DBA have Inc. in the name?
A DBA can only have Inc. in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.
How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?
Holding a rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection. The best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. In any case, it is always best to consult an attorney.
When would it be good to get a DBA versus a legal name change?
Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’s legal name. If you want to rebrand your company or focus on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a simpler process than filing for a legal name change.
Is my DBA protected from being used in other places?
Some state-level laws prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but this varies from state to state. It is possible to trademark a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.