Vermont Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Vermont, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $125 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Vermont corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Vermont Corporation Guide:
Vermont Corporation Filing Options
Skip the state fees! Get a Vermont corporation and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
Sign up for a free account and use our online tools to start your Vermont corporation today. Includes Vermont incorporation and maintenance walkthrough and company document creation. All for free.
Pay in Full
Includes Vermont corporation, business address & free mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, lifetime support from local Corporate Guides® and a year of registered agent service.
Vermont Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form a Vermont corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation for ones of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”
If you want to create a special type of corporation, such as a Professional Corporation, Worker’s Cooperative Corporation, or Benefit Corporation, tick the appropriate box here. Note that these special types of corporations are each subject to different sections of the Vermont Statutes, so they have additional regulations and requirements.
Want your Vermont corporation to operate on a calendar year? Skip this section. Otherwise, list the month your fiscal year ends.
Either write a few words describing what your business plans to do (such as “real estate management” or “motorcycle repair and maintenance”) or include the NAICS code that most closely matches your business. NAICS codes are six-digit codes that describe pretty much any business activity you can think of.
Providing an email is optional. Tip: All the information in your Articles of Incorporation becomes part of the public record, so many corporations skip this section.
This is your primary business address. You must include a street address (although you can include a separate mailing address as well). Tip: Hire us as your registered agent and you can use our Vermont address as your principal office address.
List either an individual (such as yourself) or a business (such as Northwest). Tip: As you may have guessed, we recommend Northwest.
This Vermont street address is where your agent will be available to accept legal notifications. You’ll also need to include your agent’s email address. Tip: Our address and email will go here when you hire Northwest.
List the number of shares you want to create and the total par value of all capital stock. Par value (also known as “face value”) is the price listed on stock certificates and is typically the lowest value at which a share can be traded.
In this section, you’ll note whether or not your shares will be divided into different classes or series. For each class or series, you’ll need to note two things: if they have unlimited voting rights and if they are entitled to net assets if your Vermont corporation dissolves.
Your incorporator signs your Articles of Incorporation. Your incorporator can be a director, officer, or just someone you authorize to submit your Articles. Incorporators must include their names and addresses. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest to form your Vermont corporation.
List the names and addresses of your directors. Haven’t sorted out your directors yet? You can skip this section—just note that you’ll have to provide this information on your first Vermont Annual Report.
Want your Vermont corporation to begin right away? Skip this section. Prefer to have your business start on a specific date? You can list an effective date up to 90 days in the future. Tip: Most corporations skip this section.
How much does it cost to start a Vermont corporation?
$125. This is the state filing fee to submit Vermont Articles of Incorporation.
Hire Northwest to form your Vermont corporation, and your total out-the-door cost is $350. This includes state fees, a full year of registered agent service, and loads of forms and tools to help you with your new business.
How long does it take to start a Vermont corporation?
You can typically get your approval within 3 days if you file online. It takes much longer by mail—about 7-10 days. The Vermont Secretary of State also makes it tough to apply with a paper form (they don’t even have the forms readily available on their site).
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Vermont corporation formed within 3 business days
Does a Vermont corporation need a registered agent?
Yes, Vermont Statute 11A V.S.A. §5.01 requires corporations to continuously maintain a Vermont registered agent. Your agent accepts legal notices at the registered office you list in your public incorporation documents.
So who can be your agent? You can appoint either a business or an individual Vermont resident, such as yourself or someone in your corporation. Being your own agent comes with its fair share of annoyances though—particularly when you’re already busy running your corporation. Because your name and registered office address are public, your information is free for the taking for data sellers, competitors and plain old busybodies. Even more frustrating is that the job requires regular availability. If you don’t plan on hanging out in your office day in and day out, you may want to seek out an alternative.
The best alternative? Hire Northwest Registered Agent. Our address will go on your Articles of Incorporation so you can better maintain your privacy. We’ll also accept, scan and send you any legal notifications the same day. We’re in the business of being available so that you can be free to run errands, take a business trip—or spend a ski weekend at Smuggler’s Notch. Wherever you need (or want) to be, we’ll be standing by to take care of all your registered agent needs.
Create Bylaws for Your Vermont Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Absolutely. You’ve already made a lot of important decisions for your business, from your name to your registered agent (which we hope is us). But you still have many more essential decisions to make about the day-to-day functions of your business. These decisions make up your Vermont corporation’s bylaws.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
The people in your corporation—directors, officers, shareholders—have different powers. Your bylaws will determine the scope of their authority and outline all the procedures for making corporate decisions and changes. For instance, your bylaws say who is on the board of directors, how long they get to stay there, and how board members are replaced. They state how many board members are needed to vote on a resolution. Your bylaws list your officers and say who is authorized to act on behalf of the corporation in different situations, from signing a contract to calling a meeting. These decisions will seriously impact how your business operates, making your bylaws the single most important internal document of your Vermont corporation.
Do I have to write bylaws?
Bylaws are critical and deserve careful consideration. At Northwest, we’re here to help you get started on the right foot. When you hire us to form your Vermont corporation, we give you free corporate bylaws. We give you other free forms as well, such as resolutions and record-keeping templates. Take a look at the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Vermont Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, the IRS requires corporations to obtain an EIN. You’ll use this tax ID number for your federal tax filings. You may need your EIN for other business paperwork as well, from opening a corporate bank account to applying for licenses or permits.
To get an EIN, you can fill out the IRS’s application yourself for no fee. If you’d rather spend a little money to save some time and paperwork, you can skip this extra application and hire Northwest to get your EIN for you—just tick the box that says “EIN service” during checkout when you sign up for our Vermont incorporation services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Vermont Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Vermont corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Vermont corporation’s bylaws
- The Vermont corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does a Vermont corporation need a business license?
Vermont itself doesn’t have a general business license, but many local areas have licensing requirements of their own. For instance, if you operate in the town of Brattleboro, you’ll need a business license (and a $40 sign permit if your location needs signage).
File Vermont Corporation Reports
What is a Vermont Annual Report?
Your Vermont Annual Report is a form you file with the Vermont Secretary of State each year to confirm or update your corporation’s ownership and contact information. Note that you can’t update your registered agent or office with this report—that requires a separate Registered Agent or Office Address Change form. Your report is due March 15th if you operate on a typical calendar year. Forget to file? There’s a $25 late fee.
At Northwest, we’ll help you avoid annoying late fees and penalties. When you hire us as your registered agent, we’ll send you reminder notifications to help ensure you stay in compliance. Or, for total peace of mind, you can even hire us to submit your Vermont Annual Report for you.
How much does a corporation in Vermont cost each year?
$45. This is the fee to file the Vermont Annual Report.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for a Vermont corporation?
The Vermont corporate net income tax rates are:
6%: $0 to $10,000
7%: $10,001 to $25,000
8.5%: over $25,000
Most corporations have a minimum tax of $300. The minimum increases to $400 if your corporation also has over $2 million in gross receipts (and jumps to $750 if you have over $5 million in gross receipts).
Have an S corp? Instead of the corporate net income tax, your business is subject to Vermont’s Business Entity Tax (a flat $250).
The Vermont sales tax rate is 6%. Cities are permitted to add on an additional percent, so in cities like Burlington and South Burlington, the rate is 7%. There are also loads of specialty taxes, especially for specific goods and services. For instance, there’s a 9% tax on prepared meals, restaurant meals and hotel rooms.