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How to Form a Vermont Nonprofit Organization

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The name of your nonprofit has to be distinguishable from the names of other organizations in the state. There are also regulations concerning words used in your nonprofit’s name. The name has to include one of these words or abbreviations: “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” or “limited,” or the abbreviation “corp.,” “inc.,” “co.,” or “ltd.”


The state of Vermont requires at least three directors for your organization.


Your Vermont nonprofit organization will need bylaws. Your bylaws will set forth how your nonprofit is to be organized and governed, how officers will be elected, and other day-to-day operation details.


You will need to file nonprofit Articles of Incorporation with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office. This form can be filled out online and then printed off and mailed in along with a copy as well as the $125 fee to:

Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104

You will need to include the name and Vermont address of your registered agent, as well as the names and addresses of your directors, members and incorporators. If you plan on obtaining 501c3 tax-exempt status, then you will want to make the purpose of your nonprofit clear on the Articles of Incorporation.


After you organization has been incorporated hold your first organizational meeting. Here you will vote on directors and officers and officially adopt the bylaws for your nonprofit.


Obtain an EIN form the IRS. If you qualify, you will want to apply for federal 501c3 status. You can also get Vermont Nonprofit Tax Exemptions.


Vermont does not require nonprofits to register as a charity before soliciting donations.


You will need to file a biennial report the year following your nonprofit organization’s incorporation. You will then continue to file the report every two years after that between Jan 1 and April 1. The fee to do so is $125. The Corporations Division will mail you the report.

How long does it take to form a VT nonprofit?

It will usually take between 7 and 10 days.

Is my VT nonprofit required to have a registered agent in Vermont?

Yes, you will need a Vermont registered agent with a Vermont street address.

How many directors will my nonprofit need?

Vermont requires at least three directors.

What are the compliance requirements for my VT nonprofit?

Vermont nonprofits are required to file a biennial report (every two years). The Vermont Corporations Division will mail your nonprofit a Nonprofit Biennial Report form. There is a $15 fee to file this form.

Is my VT nonprofit required to register as a charity before soliciting donations?


Is a foreign nonprofit able to operate in Vermont?

Yes, your Vermont foreign nonprofit will need to fill out an Application for Certificate of Authority and file it along with a copy and a self-addressed envelope as well as a Certificate of Good Standing that is no more than thirty days old from the day of filing with the Vermont Secretary of State.

Are there any tax exemptions for VT nonprofits?

Yes. After you get approved for federal 501c3 status, you can apply for Tax Exemption for Vermont Nonprofits.

How can I contact the Vermont Secretary of State’s office?

Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®