To start an LLC in Vermont, you must file Articles of Organization with the Vermont Corporations Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $125 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Vermont LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Everything You Need to Know About Vermont LLCs:
Vermont LLC Formation Options
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How to Start an LLC in Vermont
To start an LLC in Vermont, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Organization with the Vermont Corporations Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The articles cost $125 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Vermont LLC.
According to 11 Vermont Statutes Annnotated § 4007, every Vermont LLC must appoint a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit Vermont Business Name Search and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your Vermont Articles of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Vermont LLC Articles of Organization
Learn more about each Articles of Organization requirement below. The information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently. Also, note that Vermont doesn’t make it easy to file with a paper form. The form can’t be downloaded directly from the state website; instead you’ll need to request the most recent form from the state by filling out a forms request.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your Vermont LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private. And for the cheapest way to start a business? Pay just $47 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
1. Company Name
Your name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation. You can’t use a name that’s the same or similar another already being used in the state.
2. Vermont LLC Type
You have to choose what kind of LLC you’re creating: a regular LLC, a professional LLC, a low-profit LLC, or a blockchain-based LLC. Most LLCs are just regular LLCs. A professional LLC offers the services of licensed professionals (think doctors and lawyers). A low-profit LLC can make some money but is similar to a non-profit. Low-profit LLCs are organized for an educational or charitable purpose—not for “income production.” Finally, blockchain-based LLCs are a relatively new entity type in Vermont. These companies use blockchain technology for a significant part of their business.
3. Fiscal Year End
If your fiscal year ends in a month other than December, list that month in your articles (or keep the default “December” on the online form).
4. NAICS Code
A huge list of possible business activities were translated into these 6-digit codes to make statistics easier for government agencies. Online, just choose the code from the drop down menus that best matches your primary business activity. Filing with a paper form? Go to the NAICS website to browse codes. It’s okay if your code’s not a 100% perfect match.
5. Business Email
Online, you have to put an email so the state can send you your approved articles. Don’t want to list your email on this public document? At Northwest, we allow our clients to use our email address.
6. Initial Designated Office
This is the official street address of your Vermont LLC. Hire us as your registered agent and you can use our Vermont address as your initial designated office address—and avoid publicly listing your personal home or office address.
7. Registered Agent and Address
Your Vermont registered agent can either be a business (but not your own) or an individual Vermont resident. The registered address must be a physical address and will be a permanent public record for your Vermont LLC. Hire Northwest Registered Agent and our address will go here.
8. LLC Management
Select whether or not your LLC has members at the time of filing. You’ll also choose whether members or managers will run the company. In a member-managed LLC, members share decision making powers, like in a partnership. In a manager-managed LLC, member turn over decision-making powers to one or more managers. You can also include the names and addresses of initial members or managers, but it’s optional, so many businesses forego this section to better maintain privacy.
9. Effective Date
If you keep the default setting online or skip this section on the paper form, your Vermont LLC will begin existence upon filing. Prefer to push out your start date (maybe the next tax period is right around the corner)? You can list an effective date up to 90 days in the future.
10. Vermont LLC Organizer
This is just the person filing the LLC. Organizers don’t have to be members or managers. We’ll be your organizer when you hire Northwest.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Vermont LLC?
Professionals in Vermont hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is in Shelburne, VT. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Corporations Division. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Shelburne registered office address on your LLC’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in , do you really want your Burlington apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding, Business Address and More
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
Plan on accepting credit cards? We also offer a Free Credit Card Processing Consultation. Our specialists work with processors to negotiate low rates and better contracts for our clients.
And now, try our in-house Northwest Phone Service for 60 days, free of charge with our formation service. Get a virtual phone number with your choice of area code, make and receive calls from any device, and more—for just $9 a month.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your LLC in Vermont.
What Do I Do After My Vermont LLC Is Formed?
After your Vermont Articles of Organization are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does a Vermont LLC need an EIN?
Most likely—on the federal level, you’re required to get an EIN if you plan to hire employees, be taxed as corporation, or file certain federal excise returns. On the state and local levels, there’s also plenty of reasons you might need an EIN. Just about every bank requires your EIN to open a business account. If you want to register for Vermont’s myVTax tax payment portal, you’ll also need an EIN.
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost. Most businesses are able to apply online, but if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to apply with a paper form. Want one less thing to do? Add on EIN service when you hire us, and we’ll get your EIN for you. Or choose our VIP service—an EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart.
For more on Vermont operating agreements (including free operating agreement templates), see our Vermont LLC Operating Agreement resource.
Do I need an operating agreement for a Vermont LLC?
11 V.S.A. § 4003 describes the provisions an operating agreement can and cannot make to regulate the LLC, but there’s no specific statute stating that a Vermont LLC is required to have an operating agreement.
That said, an operating agreement isn’t just annoying paperwork. It’s one of your LLC’s most important internal documents, and creating one can help your LLC with everything from opening a bank account to handling major events from mergers to dissolution.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
Profits, losses, and distributions
Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
Transfer of membership interest
Dissolving the business
Your operating agreement can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to Vermont law. Topics not allowed to be changed in the operating agreement are listed in 11 V.S.A. § 4003, which forbids actions such as eliminating or restricting the duty of loyalty, the duty of care, or any other fiduciary duty.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my Vermont LLC?
To open a bank account for your Vermont LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Vermont LLC Articles of Organization
The LLC operating agreement
The LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and Vermont laws.
File Vermont Reports & Taxes
Vermont LLCs are required to file an annual report each year. This report is basically an information update you file so the state knows who currently runs things and how to contact your business. Vermont LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements, including the state’s Business Entity Tax.
How much is the Vermont Annual Report fee?
The Vermont Annual Report has a $35 fee.
When is the Vermont Annual Report due?
The Vermont Annual Report is due within the three month window after the end of your fiscal year (by March 31st for most businesses). If you forget to file, you’ll lose your good standing. Fail to file for three months, and your LLC will be dissolved.
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your annual report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Vermont LLC taxes?
Vermont has a progressive personal net income tax. Rates for single filers start out at 3.55% for taxable income under $39,600 and top out at 8.75% for taxable income over $200,200.
The state sales tax rate is 6%, and cities can add on up to 1% more, making the highest possible sales tax rate total 7%.
Vermont also has a Business Entity Tax, an income tax that affects most LLCs. If your LLC is taxed as a partnership or S corporation, you have to file. Most businesses pay the minimum tax of $250.
Property taxes in Vermont are pretty high—at an average of 1.83%, property taxes are the seventh highest in the country. High property taxes, however, doesn’t mean that investment properties are off the table, particularly with the high rate of seasonal tourism (thank you leaf peepers). Considering investing in Vermont real estate? Your accountant or advisor will likely suggest setting up an LLC. An LLC limits your liability and can help you maintain your privacy by keeping your name out of public records. At Northwest, we can form your Vermont LLC for just $350. Or pay just $47 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
Vermont LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Vermont LLC Articles of Organization?
You can file Vermont articles online or by mail. The state strongly encourages online filing. The paper form is only available upon request from the Corporations Division and must be submitted in duplicate with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address:
Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104
How much does it cost to start a Vermont LLC?
The Vermont Corporations Division charges a $125 fee to file Articles of Organization.
Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $350, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Vermont LLC up and running. Or, pay just $47 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a Vermont LLC?
Online filings take around 3 days for processing. Mailed filings typically take 7-10 days.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Vermont LLC formed within 3 business days.
Does a Vermont LLC need a business license?
Vermont doesn’t have a general, statewide business license, but cities and counties may have their own requirements for business licenses. For example, all businesses in Brattleboro must obtain a business license ($50) and renew it each year.
If any license applications require an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs, Northwest can help. You can add on items like these during checkout or order them later on from inside your free account.
Can a Vermont LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from Vermont public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), a Vermont LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. For example, you can maintain increased address privacy by listing our address on public docs instead of your own. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Vermont LLC?
A foreign Vermont LLC is any LLC formed outside of Vermont but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Indiana but wanted to conduct business in Vermont as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Vermont by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority with the Vermont Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs in the state have to file annual Vermont Annual Reports ($140). Northwest can register your foreign Vermont LLC for you today!
How can I get a Vermont phone number for my LLC?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your LLC, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Vermont LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $47 out the door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your Vermont Articles of Organization and send them to the Corporations Division for approval. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Vermont Corporations Division has approved your filing, we notify you that your Vermont LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.