Nailing down a great name for your Vermont LLC can be challenging.
You want the name to be unique and easy to remember while being legally acceptable and conveying what your business does. You also want it to be SEO-friendly so that it can easily be found on Google. That’s a lot of boxes to check.
And even if you’ve already found the perfect business name, you need to make sure it’s available to use. That takes several steps, as detailed in this handy guide.
Vermont LLC Entity Search
The most important consideration when choosing an LLC name in Vermont is to make sure it’s available and legally acceptable. Here’s how to confirm you can use your preferred business name.
1. Check for availability in Vermont
Go to the Secretary of State’s website and enter your business name. You should also search for similar business names, as you don’t want a name that can be easily confused with other businesses in Vermont.
2. Check Vermont’s LLC name regulations
In Vermont, your LLC name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). In addition, it must be distinguishable from all other business names in the state.
Additionally, your business name cannot include words that could confuse your Vermont LLC with any government agency. It also cannot have words like bank, insurance, or university without approval from state authorities.
3. Check Trademarks
Check with the US Patent and Trademark Office to ensure the name has not been trademarked and is thus available nationally.
4. Check domain name availability
You’ll want to make sure the domain name is available. You can check at a site like GoDaddy.com and use .com or .org, as those give your business more credibility.
5. Google it
Do a Google search to ensure the name is not being used in the U.S. or internationally. This is particularly important if you plan to have a strong online presence for your business.
Once you’ve confirmed these, it’s a good idea to reserve the name with the state.
How to file a Vermont LLC Name Reservation
To reserve an LLC name in Vermont, visit the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website. You will need to register if you don’t already have an online account.
Once your account has been created, log in and expand the VT Sec of State Online Services menu. Then, click the Name Reservation link under the Reserve a Name heading.
Next, complete the online form by filling in all the required information.
Once you are finished, you’ll have the opportunity to review your entries and make any necessary changes before confirmation and payment.
Alternatively, you can request and submit a paper form.
The cost to file a name reservation in Vermont is $20. Once your application is processed, your LLC name will be reserved for up to 120 days.
Doing Business As (DBA)
Even after all this work, you may want to do business under a name other than your LLC. First, you’ll need to register a “doing business as” or DBA name. There are two main reasons you might want to use a DBA.
- Suppose you want to add new product lines. For example, if your business name is “JJ’s Waffles,” you want to expand and offer “JJ’s Muffins.” You can have multiple DBAs under the umbrella of your one LLC.
- When you have a DBA, you can have a business bank account under that name. So if you add “JJ’s Muffins,” customers can pay “JJ’s Muffins,” and you can deposit those payments into the bank account with that name.
In Vermont, a DBA is known as an assumed business name. To register an assumed business name in Vermont, go to the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website. You’ll use the same account you used to file your name reservation.
Once you log in, click the Assumed Name Registration link and complete and submit the form.
The cost to file an assumed name in Vermont is $50.
Choosing a business name is a crucial step to entrepreneurial success, so if you’ve found a good one, don’t let somebody else get it! Instead, just take the steps detailed above to ensure it’s available and legally acceptable before nailing it down.
You don’t want to run into an issue later that could impact the success of your business.