Vermont Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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If you plan to form a Vermont-based business, you’ll need to start with a business entity search. This will determine whether the name you are considering is indeed available for business registration.

Additionally, the search will return various pieces of information on the business entity filing history, type, and status as well.

The Vermont Secretary of State Business Name Search also offers other search options, including search by filing number, previous business name, and business ID.

The following step-by-step guide will show you how to conduct a Vermont business entity search.

Vermont search tips

Make use of the following guidelines when conducting your Vermont business entity search:

  • The Vermont business entity search is not case-sensitive, so feel free to enter both upper and lowercase letters.
  • Special characters and punctuation marks will not affect the search results, so feel free to use them or leave them out during the search.
  • For the broadest results, enter just the first one or two words of a long name.
  • To narrow down your results, enter all the words of a long name.

Additionally, the search options on the Vermont Department of State Corporations Division website allow you to refine your search by using the following options:

  • Starts with
  • Exact match
  • Contains

Advanced search

Additionally, you may use the “Advanced Search” option to search entities by:

  • Registration type
  • Status
  • City
  • Registered agent name
  • Principal name
  • NAICS code
  • Zip code

So if you have access to the above-mentioned information, go ahead and use it to narrow down your search.

Business search by name

To begin your business search, refer to the Vermont Secretary of State Corporations Division.

1
Enter the entity name

Enter the name of the business in the search bar parallel to “Business Name.”

You may choose to use the starts with, exact match, or contains criteria to narrow down your search results.

Additionally, you can also tick the box that says, “Show me similar sounding business names,” if need be.

Thereafter, hit Enter on your keyboard.

2
Review the results

If matching entries are found, they will be displayed on a table on this page.

The information you then have access to includes:

  • Business name
  • Business ID
  • Business type
  • Principal business office address
  • Registered agent name
  • Fiscal year month
  • Status

3
Review additional business information

To access more information pertaining to any specific entity, simply click on the entity’s name.

Thereafter, it will take you to the business information or business summary page, where you have access to various details on the entity, including the registration date, expiration date, registration status, principal office mailing address, etc.

Additional search options

The business search on Vermont’s SOS website allows you to search by business ID, filing number, and previous business name as well. The process is exactly the same as when searching for entities by business name.

However, when searching by business ID, filing number, or previous business name, it should only bring up one result if you entered the correct information.

Once the result is displayed, you’ll have access to the same information you did when completing the business search by name.

Advanced search

If you would like to conduct an advanced search, you do have the option to do so. The information you need to have on hand includes:

  • Registration type
  • Status
  • City
  • Registered agent name
  • Principal name
  • NAICS code
  • Zip code

Additionally, you can tick the box that says, “Show me similar sounding registered agent names” or “Show me similar sounding principal names.”

Vermont search results

Irrespective of the search criteria or search type used, you will be able to view the following information:

  • Business name
  • Business ID
  • Business type
  • Principal business office address (not PO box)
  • Registered agent name
  • Fiscal year month
  • Status
  • Principal’s information
  • Service of process agent’s information
  • Assumed business name information
  • Filing history
  • Name history
  • Shares (if applicable)

Copies of documents and certificates

Copies of business documents may be needed for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Opening a corporate bank account
  • Obtaining business licenses
  • Obtaining authorization to operate as a foreign entity

In some cases, you’ll simply need to obtain plain copies, and in other instances, certified copies are necessary.

The most frequently requested documents include:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Annual reports
  • Dissolutions and withdrawals

Based on the type of documentation you are requesting and whether you need certified or plain copies, you’ll need to follow the steps outlined below to request forward to:

Business name availability

The name that you are searching for may seem available, especially if it doesn’t appear in the search results. However, there is no indication or guarantee that the name will remain available and be available at the time of business registration.

Therefore, it’s highly recommended that if you do come across a name that is available, you reserve it.

When reserving a name in the state of Vermont, you’ll need to complete the Application to Reserve a Name on the Online Business Service Center website. When completing the application, include the information below:

  • The name you want to have reserved
  • The type of business you are reserving the name for
  • Contact details of a person in authority if there are questions pertaining to the filing
  • The applicant’s signature or physical signature if filed by mail

Please note that the filing fee for name reservations in Vermont is $20.

It’s also highly recommended that you conduct a trademark search prior to reserving the name to ensure that no other entity has already trademarked that specific name.

You may conduct a trademark search on the Vermont SOS Business Services Division website. Alternatively, perform a search on the USPTO website.

Additionally, when it comes to submitting a business name for business filing, ensure that you adhere to Vermont corporation naming rules as follows:

  • The name must not include phrases or words that falsely imply that your company’s affiliated with any government agency.
  • The name should not contain phrases or words that may defame groups or people based on color, race, age, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or place of birth.
  • The name should include a designation such as corporation, company, limited, Inc., etc.

For a complete list of naming requirements in the state of Vermont, refer to the Vermont Legislature.

Domain name availability

Domain names are just as important as business names. This is due to the fact that you live in the age of the Internet. And while there are millions of websites online, it’s still not impossible to find the ideal domain name for your business.

However, when it comes to choosing a domain name that is suitable for your business and will also be easy to search and remember, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Ensure that the name is significantly different from existing domain names on the Internet.
  • Ensure that the name is easy to pronounce.
  • Don’t make the name too long, as it will make it seem complicated and harder to remember.
  • Stick to short and simple names.
  • Don’t use numbers, doubled letters, or hyphens in the name if possible, as it makes it harder to remember and more complicated.
  • Conduct a trademark search to ensure that the domain name is indeed available for domain registration.
  • While the most common extensions include .com and .org, it’s a good idea to use them, and it’s highly recommended that you do so if possible.

One of the best services to use is Namechk.com. This professional domain checking service allows you to filter your options and also provides recommendations in the event that your preferred domain name is available.

Namechk.com checks your domain name against various platforms, including 100 social media networks.

Fictitious business name search

It’s also highly recommended that you register a DBA if you plan on operating under any other name aside from your business entity name. You’ll first need to ensure that the DBA name you’re considering is available for use.

Thereafter, you need to stick to the Vermont naming rules when deciding on a suitable DBA. Some of those rules are as follows:

  • Do not include business entity suffixes such as Corp., Inc., LLC, etc.
  • Do not include terms related to financial institutions such as bank, banker, Savings, Loan Association, credit union, etc.
  • Do not include phases or words that imply that your company is affiliated with a government agency.
  • Do not include words or phrases that defame groups or people based on race, religion, color, sex, etc.
  • Do not include phrases or words that depict excretory or sexual organs or any activities related to it thereafter.

Thereafter, you can go ahead and file an assumed name online with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division.

When completing the application, ensure you include the information below:

  • The assumed name you want to have registered
  • Principal office address (business location)
  • Owner’s name
  • The purpose of the business

The filing fee for an assumed name in Vermont is $50.

FAQs

What are the disadvantages of limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies?

Some of the disadvantages of forming an LLP include a penalty for noncompliance, higher-income tax rates as well as the inability to have equity investment. With LLCs, the disadvantages include extra fees for operating in the state, transferability restrictions, and the restriction of professional groups in some states.

What does a service of process agent do?

A service of process agent is responsible for accepting legal documentation, and official correspondence from the state on the company’s behalf. They are often referred to as statutory, resident, or registered agents and these individuals serve a crucial role in the business.

Do for-profit corporations and nonprofits share any similarities?

For-profit corporations and nonprofit corporations have many differences. However, both these types of business structures are formed to generate an income that is then used to further the organization’s causes or are cycled back into the organization to continue the operations. However, for-profits are more profit-focused, while nonprofits are formed to benefit a disadvantaged group.

How do I register a trade name in Vermont?

You’ll need to start by conducting a trademark search to ensure that the name you are considering as an assumed name is not trademarked by another business entity. Thereafter, you can complete the assumed name online filing with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division.

What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

The Uniform Commercial Code, also known as the UCC, is a comprehensive set of laws that dictate how commercial transactions based in the US should be carried out. It is a uniformly adopted state law; however, it’s not federal law. However, it certainly does play an essential role in regulating interstate transactions of a business.

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