One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Vermont LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Vermont is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Vermont businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Vermont LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Vermont, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Vermont LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Vermont.
Step 1: Follow the Vermont LLC Naming Guidelines
When setting out to register your Vermont LLC, you’ll want to first ensure that your chosen name is in line with the requirements set out for the naming of LLCs in Vermont. These include:
- Your LLC must contain one of the following designators at the end of the name you choose: “LLC (most popular),” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” “L.C.,” “Ltd. Liability Co.,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.,” or “Limited Liability Company.”
- In Vermont, your LLC name cannot include any words that create the impression that it is a Corporation, Limited Partnership, or any other type of business entity besides an LLC. You therefore, cannot use any of the following designators in your Vermont LLC name: “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Incorporated,” “Cooperative,” “Limited Partnership,” “LP,” “L.P.,” “Ltd.,” “Limited Liability Partnership,” “LLP,” or “L.L.P.”
- In Vermont, LLCs may have a comma in their name or no comma in their name. It’s completely up to you.
- There are restricted words that cannot be used when forming your Vermont LLC name. Using these words in your business name would require approval from certain institutions. Examples of these types of institutions would be banks, insurance, education, and professional organizations. Examples of restricted words that may create this impression include: “Bank,” “Banking,” “Banker,” “Credit Union,” “Trust,” “Insurance,” “Mortgage,” “College,” “University,” “Redevelopment,” and “Olympic.” If you do use these words in your name, you need to ensure that you have the accompanying licensing or approvals in place.
- There are also words that are completely prohibited from use in Vermont LLC names. These include words and terms like “Federal,” “Government,” “FBI,” “United States of America,” “United States,” “City,” “Borough,” Township,” and “County.” You also cannot use any vulgar words. Any words or terms that imply illegal activity are also prohibited.
Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Vermont LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Vermont LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Vermont.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Vermont Business Name Search to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
- Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Vermont LLC Name
In Vermont, new business owners are allowed to reserve a business name until they are ready to finalize the business formation process. The application can be completed either online or on paper. If you prefer to use a paper form, you can download the form from the Secretary of State’s website. The easiest way is to use Vermont’s Online Business Service Center to file your Name Reservation. There is a $20 filing fee for the reservation.
Using a Vermont DBA for Your LLC
If you’re starting an LLC in Vermont and you want to operate under a different name than the one you used to form your business in the first place, you may need to register a new name. In Vermont, this is commonly referred to as an “assumed name.” The process of doing so is also often called “filing for a DBA (doing business as).” You can file for an assumed name online. The filing fee is $50.
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register a Vermont LLC Trade or Service Mark
A trademark is any phrase, word, symbol, or design, or combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the goods of one business from those of others. Although the term trademark is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks, the two marks serve different purposes. A trademark is used to identify goods made or sold, while a service mark is used to identify services rendered.
Vermont law does not allow for the registration of service marks, and only the registration of trademarks is possible in the state. The filing fee is $20.
Before filing you can search to see if anyone else has registered a similar trademark in Vermont by using the trademark search portal on the Vermont Secretary of State’s website. When you are ready to file, this can be done online, also on the Secretary of State’s website in the trademark registration section.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Vermont, check out the steps on how to form a Vermont LLC.
Vermont Secretary of State Contact Information
Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633
Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Phone: (802) 828-2386
Vermont LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Vermont LLC name search?
When forming a Vermont LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Vermont Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Vermont Business Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Vermont?
You can use the Vermont Business Name Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Vermont Secretary of State Corporations Division via phone at (802) 828-2386 or email at SOS.CorporationsSupport@vermont.gov for assistance on how to perform a Vermont LLC name search.
Can I renew a Vermont LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 30-day period before the expiration of your last name reservation. Simply apply for renewal through the Secretary of State’s name renewal portal.
Is the Vermont Secretary of State LLC name search tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Vermont Business Name Search tool to find a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC. If the name is available, you can file to reserve it for 120 days.