Register Your Business

Business Structure

Selecting the legal structure that best suits your business type is an important decision as it will impact your business registration process, the amount of taxes you will pay, and your personal liability for debt taken out by the business. Common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Carefully compare the different structures and their pros and cons for your situation before making your decision. You can find more detailed information from the Vermont Secretary of State and the US Small Business Administration (SBA).

This portal is not a substitute for legal or professional advice, so you should think about whether to consult an attorney for legal and tax advice as you select a business structure.

City Registration

There is no general registration required for businesses at the City level. However, specific types of businesses as listed below are required to register with the City to lawfully conduct business.

Rooms, Meals, and Entertainment Tax ID

If you are engaged in the business of preparation and serving of meals, providing rooms, or entertainment as defined in Title 12 of the City Ordinances, then you must register for a Rooms, Meals, and Entertainment (RME) Tax ID and pay a monthly tax at the rate of one (1) percent of the gross receipts from business done per monthly period in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance.

Other requirements

All businesses must obtain the permits and licenses mandated by the City Ordinances for lawful operation. Use the Permit and Licenses Guide to see which permits are required for your type of business.

State Registration

If you are planning to conduct business in Vermont under any other name other than your own personal name, regardless of the goods or services provided, you must register your business with the Vermont Secretary of State. By registering your business, you gain both the protection of your sole rights to your business name in Vermont and the authority or license to do business in Vermont under your business name.

Choose Legal Business Name

Check to confirm that the name you want is available. You can check name availability by using the business search tool provided by the Vermont Secretary of State. In addition to a legal business name, you may also register a doing business as (DBA) name. Learn more about the name selection process in the Choose a Name section.

Register Business

Once you've confirmed that the business name you'd like is available, you can register your business with the Vermont Secretary of State. For exact steps, please see the registration instructions provided by the Secretary of State for your desired business type.

If needed, establish a Vermont Corporate or Business Entity Tax Account with the Vermont Department of Taxes.

If needed, establish an Employer Tax Account with the Vermont Department of Labor.

If your business qualifies, register for incentives and opportunities, with the Vermont Department of Economic Development.

Federal Registration

Most businesses are required to register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who will issue you an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you are not a US citizen, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN may also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number. You need an EIN for your business needs to pay employees and to file business tax returns. Each EIN issued is unique and serves as an identifier for your business. It does not expire and, once issued to a business, it is never issued again.

The only exception to the EIN requirement is for sole proprietors without employees, who may use their Social Security Number instead of an EIN.

You may apply for an EIN from the IRS either online, by fax, or by mail. To register online, use the IRS EIN Assistant. For fax or mail, see the IRS instructions for steps to apply.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If you are not a resident of the US and are ineligible for a Social Security Number, you may need to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Like the EIN, the ITIN is a unique identifier that allows business owners to comply with US tax laws. Learn more about the ITIN and how to apply for it through the IRS.