How to Get a Vermont DBA Name

Although filing for a DBA is similar nationwide, there are specific rules to follow when getting a Vermont DBA. Read on to learn more.
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Carlos Serrano
Written by Carlos Serrano
Written byCarlos Serrano
Updated March 22, 2024
Edited by Alexis Konovodoff
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Also known as a fictitious business name or doing business as name, a DBA lets you provide products or services under a different name from your real entity name. This can keep your information private and allow you to improve your marketing efforts. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your Vermont DBA.

DBA in Vermont: Key Takeaways

  • A DBA in Vermont is filed with the Secretary of State office.

  • You must renew your DBA in Vermont every five years.

  • A DBA isn’t a business structure and doesn’t change your tax status.

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What Is a DBA?

A DBA is a name different from your real business entity name under which you operate.[1] Business owners usually need a DBA if they wish to sell products and services unrelated to the original enterprise.

For example, suppose you’ve opened a company that sells furniture named “Jason’s Home Décor LLC.” You’ve decided to expand the organization by offering lawn care products. Rather than advertise them under the original name, you can register a “Jason’s Lawn Care Gear” DBA to promote the new offerings effectively.

Knowing what a DBA is helps, but it might be even more important to understand what a DBA isn’t. One of the concepts people mistake it for is a business structure, such as an LLC or corporation. A DBA is simply an alternative name for your business.

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How to File a DBA in Vermont

Understanding the basics of Vermont DBAs is crucial in filing your trade name correctly. Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, take the following steps to apply for your DBA in Vermont.

The first thing you should do when registering your Vermont DBA is to perform an assumed name search. This is crucial because you need to use a unique fictitious name. Selecting a DBA blindly increases the risk of using someone else’s DBA. If they’ve trademarked the DBA, they may sue you for trademark infringement.[2]

To ensure the desired trade name is available, head to the Vermont Secretary of State business name search tool or use our free search below.

Free Vermont Business Name Search

Enter your desired Vermont company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.

2. File a Fictitious Business Name Statement

Step two concerns filing a fictitious business name statement that registers your DBA with the Vermont Secretary of State. The easiest way to do so is to visit the Corporations Division portal. Create your account and follow the on-screen instructions to submit your DBA request.

The filing fee is $50, payable via credit card through the online form during registration.

If you want to file the old-fashioned way, fill out a trade name registration form and mail it to the following address:

Vermont Secretary of State

Corporations Division

128 State Street

Montpelier, Vermont 05633-1104

Unlike in some states, you don’t have to file with your local county clerk or publish a statement in a local newspaper.

3. Follow Up

Following up on your DBA filing comes down to maintaining your trade name. To do so, you need to renew the DBA every five years.

Again, the Secretary of State is your point of contact. You can visit their Business Service Center portal and choose “Assumed Business Name Renewal” on the left side of the display. From there, follow the on-screen prompts to renew your DBA. The state fee is $40, payable by credit card.

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Vermont DBA Name Restrictions

You started the DBA filing process by making sure your DBA is available. That said, just because a DBA is available doesn’t mean it’s eligible. The trade name must also abide by Vermont naming guidelines.[3] Some of the rules you should keep in mind include:

  • Must not simply reverse the word order of another existing business name (if there’s a Vermont company named “Joe The Plumber,” you can’t use something like “The Plumber Joe”)

  • Can not use a business structure designation that doesn’t correspond to your structure

  • May only include words used by specialized institutions, such as bank, banker, savings, savings bank, credit union, and trust company, if you have a special business license to conduct operations indicated

  • Must not be similar to the names of government organizations, such as the Vermont Department of Transport, Department of Agriculture, FBI, CIA, and Treasury

DBA Vermont Tax Considerations

A DBA doesn’t amend your tax status in Vermont. This means that whether or not you have a DBA, your tax liability and your IRS-issued tax ID (EIN) remain the same.

If you’re an LLC, pass-through taxation and personal asset protection still apply with an LLC. If you earn a profit through dividends, double taxation applies to your enterprise, regardless of the DBA status.

Note that all businesses in Vermont that sell products or services must pay a 6% sales tax in Vermont if you sell products or services.[4]

Why Should You Get a DBA?

Whether you have or want to start a Vermont corporation, limited liability company, or other business type, here’s why having a DBA makes sense:

  • You want to open a business bank account.

  • You want to market products or services unrelated to your original Vermont business name.

  • You want to avoid using your personal name in public if you’re a sole proprietorship.

Register Your Vermont DBA in Minutes
  • Gain Privacy: Hide your personal name and details when marketing your business.

  • Improve Branding: Choose a DBA that easily informs your audience about what you have to offer.

  • Expand Services: Operate multiple businesses without creating separate entities for each one.

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What’s the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

The main difference between an LLC and a DBA is that an LLC is a business structure, whereas a DBA is simply an alternate name for your organization. An LLC is beneficial from a tax and management flexibility standpoint, while a DBA is beneficial in advertising your products or services more appropriately.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

The price of getting a DBA is $50. Apart from that one-time payment made when registering your trade name, you must also pay a $40 filing fee for a renewal every five years.

Do I need a DBA for my Vermont business?

Under Vermont law, you don’t technically need a DBA for your business. However, registering one can be advantageous on many levels. It allows you to market your enterprise more effectively and lets you open a business bank account, among other things.

What’s the difference between a trade name, assumed name, and a DBA name?

There are no differences between the terms trade name, assumed name, and DBA name. They all indicate the same concept — a name different from the full legal name under which you do business. A fictitious business name is another synonym.

How long does a DBA last?

In Vermont, a DBA lasts five years. Unless you renew it when your DBA expires, someone else may register or reserve the same trade name, requiring you to use a different DBA.

Is there a limit to the number of DBA names I can have?

No. There isn’t a limit to the number of DBA names you can have. You can register as many DBAs as necessary, which is great if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to have multiple product or service lines.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

No. A DBA isn’t the same as a trademark. A DBA or trade name is simply another name for your organization, while a trademark is a word, symbol, or name that identifies your company and offers legal protection. Additionally, you file for a DBA with the Vermont Secretary of State, whereas the United States Patent and Trademark Office accepts trademark registrations.[5]

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

No. Your DBA doesn’t change your tax status. You’ll still be taxed under the same structure, even if you register multiple DBAs.


  1. U.S. SBA. “Choose a business name.” Accessed November 1, 2023.

  2. USPTO. “About Trademark Infringement.” Accessed November 1, 2023.

  3. Vermont Secretary of State. “Business Name Rules & Availability.” Accessed November 1, 2023.

  4. Vermont Department of Taxes. “Sales and use tax.” Accessed November 1, 2023.

  5. USPTO. “How trademarks and trade names differ.” Accessed November 1, 2023.

Originally published on March 20, 2024, and last edited on March 22, 2024.
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