Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.
You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Vermont. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
No, name reservation in Vermont is completely optional. If you’d rather start your business immediately, you’re welcome to skip the name reservation process and go right to the Articles of Organization.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Vermont LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $20 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Vermont business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a Vermont Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Vermont can reserve an entity name. Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of Vermont gives you exclusive rights to your name for 120 days.
If you don’t form your LLC within this four-month window, you can renew your reservation for another 120 days by filing another form and paying another $20 fee. But you can only renew your reservation twice, so be careful not to submit your reservation too long before you’re ready to start your business. Otherwise, your name could revert back to public availability.
If you’ve decided against your reserved name, or if you’d just like someone else to own it, there’s also a transferral option within the Online Business Service Center.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Vermont?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. Search your desired name in the Secretary of State’s Business Search tool to see if it’s already in use. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Vermont (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
The Secretary of State’s office recommends filing online through the Online Business Service Center. If this is your first time using the service center, click “Create User Account” to begin. Choose “Sec of State Online Services,” then “Name Reservation,” then “Reservation.” From there, simply follow the onscreen instructions to complete your filing and enter your credit/debit card info for the $20 fee.
You can use a paper form if you’d like, although you’ll have to submit a special request to the Secretary of State. Go here and enter your information so that the Secretary of State’s office can email you the form. Fill it out and then mail it, along with a $20 check, to:
Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05633-1104
That’s all there is to it. Now you just need to wait for confirmation of your reservation. Online filings are processed right away while mailed ones take 7-10 business days. Remember that a name reservation does not officially form your LLC. You will still need to submit your Articles of Organization for that.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Vermont to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $20 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $125 Vermont LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $20 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.