What is a DBA?
If a business wants to operate with a different name than the one used to form the business, it may have to register the new name (called a trade name or fictitious name). This process is often called filing for a DBA, or doing business as. For example, if “Frank’s Hot Dogs LLC” wants to do business as “Best Hot Dogs in Town” then the owners have to file a DBA.
When you need a DBA
Under Vermont law, all businesses except for corporations and limited liability companies doing business within the state will need to file a DBA. Filing for a DBA allows the company to open bank accounts, enter contracts, and otherwise operate with the new name.
Setting up a DBA in Vermont
The first step in the DBA filing process is to search the state database of business names to see if the name you want to use is available or if it’s been registered by another business.
Furthermore, Vermont has a great deal of rules associated with the type of name that can be selected for DBA purposes. In order to ensure compliance with those rules, filers should review those rules, which can be found here. For example, the terms "Company," "Corporation," "Incorporated," or "Limited," or any abbreviation thereof cannot be used in a trade name.
File a Vermont DBA
Visit the Vermont Secretary of State Corporations Division website to learn more about the statutes relevant to filing for a trade name, the rules surrounding the type of names that can be selected, and the legal implications of a DBA filing.
Vermont DBA Filing & Registration
You will need to provide the proposed DBA name, an alternative name or "backup" in case that name is unacceptable, the town where the business is to be located, the date the business began, the purpose of the business, the name of the owner (person or company), the name and address of the process agent (for non-residents only), and the appropriate signature.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you are ready to file a DBA in Vermont, LegalZoom can help you. We can search the state business name database to find conflicts, file your paperwork, and even get you in touch with an attorney to help you with specific questions.