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Do I need a business license?

There is no universal business license that all businesses must have to operate in Vermont. However, Vermont does regulate forty-four different professions through the use of licensing boards. These professions include accountancy, architects, land surveyors, naturopathy, nursing, and private investigators among others. If your profession is regulated by one of these boards, you will need to complete all licensing and certification requirements prior to opening for business. In addition to state licensing requirements, many municipalities have their own laws regarding business licensing and permits.

Do I need to register my business in Vermont?

If your business is a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, non-profit organization, or cooperative, then you will need to register it with the Vermont Secretary of State. Generally, sole proprietors and general partnerships do not need to register unless they are operating under a trade name, in which case you will need to register the trade name with the Secretary of State. All businesses will also need to register for applicable business taxes with the Department of Taxation before opening for business.

What does my business need to do at the local level for licensing?

Local requirements for business licensing vary by municipality. Generally, there is no one business license that all businesses must have, but instead different licenses are issued based on the type of business activities being conducted. However, even what activities are licensed depends on where your business is located. For example, Burlington only requires some businesses, mainly those dealing with prepared food and entertainment, to be licensed by the city while other cities have a much more extensive licensing scheme. Some cities may require home-based businesses to obtain a home occupancy permit for their home office while other cities do not. Because local licensing is determined by city ordinances, it is best to check with your local municipal government to see what licenses and permits your business may need.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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