Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Vermont.
Vermont LLC Costs:
Vermont LLC filing fee: $125
Vermont LLC annual report fee: $35
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A Registered Agent is a person or a company who agrees to accept legal mail on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued. Legal mail is more specifically known as Service of Process and this can include items like complaints, summons, and subpoenas.
In short, this is how the courts and the legal system works. They need to know that there is a reliable Vermont street address where important documents can be delivered, and the delivery of these documents can be tracked (similar to Certified Mail Return Receipt).
In Vermont, your Registered Agent may also serve as a general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, annual report reminders, and other documents, however, most correspondence from the Vermont Secretary of State is now sent by email.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent must have a physical address in Vermont. PO Boxes are not allowed.
Your Registered Agent should be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday, in case Service of Process for your LLC arrives and someone needs to sign for it.
Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
Who Can Be Your LLC’s Registered Agent in Vermont?
When forming an LLC in Vermont, you have 3 options:
Option 1: You can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Option 2: A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Option 3: You can hire a Commercial Registered Agent.
If your Registered Agent is going to be an individual (you, a friend, or a family member), that individual needs to:
– have a street address in the state
– be a resident of Vermont
– be available during business hours
– be at least 18 years of age
How Do I Know Which One to Choose?
If you have a street address in Vermont (such as a home or office address), are a resident of the state, are available during business hours, and are at least 18 years of age, then you can serve as your LLC’s Registered Agent.
If you don’t have a street address in Vermont, you can use a friend or family member’s address. They’ll need to agree to be the Registered Agent, have a street address in Vermont, be a resident of the state, be available during business hours, and be at least 18 years of age.
If you don’t have a street address in Vermont, and you don’t have a friend or family member’s address that you can use (or you prefer not to), you can hire the services of a Commercial Registered Agent.
Commercial Registered Agents in Vermont
A Commercial Registered Agent is a company that specializes in receiving Service of Process on behalf of your Vermont LLC. Most Commercial Registered Agents charge between $100 and $300 per year.
Once hired, they will receive Service of Process on behalf of your Vermont LLC and then forward it to you by mail at any address you’d like. Most Commercial Registered Agents these days will actually email your documents for faster delivery.
If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent in Vermont, we recommend: Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Why we recommend Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use ourselves) because they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have great customer service, and they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing in order to keep your address off public record.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many filers in Vermont start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that all addresses that are on your LLC’s Articles of Organization get listed on public record and may appear in google searches.
If you were thinking of using your home address, but would rather keep it off public records, you can hire a Registered Agent that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization. Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost. They offer Registered Agent services for $125 per year and they’ll let you use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.
Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
Are there risks if you, a friend, or family member are the Registered Agent in Vermont?
In short, there are risks. They are not that likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection.
You’ll need to weigh pros and cons and see what makes you feel most comfortable. Being your own Registered Agent (or using a friend or family member) will save you some money, but it may expose you to unwanted risk. On the other hand, hiring a Commercial Registered Agent does cost a little bit, but it may help you sleep better at night.
For example, if the state is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may lose your good standing status, and the state has the authority to dissolve your Vermont LLC.
Additionally, if a process server is unsuccessful in reaching your Vermont LLC’s Registered Agent about a lawsuit (they will try a few times), a court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it. Or worse, the court could enter a default judgment against your LLC if you aren’t there to defend yourself.
A few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your Vermont LLC’s Registered Agent:
• you, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
• you/they are on vacation
• you/they moved and forgot to file a change of Registered Agent with the Vermont Secretary of State
Hiring a Commercial Registered Agent is a more reliable setup and gives you the freedom to take vacations and not worry about changing your Registered Agent address if you move.
Many Commercial Registered Agents in Vermont will also help keep your LLC in compliance by sending you reminders of annual reporting requirements.
Once you determine who will serve as your Vermont LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Vermont Articles of Organization.
If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent in Vermont, please do so before going to the next step. You’ll need their complete company name and street address in order to list them in your Articles of Organization.
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Vermont Statutes Annotated: Title 11, Chapter 25, Section 4007
Vermont Statutes Annotated: Title 11, Chapter 25, Section 4008
Vermont Statutes Annotated: Title 11, Chapter 25, Section 4009
Vermont Secretary of State: Service of Process
Vermont Secretary of State: Registered Agent Changes & Resignations