Starting a business involves a lot of work that can have long-term effects on success. From coming up with a business plan and figuring out taxes, to securing funding and making hiring plans, small business owners know that these decisions aren't made lightly.
And those decisions typically include getting a business license.
If you're a small business owner in Vermont, you may need to get a Vermont business license to operate. But the process doesn't have to be as difficult as scaling the Green Mountains without the appropriate gear.
We've done the research for you and will walk you through the foundational steps you need to get started. By the end of this article, you'll have a good idea of whether or not you need a Vermont business license, how to go about getting a license, and what the connection is to your license and business insurance coverage.
Ready? Let's go!
If you're a small business owner in Vermont, the state doesn't necessarily require you to have a business license. However, depending on your profession and where you operate your business, you may need a Vermont business license locally, or other permits specific to your occupation.
We'll go over how to check if you need a license later, but let's say your local municipality or industry doesn't require you to get a business license to operate. You still may want to consider applying for your license, simply for the benefits it could offer you as a business owner. Having a business license can help you:
These are the types of benefits that may sound like piecemeal in the short term, but could potentially have a meaningful impact down the line.
Ready to learn how to go about getting your business license?
To get the ball rolling, first register your business. Head to this state of Vermont website to officially register what type of entity your business will be, for example: an LLC, Corporation, sole proprietorship, etc.
This also is an opportunity to choose an official name for your business if you haven't already registered your company's name officially.
Once you've registered, you need to get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Most businesses will need an EIN at tax season, unless you are registered as a sole proprietorship and don't have any employees. You can apply for your EIN with the IRS here.
We mentioned earlier that although Vermont doesn't have a general business license requirement by the state itself, your specific industry may have requirements. Once you have your EIN, check with the official state website to see whether or not your industry is state regulated.
A few examples of some of the industries that are regulated in Vermont are child care centers, agriculture, and salvage yards. Most industries will be able to locate the necessary department for licensure on the Vermont.gov website here on the work page or by submitting an inquiry on this page.
Depending on where you live and operate your business, Vermont business license requirements may differ. You can check with your local municipality to see if your city or town requires a license. Here are the websites of a few cities in Vermont:
If you're running your small business in a city not mentioned above, you can search for the contact information for your local municipality here.
Note that you may be required to get a professional license, which is different from a business license. You can check to see if your profession is one that requires a license here.
The laws for getting a Vermont business license are set by local governments, so the cost of a license isn't always the same. It depends on your profession and where you are located and running your business.
Just as your local municipality will have a website where you can apply for a license and find other helpful information, they also should have information on the cost of your business license application and/or renewal. If the information is not obvious, we recommend calling or emailing your local office.
Having a business license is another to-do that you can check off your list when you're getting started. As mentioned above, having a license to refer to has many benefits. And just as a business license holds benefits for you, so does business insurance.
Getting your business license may not require business insurance, but getting coverage can do a lot in helping you set up a foundation for success down the road. Having Vermont business insurance coverage can help:
A good business insurance policy may not be something you have the forethought to look into, but if you do end up needing it, you'll be glad you did. We're here to remind you that it's a smart idea to consider business insurance when you're getting started. It will help get your business starting off on the right foot.
You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license.
That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $25.95/month.*Start Here >
Sure, this was one item on a very long list of things you're probably hoping to do in order to get your business up and running. But take a moment to appreciate having gone through this process.
Getting your Vermont business license is an important step on your journey as a business owner and it isn't an easy (or fun) process. Congratulations! Now you can focus on doing the work that you love and growing your business.
* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
I’ve told stories since I learned to talk and written since I could hold a pen. As a small business owner myself - I'm a freelance writer and yoga teacher - I love contributing to the entrepreneurship community in different ways (including writing for Simply Business!). When I’m not drafting articles for SB, I can be found on my yoga mat, perusing an indie bookstore, and writing (with my cat nearby of course).
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.