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Vermont Business License

Once a business is registered in Vermont, it is almost ready to become operational. The only aspect to consider at that point is whether your business requires a business license in Vermont or a permit or none. It is important to understand that a license is the key towards making any business operational in this state or any state.

In the “Green Mountain State”, every business doesn’t require a license or a permit and hence you will need to check with the state authorities and local agencies prior to starting operations. However, there are several types of business that may require either one or more permits or licenses. Some of the primary categories of business activities that require the issuance of a permit or a business license include:

  • Building and construction
  • Environment
  • Health and safety

Now, let’s take a walk through the process of licensing in the state of Vermont.

Step-by-Step Guide to a Business License in Vermont

Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a business license in the state of Vermont:

Step#1: The Industry or Business Activity

How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in Vermont? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.

The licenses or permits are issued by different state agencies. Let’s take a look at some examples to understand this better:

Retail Food Establishments

The business license in Vermont issued under this category includes Restaurants, Commercial caterer, Limited operation for off-premise consumption, Food Processor, Bakery, Seafood Vendor, Shellfish Reshipper, Lodging, Children’s Camp, and Temporary Food Stands including farmers market.

Any business entity falling in any of the above category is required to obtain a Food and Lodging License prior to beginning operations.

Issued by: Vermont Department of Health

Apply: You have to download and submit an Application for License to Operate a Food and Lodging Establishment with Vermont Department of Health, Food & Lodging Program Office via mail

Fees: The fee varies according to the type of facility or business activity and other aspects. For instance, the fee for:

  • Restaurant with 1-25 seats is $105
  • Fee for a Commercial Caterer – Push Cart is $260
  • Food Processor with Gross receipts <$10,000 does not require a business license
  • Lodging with Capacity of 51-200 is $390.00

Renewal of License: You can renew your license annually.


Liquor Licensing

There are different types of Vermont company license issued for Liquor according to the type of business activity. They can be classified as:

  • Wholesale Dealer License
  • Hold an Event with Alcohol Permit
  • Out of State Manufacturers License
  • Vermont Manufacturers License
  • First and Third Class Licenses for Restaurants and Bar
  • Second Class License

Let’s look at an example to understand this – If you are planning to establish a restaurant serving liquor then apart from the food establishment license, you will also require a First Class License to serve beer and wine or a Third Class License to serve any other type of spirits.

License Issued by: Department of Liquor and Lottery, Division of Liquor Control

Fee: A business license in Vermont for liquor will be issued according to the classification mentioned above.

  • A first class license fee for a Restaurant will be $115 to DLC – $115 to Town/City
  • The fee for a third class license will either be a half yearly ($550 to DLC) or Annual ($1,095 to DLC)
  • The second class license fee for Retail will be $70 to DLC – $70 to Town/City
  • The License to Manufacture will be $285 to DLC

Application: The application will be different for different liquor business activities.

First Class Liquor License

Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County

If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a state-wide license then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A Vermont company license can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works.

If you are planning to transact your business in the City of Burlington or South Burlington, VT then you will require a business license for specific types of services or activities. You will need to apply for a business license or permit with the Clerk’s Office or the Burlington Police Department depending on the type of business activity. Activities like Vendor/Sales, Entertainment or similar events will require a permit from the City Clerk Office although some events will require you to apply for a Police Event Permit Application as well. The process is the same for South Burlington as well.


Step#3: Issuance of a Business License

The process of issuance of a business license in Vermont may look complex but all you need to do is identify the following to complete the process:

  1. The type of business or industry
  2. The requirement – license or a permit?
  3. Will it be issued by the state or the city or county?

Once you have identified the above, all you need to do is either download the application online or contact the concerned state department or city clerk office.

It is important to note that a business license or permit will have to be renewed annually unless specific dates have been mentioned, to keep the business operational.

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