Do You Need a Registered Agent in Vermont?


Aside from being a legal requirement for most business entities, maintaining a registered agent in Vermont can make your life as a business owner a lot easier. 

It can be quite difficult to complete formation documents and get through the formation process without a Vermont registered agent. Vermont registered agents play an important role in the process. And when it comes to compliance, you won’t find a more useful business service than a registered agent. 

Stick around and I’ll explain what a registered agent is, what its purpose is, and why you need a registered agent in Vermont. 

What Is a Registered Agent in Vermont?

A Vermont registered agent is an individual or business entity that accepts service of process, mail, and business documents on behalf of your company at your registered office address during normal business hours. 

It may seem screwy to send your mail a different address. But another major part of registered agent duties involves document delivery. Your registered agent will use either mail forwarding or an online document-management system to get your mail and files to you. And the really good Vermont registered agent services also issue compliance alerts so that you don’t miss filing deadlines. 

If you own a business that’s expanded to conduct business in multiple states, you’re required to maintain a registered agent in every state your company operates in. You can do this by designating a different registered agent in every state or by hiring one national registered agent service to handle all of your registered agent needs. 

Sometimes a Vermont registered agent is also called a resident agent or statutory agent. These are typically considered old-fashioned terms, but all three terms mean the same thing. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Vermont?

Let me guess: You’ve read my definition for a registered agent and have constructed an elaborate plan involving a PO box and regular visits to it to fulfill your company’s requirement for a registered agent in Vermont. While you get an A for effort, this plan won’t work and here’s why. 

Your Vermont registered agent is required by the Vermont Secretary of State to be physically present at your business address during business hours to accept mail and legal documents on your company’s behalf. The most important words in this context are “physically present” because that means that you can’t just come and go, checking your PO box at whim. Furthermore, the Secretary of State stipulates that your registered agent’s address must be a physical street address, which further means that a PO box won’t do. 

But beyond that, there’s a lot your Vermont registered agent can do!  


If you’re bad with remembering dates and anniversaries, you’re going to hate annual reports. They only happen once a year, and they’re typically scheduled on the anniversary of your company’s official establishment date. It's pretty easy to remember your first year, but it gets harder to remember every subsequent year. But your Vermont registered agent can keep track of compliance filing dates for you. 

As your company’s official point of contact, your registered agent in Vermont acts as a sort of intermediary between your business and government agencies. As such, it’s your registered agent’s job to let you know about filing deadlines with the Vermont Secretary of State. Some of the best registered agent service providers will send out compliance alerts or annual report reminders to inform you of impending deadlines. 

Management of Important Documents

If you don’t have a physical address for your business, that particular stipulation can be a pain. But choosing your company’s official business address is a big deal because it’s where your official mail and business documents are sent, and you need that stuff so that you can deal with business matters in a timely manner. 

Some of the best registered agents have online document management systems. With these they’re able to scan and upload your mail, important legal notices, and legal documents the day they’re received, and you can view them just as fast. With these systems, you won’t be beholden to the slow delivery times of the postal system any longer! 

And aside from allowing you to quickly access your files, online document-management systems allow you to store your documents and access them with an online account. This is wondrously convenient and eliminates the need for storage rooms, filing cabinets, and a stuffy records department in the basement. 

Service of Process

Many times when you’re researching what a Vermont registered agent service is, you’ll find articles that make it seem like you’ll receive service of process in the mail more often than junk mail. Since a service of process is a formal notice of a pending lawsuit against your company, I’m hoping you don’t receive them as often as other articles and business advice guides seem to think you will. But in the event of a pending lawsuit, it’s your registered agent’s job to accept service of process on behalf of your business. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Vermont?

Some registered agent requirements are universal, regardless of which state your business operates in. Here are some of the requirements your registered agent in Vermont will need to meet: 

  • State laws. In some states, laws have been instated to spell out rules for registered agents to follow. Read up on the laws in Vermont to make sure your Vermont registered agent is following all of the legal guidelines. 
  • 18+. Your registered agent in Vermont is required to be at least 18 years old. 
  • Physical address. Your registered agent’s address is required to be a physical street address in the state. No PO boxes are allowed.
  • Who you can designate. As long as they meet the legal requirements, you’re allowed to designate any person of your choosing as your registered agent in Vermont. So, you can designate a family member, friend, employee, or even your lawyer. Just remember to choose someone that’s highly trustworthy! 

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

What happens if your Vermont registered agent isn’t stationed at your registered office during regular business hours when a process server shows up? The process server will deliver the service of process to the Vermont Secretary of State. No, the server isn’t being a jerk or trying to tattle on you for not having a Vermont registered agent. It’s actually just protocol, but it sets off a series of legal calamities for your business. 

Without receiving your legal notice, you don’t have any clue that your company is being sued, so you can’t defend it against legal actions being taken against it or even show up to court. And in your absence a judge could issue a default judgment against your company. 

It’s also worth stating that it’s illegal for any business entity to fail to maintain a statutory agent or registered agent in Vermont, so the Vermont Secretary of State could revoke your company’s good-standing status. Without it, your company could lose its ability to expand to other states, qualify for business loans, or even conduct business in the state. 

When you lose your good-standing status, your business name reservation is also automatically void. While you’re getting your legal ducks in a row, other companies can swoop in to reserve your company’s business name themselves. And even if you’re quick to rectify this situation, if another company has reserved the name, you may never get it back. 

If you own a limited liability company, your company could be particularly devastated by losing its good-standing status. If your Vermont LLC doesn’t follow the letter of the law, then the Vermont Secretary of State is within its rights to start what’s known as “administrative dissolution.” The Secretary of State could take away your authority to conduct business in the state because it failed to meet certain legal obligations.

It’s risky business to continue with regular business operations if your Vermont LLC no longer has legal recognition by the state, too. Without that recognition, you no longer have limited liability protection. That means that all of the legal and financial responsibility of the company falls on the business owner, and if it’s sued then your personal and financial assets could be on the line. 

But the consequences of not maintaining a registered agent in Vermont aren’t limited to LLC owners. If you own a Vermont corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, or any type of business entity, then you’re legally required to maintain a Vermont registered agent, and can face legal repercussions if you don’t. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Vermont? 

There’s nothing that legally prevents you from being your own Vermont registered agent. However, there are several downsides to being your own agent, you should learn about the pros and cons and weigh them against hiring a Vermont registered agent service. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


While I really hope you aren’t served a service of process often, the legal fallout of missing one is enormous, so you’d better make sure that you’re there to receive it should one be delivered. Otherwise you could lose your company’s good standing and have to deal with default judgments against you. Not fun! 

Lack of Privacy

If you choose to be your own registered agent, you’re required to list your personal information on the public record. If your company doesn’t have a physical address, then you’re required to list your home address as your registered office address. 

The distressing part of listing your personal information on the public record is that you have no control over who accesses it. Cybercriminals and hackers can quickly steal your identity, rack up debt in your name and ruin your credit score with it. 

Plus if you really think about it, isn’t it pretty creepy that anyone that wants it can get their hands on your home address and phone number and use it for anything they want? 


The one thing that turns many business owners off of the idea of being their own registered agent is discovering just how much time the job takes up. Being your own registered agent is a full-time job in and of itself. To ensure that you’re meeting the legal requirements of the Secretary of State, you’ll have to be present at your company’s business address during business hours. 

Coincidentally, most businesses (and probably your own) also operate during regular business hours. So you can’t perform both jobs effectively at the same time unless you somehow figure out how to be in two places at once, in which case you should patent that technology because business owners the world over would love it! 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

I only know of one benefit of being your own registered agent, and it’s this: you don’t have to pay for registered agent services. 

But now that you understand all the legal pitfalls involved with missing a service of process, and that being your own agent is quite time consuming, you might decide that it’s worth it to pay for a Vermont registered agent service. Most business owners also make that decision. Luckily, paying for a professional registered agent service isn’t overly expensive. 

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

There are a few reasons that many businesses choose to use a resident agent or registered agent service: 

  • You’re guaranteed not to miss a service of process or other important correspondence because your registered agent will maintain a physical presence at your registered office address during business hours.
  • You’re not likely to miss filing deadlines because your registered agent will inform you about them. If you choose a good Vermont registered agent service, they’ll issue compliance alerts so that you won’t lose good-standing status with the Vermont Secretary of State. 
  • Because you aren’t pulling double duty as both your own registered agent and business owner, you’re free to run your business more effectively and be the best owner you can be. 
  • Owners of foreign LLCs or corporations that operate in multiple states can choose a national registered agent service to help them meet their legal obligations across the country. 
  • If your business doesn’t observe what other people consider “normal business hours,” then you can use a Vermont registered agent service to get some sleep during the day. 
  • If your company doesn’t meet the Secretary of State’s stipulation for a physical address or street address, then you can use a registered agent service to protect your personal information and keep it off the public record by listing your registered agent’s name and information.
  • Many people are blissfully unaware of how much junk mail businesses are sent. If you’re your own agent, you’ll have to deal with the truckloads of junk mail yourself. But hiring a registered agent service means you won’t have to put up with this annoyance. 
  • You can choose a company that offers premium registered agent services, like identity theft protection and covering state fees, which you may not want to pass up. 
  • If you haven’t established your business with the Vermont Secretary of State, then you may find it useful to choose a registered agent company that also offers LLC formation services. Some of these companies have excellent promotions, like a year of registered agent service for free when you sign up for formation services. 

Since you’re the owner of your business, no one can tell you whether you should hire a registered agent service, or whether it’s the best decision for your company. But I will tell you that I always recommend new businesses use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are several factors involved with choosing the best registered agent service. Here’s a few things you should think about when it’s time to choose your company’s registered agent service.

Service Features

You won’t get the full benefit of having a Vermont registered agent service if you don’t choose one that furnishes all of the registered agent services that your business needs. 

Some registered agent providers will give you a compliance calendar that comes pre-filled with important filing dates, which is nice, but you can easily lose it or forget it in the back of a drawer somewhere. Other registered agent providers guarantee worry-free compliance and issue compliance alerts to let you know about filing deadlines and maintain your good-standing status with the Vermont Secretary of State. 

Some registered agent companies only provide basic mail forwarding services, which are notoriously slow. The best Vermont registered agents provide online document management systems which not only allow you to view your legal documents and mail faster, it also provides you with a place to store all of your court documents and other official correspondence. 

So, assess your company’s needs and choose a registered agent service that delivers everything you need. 


One good way to tell whether a registered agent service is worth it is to compare its service list to its fee. If a registered agent company has a service catalog that’s lacking and a high price, then it doesn’t provide a good value. 

With that in mind, you shouldn’t use “budget agents.” These registered agent providers use prices as low as $39–$59 as bait to draw in unsuspecting customers before hitting them with additional fees for basic services like compliance alerts and online document management systems. While I’m all for saving a buck or two, you’ll need to find another way to do it because budget agents aren’t the answer. 

Easy Sign-Up 

Some registered agent companies have sign-up processes that take weeks or months to complete, requiring you to jump through hoops and fill out loads of paperwork. No business owner wants to feel like a company is wasting their time. Choose a registered agent provider with a quick and painless sign-up process to avoid mountains of paperwork and long wait times. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Some registered agent companies have antiquated servers, confusing navigation systems and so many bugs and glitches that the whole system frequently freezes up and crashes—even their technical support team seems to have trouble understanding it and explaining it. Save yourself the frustration of dealing with one of these convoluted systems and choose a registered agent with an interface that’s easy to use. 

Customer Service 

Even if you choose the best registered agent service in the world, you’ll inevitably have a question that you need quick answers to, or encounter a technical problem that you need assistance with. And because your registered agent is charged with so many important duties that could cost your company its good-standing status if neglected, it’s important that it provides good customer service. 

I looked at all of these factors and my four-stage investigative process to name Northwest Registered Agent as the best registered agent service. If you’d like to learn more about how to choose the best registered agent service for your business, read my guide on the Best Registered Agent Services


Business owners are expected to learn so many new things when they establish their companies that it can be overwhelming. Add to that the fact that they also have to keep track of compliance filing deadlines, which only come once a year. But Vermont registered agents can lessen your workload and remove some of the stress of being a business owner. 

If you haven’t chosen a business structure and would like to learn more about LLC formation, read How to Start an LLC. And if you want the guidance of seasoned professionals through the formation process, check out my guide on the Best LLC Formation Services

Vermont Registered Agent FAQs

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?

A commercial registered agent is one that has registered as a commercial registered agent service with the Secretary of State. Some places require every professional registered agent service to register as a commercial registered agent service. 

A noncommercial registered agent is a person or business that has been designated as a registered agent, but who hasn’t registered as a commercial agent with the Secretary of State. So if you’ve designated a family member, like your brother Bruno, as your registered agent then congratulations, Bruno is a noncommercial registered agent (But we don’t talk about that.). 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

It’s pretty simple to change your registered agent in Vermont. Just fill out a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form. It will ask you for some information about your new registered agent, like your registered agent’s name and address, and when you’ve completed it you just submit it to the Secretary of State. You can file it by mail or in person—online filing isn’t an option. And you’ll need to pay $25 in state fees to file it.  

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost? 

Registered agent cost depends on several factors, like which registered agent company you hire, and the registered agent services you need. But in general, your registered agent will cost somewhere between $39–$299 per state, per year (plus state fees). If you’d like to learn more about registered agent service cost, read my guide on the Best Registered Agent Services

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