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Does Visual Studio .NET need to be installed on the client machine for an application written in .Net?
No. A full install of Visual Studio .NET is not necessary but the client machine requires that the .NET framework be installed. The .NET framework is on new Windows machines. Some legacy machines need to be updating. The redistributable install is available from Microsoft for free:
.NET Framework Redistributable
Pay close attention to the versions. The framework on the install machine must match or be a newer version. If installing the application on a machine with an older version of the .NET framework, the user is prompted to install the latest framework. This can be avoided by including the appropriate framework with the install package.