How to Start an LLC in Virginia: If you’re interested in setting up a Virginia LLC, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Virginia laws make it easy to establish your LLC. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully, word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Virginia
- After Starting Your Virginia LLC
- Virginia Foreign LLC
- Virginia LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Virginia
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $100. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Virginia. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Virginia to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Virginia LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in the state of Virginia is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
LLC Naming Guidelines in Virginia
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Virginia have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Virginia can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “Limited Company”, “LC”, “L.C.”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Virginia State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –||Submit Offline Form to –|
|Virginia Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Virginia LLC Name Search – Instructions
Office of the Clerk
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $10 to reserve your name with the Virginia Secretary of State.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Virginia Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register or Trade Name in Virginia, along with the filing fee of $10.
Recommended: You can do name search, get company logo, business domain, website, emails, and a lot more in one place by hiring a professional service. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
TailorBrands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Virginia
The second step to forming an LLC in the state of Virginia is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Virginia. Hence, hiring a competent Virginia Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent for service of process is a resident of Virginia or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Virginia. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services; even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year), you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Virginia. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Virginia registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Virginia can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent for service of process if you are a resident of the state of Virginia and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent, you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Virginia.
Registered Agent Consent Application
In Virginia, there is no separate Consent Letter to be produced to the Secretary of State. At the time of change of Registered Agent (or the name or address), the new Registered Agent has to sign the consent letter. It comes with the Application form to Change the Registered Agent. The filing fee should be paid for it. For more information on the same, read our guide on Virginia Registered Agent.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Virginia
The third and most important step in forming an LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This Virginia Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $100 (by mail and online) to file your formation certificate in Virginia. (Read more on LLC cost in Virginia).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Virginia LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also, if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Virginia, then you need to register as a Virginia Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber then click on the “log in to Subscribe Account” option and log in with your credentials. If you’re not subscribed, then you can directly start filing your LLC by clicking on the “Online Filing” button below. Read more about the Virginia Articles of Organization for online registration.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Formation Form. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address,
State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
Processing Time: It takes no time to get an LLC in Virginia if you file it online. For the mail filing, it takes 7 business days to get an LLC. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents in lesser days along with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your LLC Operating Agreement in Virginia
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a Virginia LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Virginia, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Virginia LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary, but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing an LLC EIN in Virginia
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Virginia LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Virginia foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally, complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your LLC in the state of Virginia. If you do it yourself, it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands, it should take fewer hours, and you always have a live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your Virginia LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File Virginia business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Virginia LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings, to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Starting an LLC in the State of Virginia
Forming an LLC in the state of Virginia is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form an LLC in the state of Virginia. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in the state of Virginia,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee||$10|
|Articles of Organization Fee||$100|
|LLC Annual Fee||$50|
In Virginia, an LLC name reservation is mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 120 days without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $10.
In Virginia, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $50. Also, the State of Virginia requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 4.3%. Read our guide on LLC costs in Virginia for more information.
Virginia Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in the state of Virginia, then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Virginia Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents, like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc., to the Virginia SOS to form your foreign LLC in the state of Virginia. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Virginia Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Virginia
Virginia is listed at number 4 regarding business establishment and number 1 regarding rules and regulations. This becomes a significant advantage for a business that is thinking of establishing itself in the state. Moreover, there are many benefits, like reducing tax liabilities and various business funding options offered to LLCs here. Read more on Virginia’s classification of LLC tax. If you are interested in starting one, then you should take a glimpse of the benefits mentioned.
Business Grants for Small Businesses in Virginia
Small business is always nurtured and pushed forward toward growth by the state of Virginia. There are many ups and downs that a small business goes through; that is why there is some grants program that is offered to these small businesses to help them get over these ups and downs easily. The grants are discussed below.
- Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant is the first and most famous grant in Virginia to an LLC based on its performance. Governments list out the small businesses, and out of them, those performing well are provided with grant offers. Consuming them, they can think of expansion and create more jobs in the state.
- Next is Virginia Investment Partnership Program, in which a grant is provided to LLCs for using advanced technology in their business and focusing more on capital growth.
- The Commonwealth opportunity fund is another business incentive that can support projects and promote new jobs.
The Virginia Enterprise Zone
Some enterprise zones in the state are an opportunity for LLC in Vermont. There are many incentives provided to businesses that especially come and establish their business in these areas. Some of the incentives offered are:-
- Rebates are offered on fees that are taken for permits and rezoning.
- A net grant of 50% is provided for businesses looking for an upgrade in their tools and machinery.
- A commercial loan façade program helps an eligible business to gain a loan of $5000 to around $50,000.
Some general benefits
There are some general benefits of Vermont State that leverage this state’s option over others to Start an LLC in Vermont.
- Access to the major US markets is readily available in Vermont.
- The labor force that is available in the state is highly educated and well skilled.
- There are many Workforce development programs that help out a business in making the desired workforce.
- The state is right to work, which means no union membership is required if a person wants employment, making it easy to grab a job and find new candidates.
Biggest Businesses in Virginia
As a business person, if you are looking forward to starting an LLC in the state of Virginia, then knowing the state economics is very important. You should study the details of Virginia state businesses and their contribution to the state economy.
The services-providing businesses own the biggest chunk of the share in the GDP of Virginia state, i.e., around 66.67%. Yes, the state’s entire service sector is growing at a furious rate as the quality of services here is much better than in other states. The interesting fact is that only 33.3% of people are working in this sector, which means that the per capita income of this sector is also high. The total contribution of the service sector to GDP is around $226.4 billion, which is immense.
The sector includes education and health care sectors with professional and financing services. There is a small contribution of the real estate sector also in this value.
The numbers of technology workers that are present in the state are maximum as compared to other states. The state has exported the maximum number of computer chips to people worldwide, which has made the state one of the best exporters around the world. The state’s technology corridor has many firms related to technology and internet-based software, which is also booming at a huge rate.
The technology sector has alone accounted for the production of $1 billion amount of chips exported worldwide.
Almost 32% of the land of Virginia is occupied by the agriculture sector, which is providing around 357,000 jobs to people around. Although tobacco is not the state’s main crop, it still ranks 5th in terms of its production in the country. The main things for which the state is famous are peaches and plums in crops and turkey raising operations when it comes to poultry.
Top small business ideas that are famous in the state are:-
- Pool cleaning and maintenance business
- Pest control businesses
- Dog grooming business
Virginia LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Virginia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Virginia LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Virginia, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming a Limited Liability Company in Virginia. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Virginia, but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity, like a social security number, but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Virginia
The filing procedures for LLC in Virginia can be completed in 1 week by mail. For online filing, it may be completed immediately, once the payment is received.
If you’re considering starting a business in Virginia, there are a few things you need to know before you begin. First, you’ll need to choose a business name. The name you choose must be unique and not conflict with other businesses on file with the State Corporation Commission. The State Corporation Commission’s website offers a name availability search tool. You can even reserve a name for your LLC before you file your paperwork, which can save you valuable time.
You’ll need to have a plan. You should have a plan for how you want your business to be run, and you should also have some money ready to cover startup expenses. A plan will help you chart your course and make changes along the way. The plan will also help you track your progress and help you decide what needs to change to move your business forward.
When starting a business, you’ll also need a registered agent. This person will act as your business’s liaison with the commonwealth. You’ll need to choose someone with a Virginia address who can accept legal and state mail. Finally, you’ll need to submit your Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. You can file these documents online, by mail, or in person. Paper filings will take three to five days to process. Online filings, however, are processed the same day.
If you’re a new business in Virginia, filing an Articles of Organization (or LLC) is the first step in starting your company. It is important to remember that filing your Articles of Organization will also save you time by avoiding the need to go to court. Having an EIN is also helpful when hiring employees, opening a business bank account, and filing taxes. Even if you’re starting a single-member LLC, it is still worth having an EIN.
If you’re a new business, you need to get insurance. General liability insurance will cover you in the case of a lawsuit. It will also cover lawyer fees. Another type of insurance is commercial auto insurance. This kind of insurance works much like your personal automobile insurance. The law doesn’t require you to get a general business license, but local governments may.
Next, you’ll need to choose a company name. Choose a name that is easy to remember and isn’t already taken by another business. You can search for available business names on a website dedicated to this purpose. In addition, you’ll need to add a suffix to the business name to make it unique. This will help avoid any future confusion. In addition, you’ll need a company name that includes “Limited Liability Company.”
The process to form an LLC in Virginia is relatively easy. The process takes as little as two to three days. After deciding on a name, you can then fill out and file the Articles of Organization. This is the most important step. Once the documents have been filed, the state of Virginia will need to approve the name and choose a registered agent.
If you are a resident of Virginia, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $100 (domestic LLC) and $100 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Virginia include $50 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay a sales tax of 4.3% every year.
It takes no time to get an LLC in Virginia if you file it online. For the mail filing, it takes 7 business days to get an LLC. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend TailorBrands, which has an impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $50 to the Virginia Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Virginia Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups, can easily start an LLC in the state of Virginia at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.