How to Start an LLC in West Virginia: If you’re interested in setting up a West 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. West Virginia laws make it easy to establish your LLC in West Virginia. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your West Virginia 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 West Virginia
- After Starting Your West Virginia LLC
- West Virginia Foreign LLC
- West Virginia LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in West 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 in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in West Virginia in 2022. Let’s get started! It’s always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in West Virginia to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your West Virginia LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in West 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.
West Virginia LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in West 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 West 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”, “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 West 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 –|
|West Virginia Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
West Virginia LLC Name Search – Instructions
|Office of Secretary of State, One-Stop Business Center|
1615 Washington Street
East Charleston, West Virginia 25311
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 $15 to reserve your name with the West 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 West Virginia Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register Trade Name in West Virginia along with the filing fee of $25.
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 West Virginia
The second step to forming a West Virginia LLC 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 West Virginia. Hence, hiring a competent West Virginia Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of West Virginia or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in West 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 West Virginia. Some LLC formation services offer standalone West 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 West 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 if you are a resident of the state of West 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 West Virginia.
Registered Agent Consent Application
In West 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 of $15 should be paid for it. For more information on the same, read our guide on West Virginia Registered Agent.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in West Virginia
The third and most important step in forming a West Virginia LLC is to file the Certificate of Formation. This West 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 West Virginia. (Read more on LLC cost in West 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 West Virginia LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to West Virginia then you need to register as a West Virinia 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 West Virginia Articles of Organization for online registration.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your West Virginia LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Formation Form. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following addresses,
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin St.
Martinsburg, WV 25401
North Central WV Business Center
200 W. Main St.
Clarksburg, WV 26301
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington St. E.
Charleston, WV 25311
Email: [email protected]
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Processing Time: It takes no time to get a West Virginia LLC if you file it online. For the mail filing, it takes up to 14 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 within 6-8 days with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your West Virginia LLC Operating Agreement
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 West 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 Alaba, 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 West 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 a West Virginia LLC EIN
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 West Virginia LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for West 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 West Virginia LLC. 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 live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your West 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 West Virginia business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a West 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 West Virginia LLC
Forming an LLC in West 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 a West Virginia LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your West Virginia 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 West Virginia,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee||$15|
|Articles of Organization Fee||$100 (Online & by mail)|
|LLC Annual Fee||$25|
In West Virginia, an LLC name reservation is not 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 $15.
In West Virginia, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $25. Also, the State of West Virginia requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 6% every year. Read our guide on LLC costs in West Virginia for more information.
West Virginia Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in West Virginia then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the West 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 West Virginia SOS to form your foreign LLC in West Virginia. To know more in detail, check out our guide on West Virginia Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in West Virginia
With a GDP of $67.83 billion, West Virginia has become one of the best places for new businesses. A recent report by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research says energy industries are the backbone of the economy. Around $3.7 billion was generated through exports in the same industry.
Apart from that, there are several benefits like various business funding options and incentives like reducing tax liabilities the West Virginia government provides to the new LLCs and businesses. These programs are available here to encourage operation, job creation, and development of the state economy.
The first and foremost tax incentive is available in the energy sector. Under this program, LLCs involved in such industries will receive tax credit and benefits from the West Virginia state government.
Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone
New LLCs, domestic or foreign LLCs doing business in West Virginia, may receive a tax credit or incentive. Under this program, any business will receive a loan facility or tax incentives if they operate in empowerment zones.
In West Virginia, several locations fell under the Opportunity Zone. If a new LLC is setting up their business or operating their business in those areas, then they may receive a massive tax rebate, incentives, and so on. The program was introduced by the US Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Services (IRS).
Community Development Program
Under this program, several other programs such as Land & Water Conservation Funds, Small Cities Block Grant, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program are available. Under all these programs, any form of business will receive loans and funding facilities from the government.
Tax Exemption – Sales & Use Tax
For any LLC in West Virginia, there is an exemption on Sales and Use tax. Read more on West Virginia’s classification of LLC tax. Following are the services on which the LLC will get sales tax exemption:
- Daycare service
- Real property development, construction, repair, and/or decoration
- Television or/and Radio broadcasting sales
- Newspapers, magazines advertisements
Top Businesses in West Virginia
If you are looking forward to forming an LLC in West Virginia, then, first of all, you should know about the economy of the state. Many competing businesses contribute hugely to the state. Here is the list of businesses.
Mining businesses are the largest contributor to the GDP of West Virginia, which is around $10.68 billion. Approximately 12,556 people are working in close relation with the industry, either directly or indirectly. If you look at the products that are mined out of the fields of state, then coal is making the maximum contribution making it the second-largest coal mining state of the USA.
Apart from that, there are natural gas reserves also in the soil of the state, which helps in gaining 20% of the mining income.
The chemical businesses are the most established manufacturing units in the states. It is helping out in creating 1/5th of the state’s jobs and gives 40% income to manufacturing businesses. The list of chemicals that are produced in the state are:-
- Adhesives and plastics
- Industrial based chemicals
The total contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP of the state is $7.94 billion.
There is a golden agriculture history in the state of West Virginia. The mountain state produces agricultural income through livestock like broilers, cattle, sheep, and lambs. The crop produced the most in the state is hay, dried, and used as fodder for their own livestock.
Some people are not willing to invest so much in the business. for them, some of the small-scale businesses that are working well in the state are:-
- Reviewing website
- Reputation management agency
- Equipment renting
West Virginia LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in West Virginia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your West 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 West Virginia, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in West 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 West 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 West Virginia
West Virginia LLC formation can be completed within a span of 2 weeks through mail. When filing online, the procedure is completed instantly, once the payment is received.
Whether you are looking to form an LLC in West Virginia or any other state, you will need to do some research. For starters, you must ensure that your business name is available. You can use free online business name search tools to check for availability. Once you have a name, you should file Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State. This formal document will create your LLC. It can be filed either online or by mail.
Before you file your Articles of Organization, you will need to choose a registered agent. This individual will accept mail on behalf of your LLC. A registered agent can be a person or a service. The agent must be available during normal business hours. You will also need to establish a mailing address for your LLC. You can use a Post Office Box or your business address.
An operating agreement will also be important for an LLC. An operating agreement will outline how your LLC operates and the rules and regulations it will follow. It should also outline voting rights, voting procedures and how to buy out a member. The operating agreement should also include the percentage of ownership each member has in the LLC. This will also help ensure that you are protected from lawsuits.
You will also need to register your LLC with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS will provide you with a unique nine-digit number, or Employer Identification Number (EIN), that is often needed to open a business bank account. The EIN is also used when you file tax returns for your business. An EIN is free to apply for, but each owner must provide information about their business. Typically, the EIN is required when you hire employees and when you file your business taxes.
To get the best tax return, it is recommended that you seek the advice of an accountant. An accountant can help you determine which tax election is best for your LLC. The accountant will also help you determine how to best protect your personal assets. Choosing an accountant can help you avoid double taxation. You should also check with your local county for regulations. You may need to obtain a license from the city or county where you are operating.
If you choose to do your own filing, it will take about 5-10 business days for your documents to be processed. If you file online, the processing time will be shorter. The state will then send your documents back to you in the mail. You can choose to pay by credit card or check.
You may also want to reserve your LLC’s name. This will protect it for 120 days. The name reservation fee is $15. You must use an address within West Virginia for the mailing address. You may also choose to use a PO Box. The name reservation does not apply after 120 days.
It is important to choose an appropriate registered agent. A registered agent can be a person, a service or a corporation. A registered agent is required in West Virginia. You will need to ensure that your registered agent is available to accept mail and accept legal documents on your behalf. If you aren’t sure which entity to choose, you may want to consult with an attorney.
If you are a resident of West 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 $150 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in West Virginia include $25 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 6% every year.
It takes no time to get a West Virginia LLC if you file it online. For the mail filing, it takes up to 14 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 impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $25 to the West Virginia Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will 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 West Virginia Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start their LLCs in West 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.