West Virginia Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration


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If you already have an LLC in another state and want an LLC in West Virginia, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify and register for a foreign LLC in West Virginia

Forming a West Virginia Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in West Virginia, you need to register it with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Step 1: Choose West Virginia Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the West Virginia Secretary of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of West Virginia will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in West Virginia. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at West Virginia’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select West Virginia Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in West Virginia and take note that a West Virginia registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of West Virginia Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to Business@wvsos.gov or by mail to any of the following addresses below:

  • Charleston Office One-Stop Business Center 1615 Washington St. E. Charleston, WV 25311.
  • Clarksburg Office North Central WV Business Center 200 W. Main St. Clarksburg, WV 26301.
  • Martinsburg Office Eastern Panhandle Business Center 229 E. Martin St. Martinsburg, WV 25401

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in West Virginia.
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in West Virginia.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in West Virginia, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your West Virginia Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the West Virginia Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing West Virginia Foreign LLC Online

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To establish your foreign LLC in the State of West Virginia, you are required to register your business with the West Virginia Secretary of State office. The cost of registration is $150. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Certified copy of your business documents from the Secretary of State office. We have explained the aspects you need to cover while registering for West Virginia Foreign LLC.

Following are the steps to register a foreign LLC online:

  1. Access the official website of the Secretary of State

    Go to the official website of the West Virginia Secretary of State. The Business section on the website includes all the details and information about how to Register an Out-of-State (Foreign) Business. On the given page, click on the link for One-Stop Business Portal.west-virginia-foreign-llc

  2. Login or Create your Account

    On the following page, the SOS Business page opens. If you already have an account on the portal, you can continue to log in by clicking on the ‘Login here’ tab and then entering your User ID and password on the next page. In case you do not have an account, click on the ‘Create a User Account’ tab on the SOS Business page.west-virginia-foreign-llc

  3. Start to file your application

    Once you create your account, log in to it using your login credentials. On the user landing page, select the relevant option to file a new business (foreign). Read all the instructions provided in the online application form carefully and proceed to fill in the form.

  4. Review your application

    Before you complete your application process, recheck all the information and details entered by you in the form. Every detail should be correct and accurate to your knowledge.

  5. Make the payment

    After finalizing your application, you can proceed to the payment gateway page and pay $150 as the online filing fee for your registration application. After you successfully submit your application form, you will receive a notification from the Secretary of State office acknowledging the receipt of your application.

Steps to Filing West Virginia Foreign LLC by Mail

If you wish to register your business LLC via mail, you can do that easily.

  • Download the application form PDF on your computer system.
  • Read all the instructions carefully and proceed to fill in the application.
  • Attach the Certificate of Good Standing or Existence along with the form.
  • You should also attach the Customer Order Request form available with the original application form.
  • Review all the information provided by you to be correct and accurate.
  • Issue a money order or check for $150 as the filing fee of your application, payable to the West Virginia Secretary of State.
  • IF you wish, you can make the payment online as well. However, to authorize this payment, you must provide the details about the payment in the e-Payment form attached to the original application.
  • Arrange all the documents together and mail it to one of the following addresses, Charleston Office One-Stop Business Center 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311; Clarksburg Office North Central WV Business Center 200 West Main Street Clarksburg, WV 26301; Martinsburg. Office Eastern Panhandle Business Center 229 E. Martin Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

After Forming West Virginia Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your West Virginia Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form a foreign LLC in West Virginia. 

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in West Virginia

When setting up a foreign LLC in West Virginia, it is necessary to file a Certificate of Authority (CoA) with the state. The LLC must be foreign and qualify for the state’s tax-exempt status or face severe penalties. The CoA is a one-time filing fee and can be filed online or in hard copy at the Department of Corporations and Small Business Administration.

The initial fee to register a foreign LLC in West Virginia is $150. You can also expedite the process by paying an extra $25 for 24-hour processing. It will take about five to ten business days to complete the standard filing process. If you need to file a COA within a shorter period of time, you can fax or walk in to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office and have it expedited in two hours or an hour for $500. The State will mail you a copy of the COA, and you will need to provide a file stamped copy to the local county clerk.

To register a foreign LLC in West Virginia, you need to have the EIN or Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is a nine-digit number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is the company’s identity. You can obtain the EIN online through the WV Secretary of State website. You may also need to submit other documents if you plan to expand your business. In addition, you’ll need a Certificate of Authority or Foreign Qualification if you’re planning to have employees or bank accounts in another state.

F.A.Qs

What is a foreign LLC in West Virginia?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in West Virginia.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in West Virginia as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

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