Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is to be unique from any other business in the state of Virginia. You can quickly and easily check your company’s potential name options at the Virginia Secretary of State SOSDirect website. For a $40 fee through the SOS website, you can also reserve a company name for 120 days. To do this, you’ll need to submit the Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name form.
In order to comply with Virginia state law, your company’s name must contain some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear in several different formats from the whole written phrase to several appropriate abbreviations. “Limited Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” and “LC” are all acceptable ways to shorten “limited liability company” in your business’s name. You can also use abbreviations for the words “Limited” and “Company” as “Ltd.” or “Co.” respectively.
You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC. Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way to ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required for your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.
Most limited liability companies and corporations will need to register with the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Unlike most states, Virginia does not require Single Member LLCs to file annual reports with the Secretary of State; however, your LLC will be required to file an annual franchise tax report. The details for computing the franchise tax amount can be complicated, so it is important to check the Comptroller of Public Accounts website for accurate and updated information.
If your company is a foreign LLC wanting to do business in Virginia, you will still need to follow all the steps outlined above.
The difference for a foreign LLC is the Application for Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company form required to make your LLC legal to operate. Once all the other requirements are met, your foreign LLC will be fully operational.
Some industries will require you to secure state and local licenses to legally operate in the state of Virginia.
The location and type of business you are creating will ultimately determine what is required. Visit the Virginia Department of Licensing and Regulation website to ensure you have all the appropriate licensing.