Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in the state of West Virginia. You can quickly and easily do a name check on the West Virginia Secretary of State website business name database to verify the business name you want is available. For a $15 fee, you can reserve a name for 120 days by filing an Application for Name Reservation (Form NR-1) with the Secretary of State.
In order to comply with West Virginia state law, your company’s name must end with some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear in several different formats from the whole phrase written out to one of the following forms: “Limited Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “LC,” and “L.C.” You can also choose to use abbreviations for the words “Limited” and “Company” as “Ltd.” or “Co.” respectively.
The state of West Virginia requires that any LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued. This entity does not have to be an individual person. The registered agent can be any resident of the state of West Virginia or a business entity authorized to do business in West Virginia so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state. In West Virginia, if you don’t appoint a registered agent, the Secretary of State will receive all notices and files on behalf of your LLC.
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 toward ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of 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.
Every LLC in West Virginia must register with the West Virginia State Tax Department and pay a $30 fee. You can register online using Form WV/BUS-APP at the Business4wv website.
If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the West Virginia State Tax Department. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the West Virginia Department of Commerce and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the West Virginia State Tax Departmen
If your company is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in the state of West Virginia, you’ll need to follow all the steps outlined above with a few minor differences.
You will need to file an Application for Certificate of Authority of Limited Liability Company (Form LLF-1) online or by mail with the West Virginia Secretary of State as well as a Certificate of Existence or its equivalent from your LLC’s domestic or home state.
The filing fee is $150.
Some industries will require you to secure federal, state, and/or local licenses to legally operate in the state of West Virginia.
Using the West Virginia Applications and Instructions for Business Startup booklet and this page will help you find the state-level licensing you need, while this page from the U.S. Small Business Administration can aid your search on the federal level.
In addition, every West Virginia business must obtain a business registration certificate from the State Tax Department.