Completing and filing Articles of Incorporation is necessary for forming a corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’ll walk you through the form and show you how to submit it to the state.
For your new corporation to start operating in Virginia, you must file your Articles of Incorporation with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Office. Your Articles of Incorporation are only accepted if they contain the necessary information required by the Virginia Stock Corporation Act.
How to Complete the Articles of Incorporation Form
Filing Articles of Incorporation in Virginia can be done online, via mail, or in person. Online filing is typically the preferred option as it’s the most convenient and comes with the advantage of quick processing.
Regardless of the filing method, the Virginia Articles of Incorporation must contain:
Name of the Corporation
You’re required to fill in your unique business name and include the designation “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or their correct abbreviations.
To check whether your preferred corporation name is still available, you can run it through the Virginia State Corporation Commission Name Check Availability search. If your name is still available, you have the option to reserve it using the ZenBusiness Name Reservation Service.
Number of Authorized Shares to Be Issued
Fill in the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue. Your corporation may plan to have different classes of shares (such as common or preferred shares). In these cases, attach a description bearing the type, number, rights, and limitations of each.
State the name and address of the individual or business you’ve designated to receive legal notifications on behalf of your corporation. The registered agent can either be a Virginia resident or:
- An initial director of the board
- A member of the Virginia Bar
It can also be a business entity authorized to make transactions in Virginia.
If you’re wondering where to find a reliable registered agent, the ZenBusiness Registered Agent Service can connect you with one.
Initial Registered Office Address
In this section, write down the Virginia street address of your registered agent. This address should reference their actual, registered office.
Legal notifications intended for your corporation will be sent to this address. You’ll also need to state the county or city where this registered office is based.
This is an optional section that asks for your corporation’s primary address. If you’re not comfortable sharing the information, you can simply skip this portion.
In this section, fill in the names and addresses of the initial directors.
This is the person(s) or business entity that you have authorized to submit the Articles of Incorporation on your behalf. Your incorporators are required to fill in their names and addresses. They also need to include their signatures.
This is another optional section. Only fill it out if you are comfortable sharing your phone number with the public.
Supplementary Forms to be Filed with Virginia Articles of Incorporation
Expedited Service Request Forms
You should include this form if you need expedited service (be sure to indicate the type of service). This form should be submitted on top of the Articles of Incorporation packet.
Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name
Fill this form if your business plans to sell products or services under a name other than its registered one. This goes for doing business as (DBA) names as well.
Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing establishes the credibility of your business. It indicates that you have filled the necessary reports and paid the necessary fees in your state of origin. Foreign (out-of-state) corporations planning to operate in Virginia should file this certificate.
How to Submit the Forms
Articles of Incorporation can be filled and submitted online on the SCC Clerk’s Information System (CIS). This system will process online submissions in real-time if there are no problems or questions regarding the content. For other corporation types or filing methods (such as mailing or in-person), the articles will take at least three to five business days.
If you require expedited state service, be prepared to pay fees for same-day service or next-day service.
Additional Articles of Incorporation Filing Instructions
- The articles must be in English.
- They should be typed or printed on an opaque paper
- They should be printed on only one side of the page.
- No watermarks or background logos should be visible on the forms.
- They should be legible and reproducible.
- They must be original and signed.
- The checks for filing and expedited service requests should be attached.
After you file, you’ll want to make sure you stay in good standing with the state. Use our Worry Free Compliance service to put your mind at ease and focus on what’s important.
Managing a business is already hard enough without worrying about the cumbersome process of filing the Virginia Articles of Incorporation. ZenBusiness can complete the Articles of Incorporation for you with our business formation plans.
Virginia Articles of Incorporation FAQs
What does it cost to incorporate in Virginia?
For the most current fees and methods of payment available, check with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk website.
How long does the incorporation process take in Virginia?
Online incorporation is generally done in real-time. For other filing methods, the process takes about three to five days (and possibly longer). However, the process can be expedited pending a request and payment of an additional fee.
What Virginia statute governs the Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
The Virginia Stock Corporation Act governs the Virginia Articles of Incorporation.
Do I need an attorney to file the Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
No. You can file it yourself or engage a reliable filing service.