Steps to Pay Your Virginia Filing Fees
- Pay your Virginia business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Virginia business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Virginia
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Virginia business
- Apply for your Virginia business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay Virginia registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Virginia’s annual report requirements and fees
- Keep your Virginia business legally compliant
If you are planning to start a business in Virginia, there are a lot of tasks you have to keep track of not just to form your entity, but to maintain legal compliance. The first step is to decide what type of statutory business entity you want to create, such as a limited liability company (LLCs) or corporation. Virginia requires that you file company formation documents with the state’s Corporation Commission, as well as pay the proper filing fees.
Read on to learn more about what kinds of filing fees you might encounter as a Virginia business owner, as well as which of our services and tools you can use to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Step 1: Pay your Virginia business’s initial filing fees
The structure of your company will dictate what documents have to be filed with the state. For a corporation, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the State Corporation Commission via its online portal or by mail. For an LLC, you create Articles of Organization and file it with the state. Once you file the documents, expect 7 to 10 business days for processing. Once they’re complete, your business can be up and running in the state of Virginia.
If this process sounds complicated, we can make it easy for you. With our Expedited Filing Service, our experts can handle the details of filing the documents, so it’s done correctly.
Step 2: Reserve your Virginia business’s name
Choosing the right name for your business is very important. To make sure that your new business name is unique and not already in use, do a business name search on the State Corporation Commission website. If you’re creating your business, you don’t have to register your name with the state separately. The filing of the formation documents will reserve the name. But you can reserve a name without creating a company for up to four months for the payment of a small fee.
We can take care of your business name reservation as well. Our experts can help you do it on time and correctly.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Virginia
To use multiple names associated with your company, you need to create a doing business as (DBA) filing. In Virginia, this is called a fictitious name or assumed name. Some businesses require a name different from the company’s registered name for marketing or other business needs.
We can easily help accomplish this with our DBA Name Registration Service. Let us create the paperwork to file your DBA and take this task off your plate.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Most businesses need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your EIN is an identification number for your business and is necessary for you to perform many tasks. You will need an EIN to obtain business loans, open bank accounts, and hire employees.
We can obtain your EIN through our EIN Service and allow you to focus on other things.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Virginia business
Virginia doesn’t require that you file your operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement with the state, but it’s still a good idea to create these documents when you’re starting your business. Unlike formation documents, these are operating documents and control how your company will be structured and run, necessary for resolving management disputes, creating future contingency policies, and keeping control of your company.
It can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer to draft these documents for you. If you have an LLC, we can make it cheaper and easier for you by using our easy-to-use Operating Agreement Templates.
Step 6: Apply for your Virginia business’s necessary licenses and permits
Thankfully, Virginia doesn’t have a statewide business license requirement. However, almost all businesses will require some type of license or permit from their county, local, or municipal authority. Without the proper licenses and permits, you won’t be able to legally operate your business.
We offer a Business License Report Service that compiles a list of the right licenses and permits for your business.
Step 7: Pay Virginia registration fees for out-of-state businesses
Every company that was created outside of Virginia has to register with the State Corporation Commission as a foreign business. Once registered, the company can legally operate in the state.
You must file an Application for a Certificate of Registration with the State Corporation Commission.
Step 8: Check Virginia’s annual report requirements and fees
Every year, Virginia businesses are required to file an annual report with the State Corporation Commission. Your business will remain in good standing with the state if the report is filed every year and on time. Your business structure dictates what information the report needs to contain. Virginia doesn’t require LLCs to file an annual report, but corporations and other business entities must do so. Here is the information to include in the annual report:
- Corporation name
- State Corporation Commission ID number
- Registered agent information
- Number of authorized shares
- Principal office address
- Director and officer information
We offer a service to help you keep track of these reports and get them filed correctly and on time. By using our service, the task of keeping track of and filing your annual reports will be off your to-do list.
Step 9: Keep your Virginia business legally compliant
Keeping your business legally compliant and up to date with the state is very important and can take a lot of time and energy. For example, if there are changes to your Virginia corporation, Articles of Amendment have to be drafted and filed with the state. Examples of changes in your business that require an amendment filing are:
- Changes to the name of your business
- Updates to board and officer names and duties/responsibilities
- Changes in stock in the business
- Any other changes or alterations to the Articles of Incorporation/Certificate of Organization
We’re here to help you with your Virginia business’s needs
Starting a new business in Virginia can be very exciting but also confusing at times. With our help, you can easily create and file everything you need to start your company and be compliant with the law. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service provides immediate notification of any issues that need to be dealt with.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Virginia?
Yes, there are late fees for failure to file your annual report on time. If your company fails to file the proper reports, eventually the state will dissolve your business. You will receive a notice of pending dissolution so that you will know to file the documents immediately.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Virginia government?
If you can’t pay your fees on time, then the State Corporation Commission reserves the right to dissolve your business, preventing you from operating in the state. The State Corporation Commission’s office will send you a notice of pending dissolution, which will provide a timeline as to when your business will be dissolved in the state.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Virginia business?
Pay fees for forming your Virginia business to the State Corporation Commission.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Virginia business?
The largest fee that you will have to pay is typically the fee associated with the documents that form and initially create your business. For example, a corporation is charged a fee based upon the number of authorized shares issued.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Virginia government?
For filings sent by mail, Virginia allows customers to pay with a check, money order, credit card, or trust account. Online filings through Virginia’s online business portal require credit or debit card payments, plus a small convenience fee when filing online.