There’s no state like West Virginia. No wonder you and more than 114,000 people have started a small business there. But now you’re learning that there’s more to being in business than figuring out a product or service, reaching your target market, and managing employees. There’s state-mandated paperwork, like the West Virginia annual report.
It’s not an annoyance that will go away on its own. As a matter of fact, if the annual report isn’t filed, not only will your business be subject to a penalty fee, but its license to operate could be revoked entirely. Here’s your guide to filing a West Virginia annual report.
A West Virginia annual report is a form that helps the state keep tabs on companies doing business within its borders. WV Code §59-1-2a requires business entities that are registered through the West Virginia Secretary of State to file an annual report by July 1 every year, starting the first year after the business was registered. This requirement applies regardless of whether the business made or lost money. If it exists, it has to file an annual report.
West Virginia lets limited liability companies (LLCs) report changes to its members to the state. A separate filing to report this particular change is not required.
With regard to corporations, the annual report serves as the mechanism to report changes in officers, directors, and shares.
West Virginia’s Secretary of State receives and processes annual reports. It created the WV One Stop Business Portal to provide business owners a way to file the annual report completely online.
Both corporations and LLCs must file annual reports in West Virginia by July 1. They pay the same filing fee of $25. If the filing deadline is not met, they pay the same penalty fee of $50.
Corporations and LLCs do not use the same form.
You can file and pay the associated fee for the annual report online via the WV One Stop Business Portal. You can also file the annual report by mail or in person.
The steps to file a West Virginia annual report via the online portal are:
Keep in mind that annual reports are a matter of public record. In West Virginia, anyone can call the Business Services Division at the Secretary of State’s office and request a copy of an annual report. They do not have to be affiliated with the business to obtain a copy of the report. West Virginia does not store annual reports online.
In West Virginia, the annual report must be filed between January 1 and July 1 each year, beginning with the calendar year AFTER the entity was formed. If the report is filed after July 1, an additional fee of $50 is assessed.
In West Virginia, failure to file on time can also result in the state revoking the organization’s authorization to do business. This would mean you’d lose the right to operate as an LLC or corporation, opening yourself up to personal liability damages and losing your business tax status.
The fee to file an annual report in West Virginia is $25. If filing online, you can pay the fee with a credit card.
Veteran-owned registered entities in West Virginia do not have to pay the $25 fee for the first four years after the initial business registration. While the fee is not assessed, the annual report must still be filed every year. Failure to do so could result in penalty fees and administrative dissolution of the business.
To get help or ask questions about the annual report fee, call the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business and Licensing Center at (304) 558-8000. You can also email a business specialist in the Secretary of State’s office at Business@wvsos.gov.
Gathering the required information before beginning the annual report filing process creates a much smoother experience.
For corporations, the required information is:
For LLCs, the required information is:
Need some help? Contact the West Virginia Business Services Division by calling (304) 558-8000.
Once you finish the process of filing and paying online, you will end up at a screen that acknowledges that your report is filed. Print this page for your records.
If you want to check that your report is filed, wait a few days for the system to update, then look up your business using the Business Organizations Database. Click on your business name. Scroll down to see if the annual report filing is listed.
If the annual report filing is not listed, contact the Business Services Division by calling (304) 558-8000.
If you fail to file an annual report during the open window for your business entity, West Virginia will notify you that you have failed to file. You will then be charged a $50 late fee when you do eventually file.
If you fail to file at all, the state may revoke your right to do business as a corporation or an LLC. The Secretary of State will notify the entity by certified mail, return receipt requested, of its failure to pay, how much they owe, and the date upon which dissolution or revocation will occur if all fees are not paid in full. The certified mail required must be postmarked at least 30 days before the dissolution or revocation date listed in the notice.
If this happens, your personal assets would then be vulnerable to business debts until your good standing with the state is reinstated. You can reinstate your business by filing a reinstatement form with the state. Reinstatement happens retroactively, meaning there would be no gap in your LLC or corporate status once complete.
If you experience difficulties or have questions regarding your annual report, reach out to the West Virginia Business Services Division. The Business Services Division is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
It costs $25 to file an annual report in West Virginia if you file by the July 1 deadline. Veteran-owned businesses do not have to pay this fee for the first four annual reports.
You will be charged a $50 late fee.
Eventually, the company’s authorization to conduct business will be revoked by the state.
Yes. The annual report is required of corporations and LLCs regardless of whether they made money.
West Virginia annual reports filed by mail or fax require original signatures from an authorized representative. Annual reports filed online can use digital signatures and don’t require original signatures.
The business must be dissolved with the Secretary of State to be absolved of the annual report requirement. To dissolve a business, use the One Stop Business Portal. Click on “Operate” and Choose “Exiting/Changing Over” from the drop-down menu. Select “Dissolve/Terminate/Cancel a West Virginia (Domestic Business)” or “Cancel/Withdraw an Out-of-State (Foreign) Business” and follow the prompts to complete the process.
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