West Virginia Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in West Virginia?

Starting a business in West Virginia means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

FILE YOUR BUSINESS

Every successful business starts with a great idea and a bunch of paperwork. If you’re looking to start your West Virginia business, we’re here to help you with all the administrative work along the way, including business filing fees. All statutory business entities such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) must pay filing fees to form and maintain legal compliance with the state. It’s important to understand what fees are necessary throughout the formation and operation of your business process to ensure you remain in good standing with the state. 

If this sounds scary, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Let’s look at the most common types of fees you might face as a West Virginia business owner, and how we can help.

Step 1: Pay your West Virginia business’s initial filing fees

Your first step to opening your own business is registering the business with the Secretary of State. Each business entity requires a different form. This document includes all basic information about the business including owners, members, or shareholders, addresses, business purpose, registered agent, and more. 

  • Corporation: Articles of Incorporation
  • Cooperative association: Articles of Incorporation for a Broadband, Agricultural, or Agricultural Non-profit Cooperative Association 
  • Limited liability company (LLC/PLLC): Articles of Organization
  • Limited partnership (LP): Certificate of West Virginia Limited Partnership 
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP): Statement of Registration 
  • Voluntary association: Application for Voluntary Association 
  • Business trust: Application for Business Trust
  • Unincorporated nonprofit association: Statement of Agent of Process

These documents can be filed online through West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal, in person, via fax, or by email. There is a small additional fee for filing online. The state also offers expedited processing services for an additional fee. 

If you’re looking for fast formation but aren’t big on paperwork, check out how our Expedited Filing Service can make the process quick and easy. 

Step 2: Reserve your West Virginia business’s name 

A name reservation reserves and protects the business name you have chosen for 120 days from filing with the West Virginia Secretary of State. Finding the right name for your company is a really important part of the formation process. You want to make sure you get it right and that the name you choose is available. Like most states, West Virginia does have some naming guidelines that apply to different business entities. Coming up with the perfect name is going to take some time and thought. After that, let us take it off your plate and reserve your name with our Business Name Reservation Service

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in West Virginia

A DBA, “doing business as,” or “trade name,” is a name that is something other than the registered name of your company. DBAs are common for general partnerships and sole proprietorships where the name of the owner is the official business name. Ice cream shop owner Jane Smith would be wise to use a DBA like Jane’s Ice Cream Shop, rather than have her business just be called Jane Smith. 

DBAs may also be used by other business entities that want to expand into different product or service offerings without starting a new company. Learn more about DBAs and whether a DBA is right for your business. 

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is important for any business that hires employees or files taxes, which is essentially most businesses. This can be thought of as a social security number for your business.

Though this number is free to obtain from the IRS, you still have to do the work of making it happen. Or you could just use our EIN Service, and we can do the work for you. 

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your West Virginia business

Though these documents don’t need to be filed with or have fees paid to the Secretary of State, they’re very important for a number of reasons and could save you time and money later on. operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and partnership agreements are all binding statements of how the business is supposed to run. Which document you draft will depend on your type of business. 

The information in these documents will help you navigate any future conflicts and provide guidelines on what to do in certain situations including:

  • Roles and responsibilities of members, shareholders, or partners
  • Profit and loss sharing
  • Conflict resolution procedure
  • Transfer of shares or ownership
  • Strategy for dissolution

You have the freedom to be as detailed as you want to in these documents to ensure that all your bases are covered. If your business is an LLC, and you don’t know where to start, we can make the process easier with our Operating Agreement Template.

Step 6: Apply for your West Virginia business’s necessary licenses and permits

Every business in West Virginia must obtain a West Virginia Business Registration Certificate. This is the state’s version of a General Business License, and it requires a fee. Almost every business will also need additional licenses and permits to do what they do. Business licenses and permits may be issued at the federal, state, or local level. They’re generally industry, activity, or location-specific. It can take a lot of research to figure out exactly what you need and when. Or you can just have us find out for you by using our Business License Report.  

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

Companies formed in another state or country are referred to as foreign companies. To do business in West Virginia, these businesses must apply for a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State. There is a West Virginia filing fee required for this document. A Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Existence must be submitted along with the application. 

Step 8: Check West Virginia’s annual report requirements and fees

All business entities registered in West Virginia must file an annual report. This document serves to update the state with all current information about the business. One of the hardest things is remembering to get that report turned in.

You’re a business owner now and you’re going to be busy. Let us help by using our Annual Report Service

Step 9: Keep your West Virginia business legally compliant

Growth and change are important parts of a successful business. The state wants to know about these changes. From time to time you may need to amend your formation documents to reflect updates to your business. Depending on the changes you need to make, multiple documents may be required, and each includes West Virginia business filing fees. 

It’s important to stay compliant and keep all documents current. There is a lot to remember, but we can help with our Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes two annual amendments

Let’s grow your West Virginia business together

We’re here to support you in your business venture. Failing to meet all compliance requirements can result in penalties, fees, and even dissolution of the business. We can’t run the business for you, but we can help you file your documents on time, see that any necessary fees are paid, and keep your business in good standing with the state. Our compliance tools can help give you the time and energy to focus on what you do best. 

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.

FAQs

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the West Virginia government?

    Failing to meet all compliance and fee requirements can result in penalties, additional fees, and even dissolution of the business.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my West Virginia business?

    Pay your fees to the West Virginia Secretary of State.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my West Virginia business?

    Fees vary by business entity and document, but generally, formation fees are the biggest.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the West Virginia government?

    You can pay online using a debit card, credit card, or ACH bank account. Hard copy filings require a check or money order.

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