We’ve compiled the most common fees so you know exactly what to expect when starting your West Virginia LLC.
Starting an LLC in West Virginia requires a few steps. We will walk you through the process and the cost. But if you want us to take care of the initial paperwork, we can start your West Virginia LLC today for $0 (plus state fees).
The bare minimum cost to start a business in West Virginia is $130, and additional options will add only small amounts.
$130. The Articles of Organization filing fee is $130.
$15. Before you go to the trouble to start your LLC, check to see if the business name you want is available. You can search online or call to ask and then submit an Application for Name Reservation for $15. If approved, this holds your name for 120 days so no one else can take it.
Otherwise, you can include the name you want on your Articles of Organization.
$30. It’s important to know that filing your Articles of Organization is only the first step in forming your LLC. You can’t do business in West Virginia until you also obtain a West Virginia business registration certificate from the West Virginia State Tax Department.
You have to pay a $30 registration tax when submitting this form.
Beyond the basics, the fees for your business really depend on what type of business you’re forming.
You must file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $25. For veteran-owned businesses, this fee is waived for the first 4 years.
Some businesses opt to “do business as” (DBA) another business name. This can be helpful if you start a subsidiary business like adding “Sue’s Catering” to “Sue’s Restaurant.”
If you plan to do business under any name besides the one registered in your Articles of Organization, you must register it as a trade name with the Secretary of State. The fee for this application is $25.
A foreign LLC that wants to transact business in West Virginia must apply for a Certificate of Authority unless it’s exempt under West Virginia Code §31B-10-1003. The application must include a “certificate of good standing” or a “certificate of existence” from the foreign LLC’s formation state.
The Certificate of Authority application fee is $150. This fee may be waived for qualifying veteran-owned businesses.
When a foreign company’s business name isn’t available for use in West Virginia (or doesn’t comply with West Virginia’s naming rules), the business must register a forced DBA name.
You do this by filing a name registration with the Secretary of State for $25. The renewal fee is $10.
Additionally, it must submit a forced DBA name letter of resolution together with the foreign company’s initial business registration. The letter needs to be drafted on company letterhead and approved by its officers. In the letter, the officers must authorize the use of the forced DBA name in West Virginia.
To register your LLC in another state or to get financing, you might have to present a Certificate of Existence for your LLC. The fee for this is $10.
West Virginia requires business licenses, permits, or registrations for a variety of specific business types.
If you aren’t sure which filing requirements apply to your business, our partners at Avalara can run a Business License Report for you. The report will tell you which licenses your business needs to operate legally at the federal, state, county, and local levels.
For just $0, we can form your West Virginia LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $0 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in West Virginia.
Yes. For instance, there is a $50 late fee for filing your annual report late. If you don’t keep up with the requirements, the Secretary of State may dissolve your LLC. This could leave you without the liability protection you got by forming an LLC instead of a sole proprietorship or general partnership.
The West Virginia State Tax Department also may charge you penalties up to $100 per day for each day you operate without a business registrat
If you don’t pay a filing fee, the West Virginia government won’t file your document.
The Secretary of State receives the filing fee.
The largest fee is the $130 to file your Articles of Organization.
The West Virginia government accepts cash as well as checks or money orders made payable to the West Virginia Secretary of State. It also accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards.
What should you do next?
Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable from other West Virginia business names. It also must contain one of the following:
Again, it’s a good idea to check that your proposed business name is available in West Virginia before filing your LLC paperwork.
Another thing to consider when choosing a business name is whether the matching domain name is available. Your customers have a better chance of finding you if your business’s name is also your website.
So before you decide on your LLC’s name, run your business name through our Business Name Checker to see if the domain name is in use. If the domain name is available, you can reserve your business name now.
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The principal place of business (where you keep your corporate records) for your LLC will be its principal office. The principal office doesn’t have to be in West Virginia, but you do need to list the county in which it sits in your Articles of Organization. The Articles of Organization also asks for your physical office address in West Virginia.
A registered agent is a person or entity chosen by your company to receive service of process and other official documents for your business. West Virginia doesn’t require you to designate a registered agent, but you may.
If you don’t designate a registered agent, service of process will be delivered to the Secretary of State. That office will then mail it to your LLC’s principal office.
It’s a good idea to have a registered agent because you don’t want to miss important documents related to your business. We can help you find a West Virginia registered agent so you don’t experience any delays in dealing with important matters.
If you designate a person as your registered agent, that individual must be a West Virginia resident.
You can also choose a West Virginia corporation, another LLC, or a foreign corporation or foreign company authorized to do business in West Virginia.
If you decide to name a person or business as your registered agent, make sure to keep your registered agent current with the Secretary of State. If you need to make a change, the filing fee is $15.
You can file your Articles of Organization online or by mail together with the $130 fee. The application form lists 3 possible mailing addresses as well as where to take your form for expedited filing.
Send two originals if you want the Secretary of State to send you a filed, date-stamped copy free of charge.
Veteran-owned businesses and young entrepreneurs should check first to see if they qualify for fee waivers.
Before you get up and running, don’t forget to file your new business registration application. You can’t operate without a business registration certificate.
You can file online or by mail. If you file by mail, send your application and $30 registration fee to this address:
West Virginia State Tax Department
Tax Account Administration Division
Registration \u0026 Account Correction Unit
PO Box 2666
Charleston, WV 25330-2666
Keep in mind that you need a separate certificate for each fixed business location where you sell property or services or where customer accounts are managed.
An operating agreement describes how the company will run and manage finances. It also clarifies the relationship between its members and managers.
West Virginia doesn’t require LLCs to have written or oral operating agreements. However, if your LLC doesn’t have one, or if it’s incomplete, then West Virginia law will fill in the blanks.
Specifically, West Virginia lists many things an operating agreement may not do. It’s worth researching when you’re drafting your LLC’s operating agreement.
We can also help by providing ideas for your operating agreement with our Operating Agreement Template.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax ID Number, registers your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Though you may be able to use your social security number to file taxes with the IRS if you have a single-member LLC, most LLC owners prefer to get an EIN.
Insurance companies sometimes ask for one when you apply for insurance coverage. Banks also often require an EIN when you open a business bank account.
We can take care of the paperwork for you with our Employer ID Number Service.
West Virginia requires LLCs to file annual reports. Depending on what kind of business you have, other yearly filing requirements may apply. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service can remind you of deadlines and put your mind at ease.
You also need to keep track of various state and local tax obligations. Consult our West Virginia Small Business Tax Guide if you aren’t sure which ones apply to your LLC.
Remember to keep the Secretary of State informed if you make any major changes to your LLC. File the appropriate form if you make amendments to your LLC, change your address, or replace your registered agent. And if you open a new location, you’ll need a new business registration certificate.
We are here to help from beginning to end. If you’re just trying to map out your idea, our Business Plan Template can help you organize your thoughts and plans. If you’re already well on your way, our services and resources can help you avoid expensive mistakes and penalties.
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.
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