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Starting a new limited liability company (LLC) in West Virginia is an exciting prospect. If you’re thinking of forming an LLC, there are several things you’ll need to do to get it up and running. First and foremost, you’ll need to file your West Virginia Articles of Organization with West Virginia’s Office of the Secretary of State (SOS).
Filing your West Virginia Articles of Organization will help to ensure that your business is legally compliant. Your West Virginia Articles of Organization will also be the legal document the SOS relies on for information about your business.
Short on time? Use our convenient West Virginia LLC Formation Service to file your legal documents quickly and hassle-free.
The following steps will give you a good head-start and help you understand the expected information needed to complete your Articles of Organization LLC Washington form. Keep in mind that you may need additional information depending on your individual circumstances.
Ever hear the saying “What’s in a name?” When it comes to your LLC, a good name can make or break your business. Just make sure to check West Virginia’s state laws about choosing a unique name and other business name regulations before settling on the perfect moniker.
If you want to make sure your proposed LLC name is unique and available, you can use West Virginia’s SOS online Business Entity Search to check its obtainability. Or call the SOS Business Division at 304-558-8000 to speak with a Business Specialist for a non-binding name check. We can also help with our Business Name Checker.
In West Virginia, you can register two different types of limited liability business structures: an LLC or a professional LLC. Be sure to peruse West Virginia’s SOS handy Business Structure List to learn more about the differences between the two before choosing.
In step three, you’ll need to include your LLC’s initial designated physical address and its initial designated mailing address if the mailing address differs from where your LLC is physically located.
Don’t forget to also provide an email address where correspondence from a government agency like the SOS can reach your LLC. And if your LLC has a website, be sure to include it on your West Virginia LLC Articles of Organization form as well.
Once you’ve reserved your LLC name, West Virginia requires you to designate a registered agent. A registered agent is a business or individual able to receive legal documents, notices like service of process, and demands on an LLC’s behalf. Companies may elect an LLC member as their registered agent. But you can also use our Registered Agent Service and let us find a suitable registered agent for your LLC.
West Virginia’s Articles of Organization request that you provide the names and addresses of at least one of your LLC’s organizers. If your LLC has more than one organizer, you’ll need to provide all organizers’ names and addresses to complete your business registration.
There are several ways to organize and operate limited liability companies. First, you’ll need to decide whether your LLC is an “at-will” or “term” company. An at-will company conducts business for an indefinite period. A term company is an LLC operating for a set number of years. If you choose the term, you’ll need to designate the number of years you expect your company to operate.
You’ll also be asked to indicate whether your company is “member-managed” or “manager-managed.” In a member-managed LLC, the business owners retain collective control over company decisions and participate in daily operations. On the other hand, manager-managed LLCs turn management over to a professional manager or elected members.
For both member-managed and manager-managed companies, you’ll need to list the names and addresses of all the members or managers in your company.
When you fill out your formation documents, West Virginia will ask you to select the date you expect your LLC Articles of Organization in West Virginia to be effective. Your requested date can’t be earlier than the document filing or later than 90 days after filing with the West Virginia SOS.
After gathering the information you need to file your West Virginia LLC Articles of Organization, you can find the form online. Next, fill the form out and walk into the SOS office, or mail it with all required filing fees and a Custom Order Request form. You can walk in or send it to one of the three West Virginia SOS Business Office Centers listed on the form. Or you can email the documents to CorpFilings@wvsos.gov.
For expedited, twenty-four-hour, two-hour, or one-hour service, send your forms and required extra filing fees to eFilings@wvsos.gov along with your custom order request.
After filing your West Virginia Secretary of State certification of formation for your LLC, be sure to take these next two steps to ensure that you’re on your way to setting up your business correctly.
Multi-member LLCs benefit from an Operating Agreement. An Operating Agreement is a regulatory document designed to specify well-defined rules about LLC member roles and relationships inside the company. The most effective Operating Agreements include details like an LLC’s management structure, percent of ownership, member voting rights, ways and rights to dissolve, and how the company will share and distribute profits.
Don’t know where to start? Our Operating Agreement Template can help you write up an Operating Agreement that works best for your LLC type and structure.
Your multiple-member LLC will use an EIN, or an identification number, on federal tax returns. The State of West Virginia requires an EIN for all multi-member LLCs. But it doesn’t require single-member LLCs to use one.
Even if you’re a single-member LLC, using an EIN can be beneficial. It can help you do things like file your LLC’s federal tax returns and open business bank accounts without sharing private information such as your social security number.
Whether you have a multi-member or single-member LLC, we can take care of your EIN using our Employer ID Number Service. Let us do the busy work so you can spend more time launching your new company.
New business ventures are both exciting and tiring. While you focus on building your empire, we can help with multiple business formation and maintenance tasks. We can help you keep track of your invoices, expenses, and income with our ZenBusiness Money Service and help ensure that your business is legally compliant using our Worry-Free Compliance Service. Let us take these tasks off your plate so you can concentrate on building the business you dreamed of.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational 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.
If you decide to amend your West Virginia Articles of Organization, file an original West Virginia Articles of Amendment to Articles of Organization form with one of West Virginia’s three SOS Business Offices along with the required filing fees. Or you can use our West Virginia Amendment Filing Service and let us take care of any changes.
If you want to dissolve an LLC in West Virginia, two dissolution forms are available. You can fill out a Voluntary Dissolution of a West Virginia Corporation form or a Never Commencing Business Dissolution form and file it with the West Virginia SOS.
The West Virginia government designed its One-Stop Business Portal to help people get new companies off the ground. The portal offers links to all the forms you’ll need to start a corporation, as well as a handy FAQ section. Be sure also to check out its new business start-up wizard to help you get started.
West Virginia doesn’t require an operating agreement. But it’s still a good idea to have one. An operating agreement can designate relationships and roles between an LLC’s owners and members and help to avoid company conflict and organizational instability.
No. A lawyer isn’t required to form an LLC in West Virginia. However, while you don’t need an attorney to get your LLC started, a seasoned professional can help you decide things like whether an LLC is the best business structure for you. An attorney can also help you settle on the best things to include in your operating agreement and may provide essential advice that can help you get going.