How to start a West Virginia Limited Liability Company:
You must file the LLC Articles of Organization to start an LLC in West Virginia. It costs $100, and whether you do it online or by mail doesn’t matter.
This has to be sent to form the Secretary of State in West Virginia. And once it’s accepted, your LLC is officially up and running.
If you want to start an LLC in West Virginia, there are other steps to take. For example, getting the needed Certificate of Business Registration costs $30.
We break down the process of setting up an LLC in West Virginia step by step and share tips we’ve picked up over the years. Starting an LLC in West Virginia is easy; you can do it today.
LLC LLC Prices in West Virginia Requirements Costs of Organizational Documents $100
A. Look up the name of your LLC
First, check to see if the name you want for your West Virginia LLC is available in the state.
You can use the Business Entity Search to do this. You can look for your business name to see if it is already in use by a West Virginia business. You have to do this because, in the state, all companies can have different names.
Next, you’ll need to learn about the rules for business names in West Virginia.
Section 31B-1-105 of the West Virginia LLC Act tells you what you need to know about naming a Limited Liability Company.
The Secretary of State in West Virginia requires that the name of your Limited Liability Company end with a proper designator. In West Virginia, you can call an LLC “LLC,” “Limited Liability Company,” “LC,” “Limited Company,” or “Ltd. Liability Co.”
Your LLC can’t have a name that sounds like it’s a different kind of business arrangement. For instance, you can’t use the words or forms Corporation, Corp., Inc., Incorporated, Foundation, or Foundations in your name. There are also other rules, like making sure that the name of your LLC doesn’t sound like a government organization.
B. Review West Virginia Registered Agent Rules
The next step is deciding whether your LLC needs a Registered Agent.
A registered Agent is a person or business that accepts legal mail on behalf of your West Virginia Limited Liability business. This is called the Service of Process.
In West Virginia, you don’t need a Registered Agent.
You may have heard that a Registered Agent is needed for every LLC in West Virginia. This isn’t true, though, and most websites don’t say so.
In West Virginia, there is no need for a registered agent because the Service of Process is sent to the West Virginia Secretary of State. The Secretary of State sends it to the LLC after that.
Most people who start their own LLCs don’t really need to list a Registered Agent on their paperwork. You can save more than $100 a year by doing this.
On the other hand, you can hire a Registered Agent Service if you want a company to form your LLC for you.
C. Give your West Virginia LLC an EIN.
The next step is to go to the IRS website and get an EIN Number (also called a FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number) for your LLC.
It is used to identify your LLC for tax reasons, pay business taxes, apply for the required Business Registration Certificate, and open a business bank account.
And, if necessary, to pay employees, get a credit card or loan for the business;
Get licenses and permits for your business.
Important: Most states don’t let you get an EIN until your LLC is accepted. But because of how West Virginia’s online filing system is set up, you’ll need your EIN before you can send in your LLC paperwork.
But before you get an EIN for your LLC, you should call the Secretary of State to see if the name you want is already taken. After getting a casual name approval, you should apply to the IRS for your EIN.
It costs nothing to get an Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Tax ID Number). Federal Tax ID Numbers are free to get from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
How to get an EIN if you are a US citizen or live in the US: If you already have an SSN or ITIN, you should apply for an EIN online. Here are directions with steps: Online, you can ask for an EIN.
Non-US Residents: You can still get an EIN for your LLC even if you don’t have an SSN or ITIN. There is no way to apply online. You have to apply by mail or fax instead. Here are directions with steps: How to get an EIN if you don’t have an SSN or an ITIN.
D. Send in the Articles of Organization for West Virginia
Articles of Organization must be filed with the Secretary of State in order to start an LLC.
The fee for filing your West Virginia Articles of Organization is $100. This fee is paid only once when you set up your LLC.
They can be filed either online or by mail, but we suggest filing online. This is because it’s easy, and you can get your required Business Registration Certificate at the same time.
In our West Virginia Articles of Organization lesson, we will show you step-by-step how to file online.
LLC approval time
If you file online, it usually takes 5–10 working days for a West Virginia will take 5–10 working days for them to be approved, plus the time it takes to get to you. Please see how long does it take to get a West Virginia LLC? This will help you find out if there are any delays.
E. Get a Certificate of Registration for Your West Virginia Business
The State Tax Department requires all LLCs in West Virginia to get a Business Registration Certificate. The Certificate lets you do business in West Virginia and works like a general business license.
To get the Certificate, you have to pay $30.
Recommendation: If you follow the steps in #4, the Certificate application will be part of the online filing. It’s easier to do it this way.
But if you already have an LLC in West Virginia or hired a company to set up your LLC, you’ll need to apply for your Certificate separately. And the mail-in application is the only way to do this. On this page, we have information about how to file: A Certificate of Registration for a Business in West Virginia.
Tip: You can call the West Virginia State Tax Department at 304-558-3333 to find out if your LLC already has a Business Registration Certificate.
F. Make an operating agreement for your LLC.
An LLC Operating Agreement in West Virginia is a written deal that says who owns the LLC and how much of it each person owns.
Operating Agreements can also say how taxes are paid, how gains are split, how the LLC is run, and what its business goal is.
Both Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs should have an Operating Agreement, according to us.
An LLC Operating Agreement can help show in court that your LLC is being run correctly as a separate legal body.
No state or federal body needs to see your Operating Agreement. It also doesn’t have to be signed by a notary. Just keep a copy of the business records of your LLC and give a copy to each Member.
Your Operating Agreement can be changed as needed. You can make any changes you want as long as everyone agrees.
G. Submit the annual report for your West Virginia LLC
Every year, every LLC in the state has to file a West Virginia LLC Annual Report.
Each year, you have to pay $25 to file your Annual Report.
And every year, your LLC Annual Report is due by June 30.
When do I have to give my first Annual Report? Your first Annual Report is due a year after your LLC was accepted. For example, your first Annual Report is due on June 30, 2024, if your LLC was accepted on February 15, 2023.
How to submit an Annual Report for an LLC: With the One Stop Business Portal, you can file your LLC Annual Report online. Fill out the form and send in your $25.
After your Limited Liability Company is set up,
After your LLC is set up, there are a few more steps to take.
LLC bank account for business
For an LLC, you’ll need to open a business bank account. This makes it much easier to keep your business’s books and records.
By keeping your business finances separate from your finances, having a separate business bank account keeps your personal assets safe from business debts.
Credit card for a business
After you open a business bank account for an LLC, the bank will give you a debit card. But you might also want to get a credit card for your business to get benefits. This is also helpful for keeping work costs and personal costs separate.
Website and web address
You can look to see if your business name can be used as a domain name. You can use GoDaddy to look for your domain name.
License to do business in West Virginia City
Your LLC may need more business licenses or permits besides the Certificate (State Business License).
City License for Business: Most towns and cities in West Virginia require businesses to get a City General Business License. Most of the time, the fees are between $10 and $20.
In addition to a City Business License, you may need another business license if your company is regulated by a licensing board (like for a Professional LLC) or another state agency.
West Virginia extra business licenses have more information about all of these.
Phone for business
You can have a business phone number from Phone.com if you don’t want to use your personal or home phone number for your business.
The Secretary of State for West Virginia is
If you have questions about starting an LLC in West Virginia, you can call the Secretary of State:
The Business and Licensing Division of the
West Virginia Secretary of State is at 304-558-8000.