Why Start a Virginia LLC?
In 2019, Virginia was ranked the #4 best state for business in the U.S. Located right next to Washington D.C., Virginia is located within 745 miles of 56 percent of all U.S. consumers, giving it a centralized location to conduct business.
For most people who want to start a business, creating a Virginia limited liability company (LLC) is the easiest and fastest way. An LLC is an ideal business entity for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses because it offers the advantages and protections that larger corporations benefit from, but with simpler rules and regulations.
If an LLC isn't the right entity for the type of business you're starting, you may want to consider forming a Virginia Corporation instead.
Benefits of starting a Virginia LLC
Quickly and simply file, manage, ensure compliance, regulate and administer of your Virginia LLC
Separate and limit your personal liability from your business liability and debts
Easily file taxes and find potential advantages for tax treatment
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register and file your LLC, and how you'll interact with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Starting a Business in Virginia Checklist
To help you along the way, use our Starting a Business checklist to keep track of everything you need to do to get your business up and running.
How to Form a Virginia LLC Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Step 2 - Provide an Official Address for Your VA LLC
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Create an Operating Agreement
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
You’ll need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in VA. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using our Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Virginia Business Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Virginia. To find out whether another company is using your chosen business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a name search on the Virginia State Corporation Commission website.
Provide an Official Address for Your VA LLC
Every Virginia LLC must have a designated street address, whether it’s an office building, a home (if you run the company from your residence) or any other physical location. It can be outside the state, and it cannot be a P.O. Box.
You may also be able to use a virtual mailbox for your business address. Incfile can provide you with a Virginia virtual mailbox, where we'll receive your mail and scan it for your online review. This can be especially convenient if you run a home-based business and don't want your home address published as part of your business public record.
Assign a Virginia Registered Agent
Someone who receives official correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Virginia Secretary of State is known as a Registered Agent. Every Virginia LLC is required to have a Registered Agent.
You can fill this position, assign another manager in your business or use a Registered Agent service. If your Virginia Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in Virginia and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company.
You'll appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization in Virginia to create your business.
All of Incfile’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also access a digital dashboard to view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission
Once you've gathered all the information for your LLC, you’ll need to file a form with the State Corporation Commission to create your Articles of Organization in Virginia. This will officially create your business.
Your Articles of Organization can be filed online via the state's digital portal. You can also mail the form to the Office of the Secretary of State, or Incfile can file it on your behalf. Virginia LLC filing fee is $100.
File by Mail
State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but every year after, you'll also need to file an annual report. Incfile can remind you about this every year, or we can do it for you if you have us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to form a Virginia LLC?
Last day of anniversary month of organization
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the Virginia LLC formation process.
Create an Operating Agreement
A kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement outlines how decisions will be made, how the business is divided among members and what will happen if a member leaves the company.
Some states require companies to create this document. You're not legally required to have a Virginia Operating Agreement, but it’s a good idea to have one to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Other Virginia LLC Types
If your business operates in another state and you want to expand into Virginia—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about Virginia Foreign LLC registration.
Helpful Resources from the Virginia State Corporation Commission
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the state business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, assumed names, reserving a business name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the duties they fulfill and the rules they’re required to follow.
Details the various fees you’ll need to pay, and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes information about Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, public information reports and more.
Covers the various taxes you’ll have to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details about state taxes such as sales and franchise, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.