An Agent of Process in West Virginia provides various services, such as accepting formal documents and correspondence from the WV Secretary of State.
Your corporation must have a West Virginia Agent of Process at all times. You appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing agent after formation, provided there is no period during which your business is without an Agent of Process.
The address for your Agent of Process in West Virginia doesn't need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a West Virginia virtual mailbox for your business address.
Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for an Agent of Process. They perform two separate functions and per WV corporation law, you are required to have an Agent of Process.
What West Virginia Agents of Process Do
An Agent of Process' primary function is to accept official correspondence and documentation, including but not limited to:
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your corporation is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the WV Secretary of State
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having an Agent of Process also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Incfile Provides Free West Virginia Agent of Process Services for the First Year
Incfile provides complete West Virginia Agent of Process services for any corporation formed in the state. Even better, if you form your corporation through Incfile, your Agent of Process is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Incfile is authorized to conduct business in West Virginia and able to legally act as your Agent of Process. Here’s what our West Virginia Agent of Process services include:
Appointing an Agent of Process for Your Corporation
When you're forming a West Virginia State corporation, you must appoint an Agent of Process at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign an Agent of Process When You Form Your Corporation
Your business needs to have an Agent of Process as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
When you create your business, you must include your Agent of Process' information in your Articles of Incorporation.
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Agent of Process service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Incorporation for you.
Assign a New Agent of Process After Incorporation
You can also assign someone else as your Agent of Process in West Virginia after you’ve incorporated. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Once you’ve chosen a new Agent of Process, you can file the Change of Agent form available online on the Secretary of State website. At the end of filing,a fee of $15 must be paid to the WV Secretary of State so they can update your records.
When you use our Agent of Process service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect the pertinent information about your business, complete the form and send it to the WV Secretary of State on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Agent of Process.
WV Agent of Process Search
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Agent of Process that represents other WV corporations. You'll find this information in the state's business database.
If you can’t find the Agent of Process information there, you can request it from the Secretary of State.
What Happens If You Don’t Have an Agent of Process?
If you don’t assign or provide an Agent of Process' details to the Secretary of State, you may be subject to certain ramifications, including but not limited to:
- Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your corporation is sued and you don’t respond.
- Losing your status as a corporation in the state. An Agent of Process is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your corporation may be dissolved.
- Falling out of good standing with the WV Secretary of State. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
Acting as Your Own Agent of Process
You can be the Agent of Process for your West Virginia corporation if you have a business office in the state. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:
- The Agent of Process must have a physical street address in West Virginia. If you’re forming a corporation outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Agent of Process.
- Someone must always be available during business hours at the West Virginia address to sign for important documents.
- The Agent of Process' name and address are part of the public record and available through the WV Secretary of State website. If you prefer to keep your name and address private, you should use an Agent of Process service.
- If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use an Agent of Process service, making a move or address change much simpler.
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About West Virginia Agents of Process
Yes. All business entities are required to have a service of process agent (Agent of Process). This is mandated by the WV Secretary of State. You'll find more information above.
You must assign an Agent of Process when you form your business with the Secretary of State. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Yes. And if you use a company as your Agent of Process, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.