Why Create a West Virginia LLC?
The state of West Virginia offers various opportunities for business assistance and financial assistance for businesses, provided your LLC meets the specific criteria. For example, with Direct Loan Programs the West Virginia Economic Development Authority can provide up to 45% in financing fixed assets by providing low-interest, direct loans to expanding state businesses and firms located in West Virginia. The length of the loan term is generally 15 years for real estate intensive projects, and five to 10 years for equipment projects. Loan proceeds may be used for the acquisition of land, buildings and equipment.
Creating a West Virginia limited liability company (LLC) is generally the fastest and easiest way for entrepreneurs to start a business in West Virginia. An LLC is an ideal business entity for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, granting you the advantages and protections that larger West Virginia corporations benefit from, with more simplified rules and regulations.
Benefits of starting an West Virginia LLC:
Easily file your taxes and discover potential advantages for tax treatment
Create, manage, regulate, administer and stay in compliance easily
Protect your personal assets from your business liability and debts
Low cost to file ($100)
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, West Virginia business taxes and much more. We also cover your registration needs, filing your West Virginia LLC and how you'll interact with the West Virginia Secretary of State (SOS).
How to Form an LLC in West Virginia Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Complete a West Virginia LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
Step 2 - Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Create an Operating Agreement
Complete a West Virginia LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
You’ll need a name for your LLC that’s original and stands out, but one that’s not used by any other business in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. You'll also need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the West Virginia Business Names page.
Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in West Virginia. To find out whether another company in the state 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 West Virginia Secretary of State online database.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Regardless of whether your business is in an office building, a home (if the company is run from a residence) or any other physical location, every LLC in West Virginia must have a designated street address. It can be located outside the state of West Virginia, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent
Someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the West Virginia Secretary of State is called a Registered Agent. Every LLC in West Virginia is required to have a Registered Agent.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in your business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. If your West Virginia Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in West Virginia and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company. In West Virginia, you appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization and formally create your business.
All of Incfile’s packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also log in to our dashboard and easily view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your West Virginia LLC, you’ll need to file a form with the West Virginia SOS or register an account, and complete it online with an additional $1 online filing fee.
Your Articles of Organization can be filed online for a small additional online filing fee of $1 with the WV One Stop Business Portal. You can email, fax, or hand deliver them to the Office of the Secretary of State, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf. The West Virginia LLC filing fee is $100.
File in Person
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30a - 5:00p EST
North Central WV Business Center
200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: (304) 367-2775
Fax: (304) 627-2243
Hours: Mon. -Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 356-2654
Fax: (304) 260-4360
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST
You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but you must file an annual report every year after. The fee for this, set by the West Virginia SOS, is $25. Incfile can either remind you to do it, or we can do it for you.
What are the fees and requirements to form a business in West Virginia?
Between January 1 and July 1
*includes online processing fees
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 you can have Incfile obtain one for you as part of the West Virginia LLC formation process.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
A kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement details key components of your business - 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 that a company have this document in place. You're not legally required to have a West Virginia LLC Operating Agreement, but it’s a good idea to have one regardless.
Other West Virginia LLC Types
Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) are different from professional corporations in that they typically have licensing requirements applicable to certain fields, such as law and medicine. In order to form a PLLC, you may need a state license to practice.
Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one is right for your business.
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to West Virginia—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about West Virginia Foreign LLC registration.
Helpful Resources from the State of West Virginia
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the West Virginia business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, assumed names, reserving a West Virginia LLC name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details of state taxes such as sales and income, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.