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West Virginia Registered Agents

Every business entity needs to formally appoint a person or business to act as a Registered Agent, which in West Virginia is also known as an “Agent for Service of Process.” Your West Virginia Agent provides various services to LLCs, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the West Virginia Secretary of State.

It’s important to know that your LLC must have a West Virginia Agent at all times. You will appoint a Registered Agent when you first start your business, and you can also replace your existing Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new Agent.

West Virginia Requirements for Registered Agents

There are certain rules that you must follow when you’re appointing a West Virginia Agent for your business. They are:

  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in West Virginia
  • If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in West Virginia
  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in West Virginia, not a P.O. Box
  • The Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence

Note that the Registered Agent address does not need to be the same as your West Virginia LLC business address.

The Purpose of a West Virginia Registered Agent

Your West Virginia Registered Agent carries out several valuable services for your business. They accept official communications and documents from the Secretary of State on your behalf. This may include:

  • Correspondence from the West Virginia Secretary of State, like a notice to file reports and other forms
  • Service of process documents (for example, if your LLC has legal proceedings issued against it)
  • Official West Virginia and federal government documents, form filings and requests for information (including taxes, permits and company filings)

Incfile’s West Virginia Registered Agent Service

If you have an LLC that’s incorporated in West Virginia and you need a Registered Agent, we can help. Incfile provides a complete Registered Agent service for any West Virginia business—and it’s even free (+ state fee) for your first year (normally a $119 annual cost).

We are authorized to conduct business in West Virginia and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what the Incfile West Virginia Registered Agent service provides for your LLC:

  • An always-available West Virginia Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf
  • A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
  • Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
  • Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
  • Your first year free (+ state fee), whether you incorporate with Incfile or not

Your Options for Appointing a West Virginia Registered Agent

You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first incorporate your West Virginia LLC. when you need to change your Registered Agent, or at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Appoint a Registered Agent Service When You Create Your West Virginia LLC

Your business needs to have a West Virginia Registered Agent Service as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this through one of the following methods.

File Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State

You will need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Articles of Organization. This is the form that you file with the Secretary of State to formally create your business.

Incorporate Through Incfile and Get a Free West Virgina Registered Agent

When you incorporate through us, we complete and file your Articles of Organization based on the information you’ve provided. Additionally, we give you a free West Virginia Registered Agent service for the first year, and we’ll include details of your Registered Agent in the form that we file.

Change Your West Virginia Registered Agent After Your LLC Is Formed

You can also change your Registered Agent service after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

Choose a Registered Agent Service and File a Form with the West Virginia Secretary of State

Once you’ve chosen a new West Virginia Registered Agent, you can complete a form. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Secretary of State so they can update your records.

Sign up for Incfile’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf

When you choose to use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the necessary form on your behalf and send it to the West Virginia Secretary of State. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.

West Virginia Registered Agent Search

In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another West Virginia LLC. If you do, you can search the business database of the Secretary of State, which will often provide details of a specific business’s Registered Agent.

If the Registered Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the West Virginia Secretary of State requesting the information.

Possible Outcomes of Not Assigning a Registered Agent for Your West Virginia LLC

What happens if you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the West Virginia Secretary of State? There are several possible ramifications, including:

  • Getting served or sued and not finding out about it: If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
  • Falling out of good standing with the West Virginia Secretary of State: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), certain states may revoke your right to do business.
  • Losing your status as a West Virginia LLC: A Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your West Virginia LLC may be dissolved.

You Can Appoint Yourself as Your Own West Virginia Registered Agent

If you have an address in West Virginia, you can choose to be the Registered Agent for your LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:

  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in West Virginia. If you’re forming an LLC outside WV, you will need to use an in-state Registered Agent. You always need to have someone on hand during business hours at the West Virginia address to sign for important documents.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the West Virginia Secretary of State's website. If you would prefer your name and address aren’t published, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your West Virginia business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the WV Secretary of State for the new address if you act as your own Registered Agent. This would not be the case if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.

FAQs About West Virginia Registered Agents

Do I Need to Appoint a West Virginia Registered Agent?

Yes. All LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the West Virginia Secretary of State.

When Can I Assign a West Virginia Registered Agent Service?

You can either do it when you incorporate your West Virginia business through paperwork filed with the Secretary of State or afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we will file all necessary forms on your behalf.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in West Virginia?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it, for the reasons listed above. If you still want to be your own Registered Agent, you just need to fill in the correct forms and pay a fee to the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Does My WV Registered Agent Need to Have an Address in West Virginia?

Yes. Additionally, if they are a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state.

Useful Resources for West Virginia Registered Agent Services

You might find these resources helpful:

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