How to Start an LLC in Virginia by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

How to Start an LLC in Virginia

Once you've decided to form an LLC in Virginia, you'll need to know how to get started. Find out more about the registration requirements, forms you’ll need, information about fees, naming requirements, and more.

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated August 11, 2017 ·  5min read

LLCs in Virginia are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of Virginia has some unique LLC requirements.

Interested parties must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of a Virginia LLC are:

Registration. LLCs are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission. This is done online or by mail. The Articles of Organization must include the following pertinent information:

  • LLC name, address and county or city where LLC office exists
  • Registered agent’s name and address
  • Organizer’s name, phone number, signature and date

LLCs are required to submit signed original Articles of Organization to the Clerk of State Corporation Commission, accompanied by the necessary fees.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. There is a filing fee that must be paid upon submission of the documents. Documents to be expedited the next day are charged an additional expediting fee. For same-day processing, there is an expediting fee.

Timeline. The usual processing time for filing is between three to five business days. For expedited services, you can choose between same-day and next-day services, which have additional corresponding fees.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make it distinguishable from those of other LLCs and to include specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the State Corporation Commission.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. All submissions must be accompanied by the filing fee.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability company operating agreement among its members.

Ready to start your LLC?      START AN LLC ONLINE NOW


Starting an LLC in Virginia

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in Virginia, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC .

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Virginia State Corporation Commission:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, L.L.C., LC or L.C.

Names may be reserved for up to 120 days. You may file a name reservation application with the State Corporation Commission by submitting a completed request form and required fee via mail. Do not forget to include the name to be reserved as well as the applicant’s name, address, phone number and signature.

You may also have a preferred name checked for availability by accessing the State Corporation Commission’s website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. This is also referred to as the resident agent.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Virginia are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Virginia recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically the payment of annual registration fees. LLCs in Virginia are required to pay an annual registration fee on or before the last day of the month in which the LLC was formed, in all subsequent years following the year of formation. A notice via mail will be sent to the registered agent every year to remind your LLC of the annual registration fee payment. The registration process may be done online, by mail or in person. There is a penalty fee for payments made after the date stipulated in the notice sent by mail.

Please note that continuing legal obligations may include, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual reports and so on. It is your responsibility to know what these continuing legal obligations are in order for your LLC to remain in good standing with the state.

Filing an LLC and Taxes

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Virginia:

1. Forms. Complete and submit Articles of Organization, along with the required filing fee, to the State Corporation Commission.

2. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement is not submitted with the Articles of Organization to the State Corporation Commission, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This document should be kept on file by the registered agent.

3. Taxes. LLCs in Virginia are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation, as your LLC may be subject to other taxes akin to the kind of business your LLC is involved with.

Start an LLC online in Virginia in three easy steps. LegalZoom provides LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in Virginia.

Ready to start your LLC? START AN LLC ONLINE NOW
Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.