How to Start an LLC in West Virginia
How to Start an LLC in West Virginia
LLCs in West Virginia are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of West Virginia has some unique LLC requirements.
Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.
The specifications required of LLCs in West Virginia are:
Registration. LLCs are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This submission must be filed in duplicate and must include the following pertinent information:
- LLC name
- Principal address and designated office address
- Registered agent’s name and address
- An email address and the LLC’s website, if applicable
- Organizer’s name and address
- Type of management (member-managed or manager-managed)
- Whether the LLC will be at-will, for an indefinite period until voluntarily terminated or administratively dissolved, or for a certain length term
- Liability of the members
- Effective date, if other than the filing date
- Number of pages attached in the submission
- Contact details and signature of authorized signatory
Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. There is a filing fee that must be paid upon submission of the documents.
Timeline. The usual processing time for documents and filing is between three to five working days, unless submission volume is higher than usual. Expedited service is not available.
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 Secretary of State.
Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. 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 operating agreement among its members.
Starting a West Virginia LLC
Before you begin the registration process for a West Virginia LLC, 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 West Virginia Secretary of State:
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, L.C. or Ltd. Co.
Names may be reserved for up to 120 days. You may file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State by submitting a name reservation application and the required fee.
Reserved names may be transferred to another person or company by filing a notice of transfer with the Secretary of State.
You may also have a preferred name checked for availability by accessing the West Virginia Secretary of State 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 LLC operating agreement. Although LLCs in West 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 West Virginia recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.
5. Obtain a West Virginia Business Registration Certificate. In order to conduct business in the state, LLCs are required by state law to obtain a West Virginia Business Registration Certificate with the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue. Complete a Registration Certificate Form WV/BUS-APP and submit it to the West Virginia State Tax Department. A copy of the LLC’s Articles of Organization must be attached and it must be accompanied by the filing fee.
6. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports. LLCs in West Virginia are required by state law to submit annual reports. This is filed with the Secretary of State every year between January 1 and July 1 in the years following the year in which the LLC was formed. All reports are filed online and require payment of a filing fee. Failure to submit reports within the allotted time may result in the revocation of the Certificate of Authority.
Filing an LLC and Taxes
Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in West Virginia:
1. Forms. Complete and submit Articles of Organization, along with the required filing fee, to the West Virginia Secretary of State.
2. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement is not submitted with the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State, 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 West 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. Your LLC may be subject to other taxes depending on the kind of services it offers.
LegalZoom provides LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in West Virginia.