Welcome to the Start a Business guide to entity registration in the state of Virginia. This webpage has been created to provide insight into the registration process for partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations as implemented by the State Corporation Commission. An online portal has been designed in which business representatives can submit and manage their filings. While this streamlined filing system is available for domestic stock corporations and standard limited liability companies, the remaining entity types will be required to submit their documents by mail. Below you will find links to our in-depth tutorials covering each filing procedure and function. Scroll down to get started!
Start an Entity
Virginia Online Account
Registering for an online account in Virginia is necessary for domestic stock corporations and all standard limited liability companies that are planning on using the online portal to file. Once created, filers will be able to manage their applications and stay up to date on the status of their business. Furthermore, an online account is also required for the majority of entity types when submitting annual registration fees and reports. A tutorial on account creation can be found here for anyone seeking assistance on this procedure.
Search for a Name
The Virginia State Corporation Commission offers a Business Entity Search function for individuals who would like to gain more knowledge about a particular business entity. Once the details of a business have been accessed, you will be able to request official forms, pay registration fees or update the state with any changes to your business. It is also through this search that filers will be able to research the availability of their desired operating name prior to registration.
How to File in Virginia
Step 1- Filers must begin by choosing a name that is unique and distinguishable from that of any other business registered with the State Corporation Commission. To verify that the proposed name is indeed unique, we recommend that a Business Entity Search be performed prior to registration. With a name chosen, you may then reserve it for a period of 120 days by filing a $10 Name Reservation application.
Step 2- The actual filing process begins by either logging into your online account or by downloading the PDF file associated with your entity type. From there you will need to supply the requisite information described in our tutorials. Click on the link below corresponding to your entity type to gain more knowledge about the exact filing requirements.
- Domestic Stock Corporation
- Domestic Professional Stock Corporation
- Domestic Non-Stock Corporation
- Foreign Stock Corporation
- Domestic Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company
- Foreign Limited Liability Company
- General Partnership
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
Step 3- After the required information has been submitted online, or entered into the appropriate PDF application, you will need to gather all additional forms and fees. Filers of foreign entities must include a certificate of good standing from their initial jurisdiction of formation. The online application process is completed upon payment of the filing fee by credit card (see filing fee list below). Individuals submitting their completed forms by mail will need to pay via check made out to the State Corporation Commission. All physical filing forms should be mailed to the below address.
State Corporation Commission
Office of the Clerk
P.O. Box 1197 – Richmond, Virginia 23218
- Domestic Stock Corporation- $25 + $50 for each additional 25,000 shares
- Domestic Professional Stock Corporation- $25 + $50 for each additional 25,000 shares
- Domestic Non-Stock Corporation- $75
- Foreign Stock Corporation- $25 + $50 for each additional 25,000 shares
Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Limited Liability Company- $100
- Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company- $100
- Foreign Limited Liability Company- $100
- General Partnership- $25
- Domestic Limited Partnership- $100
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $100
- Foreign Limited Partnership- $100
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $100
While a name reservation application is not required in the state of Virginia, many business representatives choose to file one when registering a new entity. This document, once accepted by the State Corporation Commission, will grant filers 120 days in which they can prepare their registration documents while the use of their desired operating name is secured. Reservations must be filed through the mail by forwarding a PDF application to the Corporation Commission along with a $10 filing fee. A more in-depth description of the filing process can be found here.
Certificate of Good Standing
Obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing is a simple procedure that many filers will need to undergo when attempting to apply for registration in a state/country outside of their own jurisdiction or when requesting financing from a financial institution. This certification is only available to entities that are currently active and that have their annual reports successfully filed and their registration fees fully paid. Requesting a certificate can be accomplished by following the steps found in our tutorial.
It is always highly advisable to draft an agreement when registering a new business, though it is not legally required in Virginia. The agreements listed below will serve as a binding contract between your entity’s managing members, effectively standardizing the rules and regulations under which they will be required to operate. Essentially, a document of this nature is used to delineate the nature of the relationship between the company officials and the entity itself. To find out more information, and to download a free agreement template, click on the link below associated with your entity type.
Employer Identification Number
Applying for an Employer Identification Number should be done as soon as acceptance of registration has been received from the State Corporation Commission. The Internal Revenue Service uses EINs to identify businesses for tax reporting purposes. Once obtained, your business will be eligible to perform a number of transactions that are crucial to the operation of any successful organization. Tasks as basic as opening checking and savings accounts will be impossible without an EIN. This tutorial has been created to educate individuals on the Online and paper filing procedures.