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This webpage has been designed to give a general overview of the corporate filing process in West Virginia. We encourage you to peruse the tutorials linked throughout this page to gain a better understanding of the exact steps required in registration. The West Virginia online filing portal, Business 4 West Virginia, allows you to register with the Secretary of State, State Tax Department, and Unemployment Compensation Division simultaneously. Because of the manner in which it consolidates the three departments, we highly recommend creating an account and filing online. We have also included the PDFs of the Articles of Incorporation and Application for Certificate of Authority for those wishing to submit their filing in the mail. The registration fees for corporations are as follows:

  • Domestic Profit Corporation- $50
  • Domestic Non-Profit Corporation- $25
  • Foreign Profit Corporation- $100
  • Foreign Non-Profit Corporation- $50

How to File

Step 1- The first step that we would recommend is to crosscheck the Secretary of State name database to ensure that no other entity has registered with your chosen name (if this is the case, your filing will most likely be rejected). Review our tutorial on the Business Entity Search to learn more on how to ensure your name’s availability. A Name Reservation might also be useful prior to registration. This filing will secure your name for 120 days and will cost a filing fee of $15.

Step 2- You can now begin the actual filing process. Begin by either logging into your online account or by downloading the appropriate PDF. A detailed step by step guide of the online and paper filing procedures for both foreign and domestic corporations can be found linked below.

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Step 3- Once the forms have been completed, online or by PDF, you will be required to submit them to the Secretary of State with the accompanying filing fee. Those filing online can pay by credit card, the execution of which will effectively submit the application to the state government. Paper filers will need to attach a check made out to the West Virginia Secretary of State and send both items to the below address. Foreign corporations will need to also attach a certificate of good standing or similar document from their jurisdiction of initial incorporation when registering.

Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305

Tips

EIN– If you are forming a new corporation, there’s a very good chance that you will be required to apply for an Employer Identification Number at some point during the formation process. This number is issued by the IRS to identify each employer in the United States that pays withheld taxes on their employees. Without an EIN, it will be impossible to open corporate bank accounts, hire employees, apply for financing or otherwise perform any type of financial transaction. To obtain an EIN for your entity, you may apply via the IRS website or you can choose to download the application form SS-4 in PDF and submit by mail or in person.

Corporate Bylaw- Thought not legally required in the state of West Virginia, a corporate bylaw is a very useful organization document that will contain any provision set forth by the initial incorporators in regards to the management of the entity’s internal affairs. It is recommended by most respected authorities that this agreement be put in place in order to clarify the relationship between the company officials and the entity itself. Click on the heading of this paragraph to gain access to our free template provided in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formatting.

Renewal- It is mandatory that all corporations renew each year with the Secretary of State in order to remain in good standing. The submission of an annual report will allow businesses to update the state authorities with any major structural changes that may have occurred over the previous 12 months. Annual report filings are due on July 1st though notice will be sent at the beginning of each calendar year. The process of renewal can be accomplished easily online with the Business 4 West Virginia portal (online account needed). You may also use this PDF to send your filing in the mail to the address located below. All annual reports must be accompanied with a $25 filing fee, payable by credit card if filing online or by check if submitting your report through the mail.

Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305

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How to (Video)