Welcome to the West Virginia limited liability company registration guide brought to you by our team here Start a Business. This webpage should serve as an overview of the filing process for both foreign and domestic LLCs and we encourage you to take advantage of the many tutorials linked through this main page in order to get full understanding of what to expect going forward. Due to the streamlined nature of the online filing portal, and the manner in which it consolidates the registration processes a number of state departments, we recommend that filers use this method when submitting their forms. That being said, our tutorials also feature the requisite PDFs for those wishing to file through the mail. The filing of domestic LLCs will cost a total of $100 while all foreign businesses should be prepared to pay $150.

How to File

Step 1- Due to the fact that all businesses in West Virginia are required to operate under a name that is unique to them, the first step we always recommend you take is a Business Entity Search. This will allow you to cross check your chosen designation with the Secretary of State database to ensure that it is distinguishable from all other registered entity names. If you need additional time in which to prepare for filing, you may reserve your entity name for a period of 120 days prior to registration.

Step 2- You must now choose between online registration and paper filing. Those wishing to submit their forms through the Business 4 West Virginia portal will be required to first create an online account before accessing their home page to begin the process. Paper filers will need to download the Secretary of State prescribed PDF. Click on the link below that corresponds with your entity type to learn more about both filing methods.

Step 3- Once the forms have been completed, through the portal or using the PDF file, you will be required to pay the filing fee (domestic-$100, foreign-$150). Payment can be made online by credit card or by check made out to the West Virginia Secretary of State if filing through the mail. The payment of the filing fee will mark the completion of the filing process for online filers. Those who have used the PDF to complete the forms must send it along with the check to the below address to be processed by the Secretary of State.

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

Tips

EIN– If you are forming a new limited liability company, and you are planning on hiring employees, you will be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number. The EIN, or FEIN, is used to identify all employers in the United States that pay withheld taxes on their employees. Without one, you will be extremely restricted in your operations and will not be able to perform some of the most crucial financial transactions. Click on the heading of this paragraph to review our tutorial on the EIN application process. You will have the option of applying either Online using the IRS website or through the mail with a completed Form SS-4.

Operating Agreement– Though it is not legally required in the state of West Virginia, it is always recommended that LLCs use an operating agreement to organize their internal affairs. This document will serve as a binding contract, adhering all managing members to a certain set of rules and regulations. The contents of an operating agreement will not be made available to the public but should instead be kept on file at the principle place of business or registered office to serve as a point of reference. Click on the heading of this paragraph to visit our free agreement templates made available in both MS Word and Adobe PDF formatting.

Renewal– Like in many states, West Virginia businesses are required to renew each year in order to stay in good standing with the Secretary of State. A company can renew by submitting an annual report either online or through the mail with the attached filing fee of $25. If you plan to renew online, you will first need to have an online account with the Business 4 West Virginia online portal. Those submitting their forms through the mail (address found below) will be required to download this PDF, print it off, and attach to it a check made out to the West Virginia Secretary of State. All reports are due by midnight of July 1st.

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

How to (Video)