How to start an LLC in West Virginia

Update: January 6, 2023

By: Tom Macken

Start an LLC in West Virginia how-to

The Mountain State. Hiking. Charleston and the famous John Denver song. West Virginia is known for many things including the stunning Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

So you’ve decided to go for it and are wondering how to form an LLC in West Virginia. But what should you do next to launch your company? Find out about all of the processes you’ll need to follow, as well as the cost and documents required for West Virginia firms below.


1. Name Your West Virginia LLC
2. Select a West Virginia Registered Agent
3. File the Articles of Organization
4. Receive a Certificate From the State
5. Create an Operating Agreement
6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
7. File Biennial Reports
Costs and Next Steps

Small firms may benefit from liability protection as well as tax advantages with an LLC. Follow these easy steps to get your limited liability company (LLC) operating in the state of West Virginia once you’ve decided that an LLC is the most suitable business structure for your requirements.

You have the option of creating the LLC yourself or hiring a reputable business formation service to do the grunt work for you.

1. Designate a Name for Your West Virginia LLC

When choosing a name for a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of West Virginia, there are two primary rules that must be followed:

  • The name of a limited liability company (LLC) has to be distinct from the names of other business organizations already registered with West Virginia’s State Secretary.
  • The name of a limited liability company (LLC) has to include one of the following words or abbreviations: “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” are all abbreviations for “Limited Company.” It is OK to use the abbreviations “Co.” and “Ltd.” in place of the full terms “Company” and “Limited,” respectively.

Check to see whether the name is available

You may check to see whether the name you choose for your West Virginia limited liability company is available by utilizing the West Virginia Secretary of State Business Organization Search to do a search.

Do a name availability check for your LLC

By reserving the name of your selected limited liability company (LLC), you may prevent another business organization in West Virginia from using it before you are able to officially incorporate your firm in the state.

You may reserve your name for up to one hundred and twenty days by submitting an Application for Name Reservation to the WV Secretary of State via mail. The charge to submit paperwork is $15.

2. Get your West Virginia Registered Agent

Every limited liability company that operates in the state of West Virginia is required to appoint an agent to receive legal notices. If the limited liability company (LLC) is taken to court, this refers to a person or company that has agreed to accept service of process on its behalf.

It is possible for the Registered Agent to be either a resident of West Virginia or a business entity that is permitted to conduct operations in the state. The Registered Agent is required to provide evidence of a West Virginia street address where they may be reached.

What is the role of a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent receives tax forms, legal paperwork, lawsuit notices, and government communication on your business’s behalf. Consider the role of your registered agent as that of the point of contact for your company with the state.

Who may serve as a company’s Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent in West Virginia must either be an individual who resides in the state on a permanent basis or a company that is permitted to carry out commerce in West Virginia, such as a Registered Agent service. You have the option of selecting anybody who works for the organization, including yourself.

3. Filing your company’s articles of incorporation.

Your limited liability company (LLC) will be formally recognized after you have a document called the Articles of Organization that lays forth fundamental information about your business. Because this form serves as the legal registration for your company with the state, it is essential that all of the details be accurate.

What should be included in a company’s Articles of Organization?

When completing the Articles of Organization for your West Virginia LLC, you are required to give the following information:

  • LLC’s name
  • LLC’s duration–perpetual or limited
  • Address of the main office of the limited liability company Name and contact information of the registered agent for the limited liability company
  • Location where the State’s Secretary should send notifications to the limited liability company (LLC) through mail.
  • How the Limited Liability Company (LLC) will be run: by its members or by its managers
  • Whether or whether the limited liability company will offer professional services
  • Names and addresses of each individual who was involved in the formation of the limited liability company, as well as the name and location of at least 1 member or manager who has direct knowledge of the activities of the limited liability company.
  • LLCs that are considered to be operating in a state different from the one which they were first registered are considered to be foreign LLCs and are obligated to pay a separate charge.

Filing of Your Organization’s Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Organization will need to be filed with the Secretary of States in order to register the limited liability company. 

The fee is one hundred dollars, but it is waived for LLCs that are controlled by veterans, and it takes between five and ten business days to complete the request. You have the option of paying the following extra costs in order to speed up the filing process:

  • 24 hours: $25
  • Two hours, you’ll pay $250
  • One hour: $500

Either the internet portal or the paper form may be used to complete and submit the necessary paperwork.

4. Obtain a Certificate From West Virginia

After the LLC formation paperwork is submitted and authorized, the state will issue you a certificate confirming its existence if you request it and pay postage.

With this certificate, the limited liability company will be able to get an Employer ID Number (EIN), as well as business permits and a bank account for the LLC.

5. Draft an Operating Agreement for Your Company

Even while establishing a detailed LLC operating agreement is not a legally required step for founding a limited liability company in West Virginia, it is highly suggested for all new limited liability firms to do so.

The following items should be included in the operating agreement:

  • Describe the business structure of the limited liability company.
  • Determine the specific duties and commitments that each member of the limited liability company (LLC) has
  • Structure of the LLC

Significant legal and logistical challenges might await a limited liability company (LLC) in the absence of an operating agreement that defines the precise responsibilities of its members.

6. Obtain a tax ID

A number of limited liability companies (LLCs) will be required to get a Federal Employer’s Identification Number (EIN), often known as a tax ID number. 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that identifies your company to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will need an EIN in order to pay federal employer taxes, open a bank account (in many instances, Novo or Bluevine), or employ people.

On the IRS site, which is accessible without charge, you may check to see whether you need an EIN and submit an application for one online. 

The vast majority of companies are required to obtain an EIN, although a significant exception is provided for single-member limited liability companies, which are permitted to use the owner’s Social Security number instead.

Business Licenses

Depending on the kind of company they run and where they are located in West Virginia, certain limited liability companies (LLCs) may be needed to get one or more business permits from the state or from their respective municipal governments.

Get in touch with the West Virginia State Tax Department in order to get a Business Registration Certificate. This document is also referred to as a Business License. 

To get a license, you will need to fill out the West Virginia New Business Registration Application and pay the associated cost of $30. Send the completed application as well as the cost to:

West Virginia State Tax Department, Registration & Account Correction Unit, Tax Account Administration Division, P.O. Box 2666, Charleston, West Virginia 25330-2666

7. Filing your West Virginia Annual Renewals

Every domestic and international limited liability company that does business in West Virginia is required to submit an annual report and pay a $25 filing fee to the state’s Secretary of State. 

The report is to be submitted between the 1st of January and the 1st of July of each year that follows the calendar year in which the LLC first opened its doors for business.

In January of each year, the State Secretary sends out notifications of the Annual Report either via the mail or by email. Either the Annual Report form or the report itself may be sent in, or the report can be submitted online using the WV One Stop Business Portal.

Fees and Next Steps?


A fee of one hundred dollars is required to submit the Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State. The Secretary of State in West Virginia will charge you $15 to reserve the name of your limited liability company.

Consider the following additional fees that may be incurred by an LLC:

  • Reserving a Name for an LLC
  • Copy of certified documents 
  • DBA (Doing Business As) name
  • Receiving Your Certificate of Existence

What Comes Next 

When you register a limited liability company (LLC), you establish a legal basis upon which to operate your firm. Companies should make it a priority to maintain their limited liability company in compliance with state regulations and in an active position on the state’s website.

In addition, having a registered limited liability company enables you to perform the following:

  • Obtain any permissions or licenses that are required to run your business, such as those issued by the health department, the zoning department, the department of home occupations, the department of professional licensing, and so on. Some states need a seller’s permission to conduct sales
  • Register your company with the department of revenue in your state.
  • Create a bank account for your company.
  • Create a credit card account for your company.
  • Invest in insurance coverage for your company.
  • Create a trademark to protect both your company’s name and its logo.

Do-it-yourself or hire a pro to set up an LLC?

To establish a limited liability company (LLC), you are not required by law to consult a lawyer. The majority of states enable the establishment of LLCs via the process of registering the business entity on the website of the secretary of state and with the Internal Revenue Service. (IRS).

If you are not acquainted with the process of forming an LLC, your best bet may be to hire a professional LLC provider so that you can be certain that the creation will go smoothly and quickly.

When entrepreneurs start a new firm, they may save startup costs and save valuable time by using a professional agency that specializes in company forms. 

They can take care of the things that you may not have time to think about for a price ranging from $50 to over $500, and some examples of such things are as follows:

  • Creating an LLC operating agreement including who, what, when, where, why, and how (required in some states).
  • Putting together articles of incorporation that identify the management of the LLC, the registration agent, and the date the company was formed.
  • Taking up the role of registered agent for your firm.
  • Keeping careful records in the event that there are investigations or litigation.
  • Payment of filing fees and registration with the appropriate parties.
  • Registering the name of your company and ensuring that the name you choose for your limited liability company is accessible.
  • Finishing up and turning in all of the necessary legal and formation documentation.


How do I register my farm in West Virginia?

File Form LLF-1 with the West Virginia Secretary of State to register a farm. A filing fee of $150 must be paid in order to submit the application, which may be done so either online via the WV One Stop Business Portal or through the mail.

How long does it take to establish a limited liability company in WV?

Online filing takes 5-10 days; mailing takes 3-4 weeks in WV. You have the option to pay more for expedited processing if you need your West Virginia LLC sooner.

What do I need to get started with an LLC in West Virginia?

You will need the registration cost, a name for your limited liability company (LLC), a Registered Agent, Articles of Organization, an Operating Agreement, and an EIN number from the Internal Revenue Service in order to create an LLC in the state of West Virginia.

Editorial Manager

Tom is the founder of He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.

Our mission

We try to provide transparent information on the different products & services for entrepreneurs, the self-employed, freelancers and professionals.

We monitor multiple business sectors & issue opinions on various products and services that we view are worthwhile for any business to thrive and grow.

Our articles are written independently and the opinions expressed are our own. They are in no way reviewed by the various brands before we publish them.