How to Form a Company in West Virginia


West Virginia is a wonderful state for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It has high-quality features that make it ideal for starting your own company, including low taxes and no personal income tax. However, there are some unique aspects of forming a business in West Virginia that you should be aware of before starting your company here. In this guide we’ll walk through all the steps involved with registering an LLC or corporation and getting started on the right footing with your new venture!

Choose a Business Structure

Choosing the right business structure for your needs will help you make an informed decision about the type of tax advantages, liability protections and flexibility in terms of growth and operations that are available to you.

The most common business structures in West Virginia are:

  • LLCs – The limited liability company is one of the most popular forms of corporations because it combines the benefits of partnerships and corporations. An LLC’s owners (members) are not personally liable for its debts or other obligations.
  • Corporations – These include C-corporations, S-corporations, family corporations and others; all protect owners from personal liability but differ in their tax treatment and required disclosures to state regulators.
  • Sole Proprietorships – This is a single-owner business where you report profits on Schedule C as self-employment income on your 1040 return*. You must file a Schedule SE (Self Employment Tax) if you have employees who work more than 700 hours per year

Name Your Business

Before you do anything else, you need to choose a name for your business. If you are going to be the sole proprietor of your company, then using your own name is fine. However, if you plan on incorporating or forming a partnership with other people, there are some additional rules that need to be followed.

First of all, make sure the name is easy to spell and easy to remember—because this will be how customers find you! Also make sure it’s not too similar (or even identical) with any existing businesses or trademarks in West Virginia or anywhere else in America. If someone wants to use the same name as yours and gets confused over who does what when searching online, then they might end up buying from someone else instead!

Another thing about naming companies: They should reflect what kind of services or products they offer their customers—so if possible try something catchy but meaningful like “The Car Wash” (if washing cars is what you do). A good way around this issue would be choosing something generic instead such as “XYZ Company” where XYZ could stand for anything from “Your Favorite Coffee Shop” down through “Youthful Adventurers’ Club.” Then again depending on what type of business

Register Your Company’s Name

When you form a company in West Virginia, you must file for registration of your business name. This is done at the county clerk’s office in the county where your principal place of business will be located. You can also register your name with the Secretary of State or online through MyWVBusinessOnline.

Create an Operating Agreement (for LLCs)

You may have heard the term “operating agreement,” but what is it? An operating agreement is a document that details how your LLC will be managed, how profits are distributed, and other business-related issues. If you’re forming an LLC with two or more members, each member needs to sign the operating agreement. It’s important to have this document in place so that everyone agrees on what’s expected of them and what their rights are when it comes time to manage the company.

An operating agreement template can be found here: [link]. You can also use this website as a guide while creating your own version: [link]. Once you’ve finished writing your own version of the document, ask another person (not one of your fellow members) who has experience in business law or taxation to review it for accuracy and clarity.

File Articles of Organization (For LLCs)

If you want to form a limited liability company (LLC), then you’ll need to file articles of organization. To do this, start by filling out your LLC’s name and address information. Then, write down the name and address of the registered agent for the company. The registered agent is the person who will receive official notices on behalf of your business if someone files a complaint against it or if there’s some other legal matter that needs resolving. Next, check off whether your LLC is classified as general or limited partnership and select which state(s) it intends to conduct business in (if applicable). You’ll also have to indicate if there are any terms that must be met before anyone can become a member or manager of your LLC; these terms should be listed in detail under section 2b(iv). Finally, make sure all fields have been filled out correctly before submitting them electronically via West Virginia Secretary of State’s website; otherwise they won’t be processed properly!

You’ll need $50 per year ($100 for initial application) when filing articles with West Virginia Secretary of State—but don’t worry: You only pay once!

File Articles of Incorporation (For Corporations)

The first step in the formation process is to file Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) with your Secretary of State. This document lists basic information about your company, such as its name, address and type of business it conducts. You must file your articles before opening or operating any business under that name; this means you cannot start doing business until you have filed initial paperwork with the state in which you are headquartered.

Once your corporation has been established through filing these documents with the Secretary of State, it’s time to select a tax identification number for taxes.

Build Your Business Plan

A business plan is a document that outlines your company’s goals, objectives and strategies. It’s essentially a road map for your company, so it makes sense to take the time to write one when forming a West Virginia LLC. Your business plan can help you attract investors and secure funding for your project or service.

The purpose of writing a business plan is twofold: it will help you clarify what you want to do with your company, as well as give potential investors insight into how their money could be used if they decide to fund your venture (or not). This can help improve communication between all parties involved in launching and managing an enterprise like this one!

A good way to think about writing one is like this: imagine someone has asked another person about how much money they should invest in their idea (which is essentially what happens when investors look at proposals). The first step would be saying “yes” or “no,” but then there needs also be some explanation behind why either answer was given—this explanation comes from having written down everything beforehand so that everyone understands each other better while also seeing eye-to-eye on future plans!

Obtain a Tax ID Number

You will need a Tax ID number to open your business bank account. To obtain this, you must apply for an EIN from the IRS. You can do this by going to their website and filling out the application. Once you fill out the application, it takes about 10 days for them to process it and mail back your EIN in the mail.

Register for Taxes in West Virginia and With the IRS

You must register your company for taxes in West Virginia and with the IRS. If you’re forming a corporation, this process is very different than registering an LLC. You can get help from a tax preparer if you need assistance with the process of filing taxes for your company.

Apply for Permits, Licenses and Other Registrations You May Need for Your Business

Once you have a name for your company, it’s time to apply for the necessary permits, licenses and registrations.

  • Business license: some states require businesses to register with the state before applying for a business license. Your city or county may also have requirements that need to be met before you can obtain a business license. Contact your local government offices for more information.
  • Tax registration: depending on where you live, different types of taxes may apply to your company. For example, if you do business with suppliers outside of your state or country (exporting), then sales tax will apply in those states where goods are shipped and received by customers who purchase those goods from another state than where they were manufactured (imported). It is important that each step in production is accounted for when determining applicable taxes owed by each party involved in making sure this process runs smoothly without any unexpected surprises arising later down the road when filing annual reports at tax time – which brings us back around full circle here again!

Forming a business in West Virginia can be confusing, but there are plenty of resources to help you through the process

Forming a business in West Virginia can be confusing, but there are plenty of resources to help you through the process.

It is similar to registering a car or boat with the DMV. You will need to provide your name, address, and contact information. You will also need to register a name for your business and register your business with the state.


The process of forming a business in West Virginia can seem confusing at first, but with the right tools you’ll be able to create your own company in no time. First, you’ll need to decide on what type of business structure best suits your needs and goals as an entrepreneur. Then you must research where these types are allowed before filing any paperwork with the state or federal government. Finally, once everything is set up legally with those agencies it’s time for some paperwork! So now that we’ve covered all this let’s get started…

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