How to Form an LLC in West Virginia


Choosing a name for your new business is one of the first steps in starting an LLC. The name must indicate that it is an LLC, and state law prohibits certain names (such as “bank,” “insurance,” or “trust”). You can check with the Secretary of State’s office to see if your proposed name is available. If you plan to hire employees or have more than one owner, you may also want to file Articles of Organization with the WV Secretary of State’s Office.

Decide on a name for your company.

  • Decide on a name for your company. Your business name should be unique and not likely to confuse customers or the public. It should also be available to register as a trade name or fictitious name with the WV Secretary of State’s office. It is common practice to use an assumed or fictitious name rather than your personal name in doing business under an LLC, so that if it is ever necessary in the future, you can change it without having to change your legal entity status by filing articles of amendment with the state.
  • If you have any questions about whether your proposed LLC name is acceptable, contact our office before proceeding further with forming an LLC in West Virginia

Choose a registered agent.

Your registered agent is the person or business that agrees to be responsible for receiving legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. You can choose any person or business as your registered agent, and there’s really no set criteria for who should be responsible for this role.

If you don’t want to choose an individual as your registered agent, there are professional services available that will do it for you (for a fee). Some companies offer these services as part of their package when you purchase an LLC package; others offer them independently.

File your Articles of Organization.

Now that you’ve decided to form an LLC in West Virginia, it’s time to file your Articles of Organization. You can do this online or by mail; however, if you choose to file by mail and use the paper filing option, be sure to include a check made out to “State Treasurer – Secretary of State.”

The filing fee for initial Articles of Organization is $50 as of June 2018. If you wish to also register as a foreign entity in West Virginia, there will be an additional $500 filing fee associated with doing so.

When filling out your Articles of Organization form, keep in mind that you’ll need to provide information about yourself and the company (such as its name and address), as well as who owns shares or memberships within the company (if any).

Create an operating agreement.

An operating agreement is a document that lays out the rules and expectations for your LLC. It’s not legally required, but it’s highly recommended.

The most important thing to remember about an operating agreement is that it can only be made between members of the LLC. So if you’ve got a single member LLC (like our example), then you’ll need to be in total agreement with yourself before making one.

The next best piece of advice we can give is this: make sure your operating agreement spells out how profits are allocated and distributed among members, what happens if one member wants (or has) to leave the company or dies unexpectedly, who makes major decisions around hiring new employees or contractors, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam until infinity. The more detail there is in this document the better off everyone will be since there will never again be any confusion about anything related to your business because all questions have been answered clearly and explicitly by both parties involved (i..e., yourself).

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) before you can register your LLC. An EIN is a tax identification number that the IRS assigns to businesses so they can file their taxes and be paid by clients. You can apply online at, or if you prefer, call 1-800-829-4933.

Once you’ve applied, it will take about five minutes for the IRS to approve your application. They’ll send an email confirmation when your EIN is approved, which will give you access to various resources on their website relating to operating an LLC in West Virginia or elsewhere.


  • An LLC is a type of business that provides you with limited liability and the ability to pass profits through to the owners.
  • In West Virginia, you can form an LLC by filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office.


Congratulations! You have officially formed an LLC. Now it’s time to get to work managing your business.

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