How To Start An LLC In West Virginia For Free 2024?

How To Start An LLC In West Virginia

Are you thinking about starting a West Virginia LLC? If so, you should go into the process with a clear understanding of what the West Virginia Secretary of State requires and whether you’ll be able to do it on your own.

We’ve created this guide to detail everything you need to know about becoming a professional limited liability company that complies with West Virginia law. LLC members need to fulfill requirements set by both the West Virginia Secretary of State and the state tax department.

So, without further delay, let’s get into it. Here’s everything that you need to know about getting your business registration certificate and starting a West Virginia limited liability company that complies with all requirements from the West Virginia Secretary of State and state tax department.

What is an LLC?

LLC is an acronym that stands for limited liability company. It’s a kind of business entity that you can create for dealing with the internal revenue service and the West Virginia Secretary of State.

West Virginia businesses need to submit some legal documents like operating agreements and articles of organization in order to comply with all West Virginia LLC requirements, which are set by the Secretary of State.

Starting a limited company can be beneficial for things like local business licenses, protection of personal assets, and other kinds of business activities, which we’ll get into more throughout the article. So keep reading if you have a business in West Virginia and you’re thinking of becoming either a multi-member LLC or starting a single-member LLC through the online portal of the Secretary of State.

What is an LLC in West Virginia?

A West Virginia LLC is just a limited liability company that has chosen to submit its operating agreement and articles of organization in the state of West Virginia. West Virginia LLCs are based out of the state and are best for a business in West Virginia that primarily conducts transactions in the state.

If you’re a West Virginia resident and a business owner in the state already, then it could make the most sense to file West Virginia articles of organization to make it easier to conduct business in the state.

Setting up a West Virginia LLC with your individual or business entity may make it easier for LLC owners to get a business credit card, set up a business bank account, and figure out state-specific business expense write-offs for tax purposes.

Read More: Best LLC Formation Services in West Virginia 2024

Requirements to Start an LLC in West Virginia

If you’re thinking about filing West Virginia LLC articles and forming an LLC online, here are the main government agency requirements you need to know before doing so with your sole proprietorship and applying for a business license.

Appoint a Registered Agent

First; you’re going to need a registered agent. This person accepts important legal and business communications on your company’s behalf. You can act as your own registered agent or hire a registered agent service to do the job for you.

One thing to note is that you may be able to get a registered agent service free if you’re already thinking of hiring professional LLC services to help you fill out your LLC operating agreement and become a valid LLC business in West Virginia.

A professional service can make this process easier on you and will provide you with some nice benefits whether you’re a scrap metal dealer who wants to start a foreign LLC or an attorney who still needs to pick a valid LLC name through the state’s one-stop business portal.

The LLC’s Name Must Be Different From an Existing Business

It’s also important to know that the Secretary of State requires your West Virginia LLC name to be different than every other West Virginia LLCs’ business name. We’ve included more information on choosing a unique business name when creating an LLC online in a later section.

Benefits of Starting an LLC in West Virginia

Starting a West Virginia LLC today can be beneficial in a few different ways.

First, doing so will help you protect your personal assets from other LLC members and business debts. This is a big reason why many business owners decide to pay the filing fee to become multi-word limited liability companies.

Becoming a West Virginia LLC will also help LLC members have more flexibility with profit-sharing and business structure changes. You may also see some benefits on the IRS website relating to West Virginia business taxes and when applying for business licenses.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in West Virginia?

West Virginia LLCs have to pay a filing fee of $100. This may cost more for a foreign LLC, and you could face additional charges when choosing your West Virginia LLC’s name if you want to reserve one before officially filing your operating agreement paperwork.

It’s also important to note that every West Virginia LLC must apply for a general business registration certificate (business license), which costs $30.

6 Basic Steps To Start an LLC in West Virginia 2024

How To Start An LLC In West Virginia

If you’re ready to choose an LLC name and hire employees, then read this section next. We’re outlining everything you need to do in order to get your new West Virginia LLC up and running.

Choose a Name for Your LLC in West Virginia

First, you need a name. Here are the two main requirements to keep in mind while choosing one.

Naming Rules in West Virginia

West Virginia has some naming rules that you need to follow when selecting one for your new business. You can access those rules at this link. Just keep in mind that your business name will likely need to have some variation of LLC in it.

Searching Available Name in West Virginia

When you have a name idea, the next step is making sure that no other company has already taken it. You can check that on the state’s website by using this link.

Choose a Registered Agent in West Virginia

Now you’re ready to get a registered (resident) agent set up. Registered agent services will take care of this for you if you’re okay with paying between $100 and $300 per year to use them. Or, you can save your business bank account and complete the job yourself. It’s entirely up to your preferences.

Read More: Best West Virginia Registered Agent 2024

File Organizational Paperwork With the State

Now you’re ready to file your articles of organization with the state. This will tell the state the basic information about your business. You will need to pay a filing fee in order to complete this step.

Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement

Filling out and submitting your operating agreement comes next. The operating agreement provides more detailed information about how your business will be managed and how profits will be shared among members.

Keep in mind that once you file this operating agreement and your articles of organization, you will need to start submitting an annual report every year. Your annual report keeps you in good standing, so it’s important not to ignore it.

Obtain an EIN for Your LLC in West Virginia 

Now you’re ready to set up your employer identification number (EIN). The employer identification number is needed for things like federal income taxes and state taxes to hire employees.

The good news is that you can set up your EIN in as little as 10 minutes online entirely for free. There’s no filing fee for this, and after that, you’ll have an easier time getting things like business insurance.

Annual Tax

Finally, just make sure you file your annual report and pay your taxes every year to remain in good standing. The specifics of both your annual report and your taxes can vary based on the kind of business you plan on running. Certain companies may need business insurance to remain in good standing as well.

The Top 2 LLC Services in West Virginia

Product ZenBusiness Northwesr Registered Agent
Name ZenBusiness Northwest Registered Agent
Full review Read full review Read full review
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ZenBusness is a great alternative to Northwest. They also provide ongoing support and will guide you through the entire LLC formation process – potentially even for free if you pay for another one of their services.

This company also stands out by offering after-hours support while its competitors don’t. That can make it an even better choice for business owners that enjoy doing their work outside of standard operating hours.

This company also provides ongoing help with things like taxes, accounting, and business advice. If you’re looking for a lasting partner who can help you with compliance and key business decisions, then ZenBusiness could be a great fit.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest is a highly-respected business service provider that helps companies across the country become LLCs. They’ll guide you through this entire formation process from start to finish so that you don’t have to track down all of the information on your own.

Northwest can also provide you with ongoing support. For example, they’ll help you with your annual report and make sure that you don’t miss any compliance deadlines. They may even give you a year of registered agent service for free if you pay to start your LLC through them.

Final Thoughts

Starting an LLC in West Virginia can be a great way to improve personal asset protection and enjoy a more favorable taxation situation. We hope that our guide will make it easier for you to launch an LLC if that’s what you decide to do.

You can hire a professional LLC formation service to help you out with the process or go through it on your own. All of the resources you need to do it are available in guides like ours. Just make sure to double-check your work as you go to avoid delays and additional fees.

Whatever you decide to do, we wish you all the best moving forward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a West Virginia LLC?

A West Virginia LLC is a type of business structure that you can use when running a company in this state. You’ll get benefits related to taxation, personal asset protection, and managerial flexibility by choosing this entity for your company.

How much does it cost to start a West Virginia LLC?

There’s a $100 filing fee that every new LLC has to pay. After that, you will need to pay a $30 fee to get your business license. And then there’s only a $25 yearly fee that you’ll submit when turning in your annual reports.

Can I start an LLC in West Virginia on my own?

Yes, you can complete this process by yourself without hiring a company to do any of the work for you. It may just take longer to complete the process if you’re doing it all on your own.



Bizreport - Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen, BA
Business Writer
Kellan works with businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their growth goals and has won several awards for his work in the space. He is especially focused on the fields of business finance and the developing cryptocurrency industry, regularly writing about both for audiences across the globe.


Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

+ 7 sources

Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. West Virginia Code 31D-5-501. West Virginia Code. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  2. Annual Reporting. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  3. Fee Schedule for Services and Registration with the West Virginia Secretary of State. Published 2019. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  4. Home Page – Online Data Services. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  5. West Virginia Code. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  6. WV Secretary of State Business Entity Search. Accessed February 6, 2023.
  7. Employer ID Numbers | Internal Revenue Service. Published 2012. Accessed February 6, 2023.



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