VA Business Facts
Virginia was named for Elizabeth I, England’s “Virgin Queen.” Its nickname is the Mother of States. It’s also known as The Old Dominion and the Mother of Presidents. All three nicknames are linked to Virginia’s position as one of the oldest settlements in the US, and one of the first states to join the US.
Virginia, oddly enough, is the birthplace of both college fraternities and streaking. The first-ever recorded person to streak across a campus was George William Crump, in 1804.
According to estimates, anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of all Internet traffic flows through data centers situated in Northern Virginia. These facilities occupy millions of square feet in the upper area of the state.
Tobacco is Virginia’s major cash crop, and many of the people who live here earn their living from the tobacco industry.
Top industries in Virginia include architectural and engineering services, banking and lending, computer programming and systems design, food products and shipbuilding. Several major military centers call Virginia home, and over 20 different bases are peppered throughout the state.
Major Companies in Virginia
It’s no surprise that the US Army is the largest business in Virginia. Other corporate heavy hitters are Dollar Tree, Hilton Worldwide Holdings, DXC Technology, Northrop Grumman, Bechtel and Capital One.
Virginia Startup Environment
There are lots of incentives for both startups and existing businesses in Virginia With a state corporate income tax rate among the lowest in the nation at 6%, Virginia’s business-friendly policies are attractive for startups. Business incubators are gaining traction across the state, and local universities have recently seen increased enrollment in entrepreneurship classes. Further, Virginia’s economy is evolving from an agricultural core to a technological and manufacturing one – an excellent atmosphere for founders with innovative ideas. Arlington is also a hub for cutting-edge startups.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Picking a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that, the better).
Our Virginia filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
Each state has it’s own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Virginia.
In Virginia, it is a crime to operate with a fictitious business name without filing for a DBA. This could result in a penalty of up to $2,500, up to one year in prison, or both.
Our formation package includes everything you need to get started
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLCs and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: There are no additional requirements for DBAs in Virginia.
LLC: Virginia LLCs are required to file an annual report on or before the last day of their anniversary month. The filing fee is $52.
Corporation: Virginia corporations are required to file an annual report on or before the last day of the anniversary month of incorporation. The filing fee is $100.
Corporations are also required to keep the following items within their corporate records at their principal place of business:
Franchise Taxes: A franchise tax is imposed on the net capital of all banks and trust companies. Other businesses do not need to pay a franchise tax.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Our Virginia filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218
Virginia Taxation & Labor Departments
Virginia State Startup Resources
1. Virginia Small Business Administration
2. SCORE Mentors
SCORE is an excellent hub of active and retired business people who volunteer to support startup businesses. Connecting with a local SCORE mentor can help to avoid pitfalls that are common among startup businesses.
3. Virginia State Legal Statutes:
5. Virginia Angel Investors
6. Virginia Business News
7. Virginia State Small Business Development Center
Register as a “Green” business and connect with other local businesses.
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