West Virginia Business Facts
The state of West Virginia ranked last in various surveys in terms of its viability in doing business. But that does not entirely mean West Virginia has nothing good to offer. In fact, the state has not had an increase in general tax for over two decades now. Most importantly, the cost of doing business in West Virginia is one of the lowest in the United States.
Major Companies Headquartered in West Virginia
West Virginia is the headquarters of many major companies including CAMC Health System, Prime, MedExpress, Patriot Coal, and The Special Metals Corporation group of companies.
Starting a business in West Virginia can be a cost-saving choice. Since 2005, the state has witnessed more than $13 billion in new business ventures. Its business tax climate ranked 19th in 2019’s survey conducted by the Tax Foundation. West Virginia is the best place to start a new venture with less capital required.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name, so it’s best to consider a name that stands out and is timeless so it grows with your business. In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in West Virginia, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching West Virginia state databases:
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the West Virginia naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on West Virginia Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in West Virginia.
How to Form an LLC in West Virginia
How to Incorporate in West Virginia
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long West Virginia is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in West Virginia
Optional Considerations when registering a West Virginia business
Ready to register a business in West Virginia?
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 about the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN, and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top 5 Major Banks in West Virginia
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 so someone else could take over and run it for you. Set up a process for managing orders, paying bills, employees, taxes, and maintaining 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: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years, with an option for renewal.
LLC: West Virginia corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the West Virginia Secretary of State by June 30 each year, in addition to general taxation. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here.
Corporation: Businesses in West Virginia should file a report by June 30 annually to the Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $25.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most of your ongoing compliance tasks.
Business Division (for Corporation and LLC filings)
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
West Virginia Taxation Departments
West Virginia Labor and Employment Departments
West Virginia Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) West Virginia District Offices
3. West Virginia Legal Statutes
6. West Virginia Angel Investors
7. West Virginia Business News
9. West Virginia Small Business Development Center
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