Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Virginia is easy and affordable. The following are few procedural steps on how to start an LLC in Virginia. LLCs can be formed in two ways, domestic and/or foreign. If you are planning to set up an LLC in states other than Virginia, visit How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start a Virginia LLC
- After Starting your Virginia LLC
- Why an LLC in Virginia
- Biggest Businesses in Virginia
- Virginia LLC Formation Review
How to Start a Virginia LLC
Suppose you’re planning to invest in some profitable business or maybe about to set up your business in Virginia. In that case, forming an LLC in Virginia is the simplest form of business for you. For a business owner, it would be better to have an LLC as it reduces the personal liability for company or business debt.
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. This section gives you a simple – but essential – step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Virginia.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC
If you are to start an LLC in Virginia, the first thing you do is decide on a business or company name, and how to name your LLC may be tricky. Thus, you have the option to choose a name that complies with the Virginia business naming requirements. It must also be easily searchable for potential clients. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow when naming your Virginia LLC.
Why do you need a proper business name?
If you want your LLC to have special identification, your company name is essential. However, many people face lots of issues by avoiding focus on choosing a business name for their LLC business formation filings.
Because of this, here are some of the major benefits of choosing the best LLC corporate names.
- To help establish a company’s presence in the market, a proper business entity type will help you. This also creates a new identity that will resemble your LLC.
- After you’ve properly chosen the name for your LLC, you will have no problems finishing the registration process.
- You can only get the EIN number when you have your name registration certificate with you.
What are the requirements when deciding a name for your LLC?
A name search is vital to make sure your business’ name is unique. Check the availability of your name with Business Entity Search on the Virginia Secretary of State’s website. Reserve the name by completing the Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities.
- Don’t include words that could confuse people about your company. Words like ‘treasury, state department.’
- You should also avoid restricted words like ‘bank, attorney, university,’ because they may require a lawyer and more paperwork.
- As for a business website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for domain use with NameCheap.
Reserve a business domain
Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a domain to avoid others from using your name for their website, so do visit NameCheap for your domain name and Kinsta for web hosting.
If you have decided on your URL name and have reserved it, set up a professional email account with Google GSuite.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Virginia
A registered agent, or business entity, is a person that will act or work on your behalf. This person or business will receive significant tax forms, legal forms, formation documents, any internal document, a notice of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Virginia. Choosing a Virginia-registered agent for service of process for your LLC is required.
Make sure your registered agents are residents of Virginia or have a physical street address in the state. It could also be a business with an office address. Here are the recommended agents and employees for you:
Our Rating & Pricing
#1 TOP PICK
$49 + State Fees
$299 + State Fees
$399 + State Fees
These five LLC formation services are recommended agents’ registered services as they are authorized to conduct business in Virginia. Compare them to check the best yet cheapest option for you. Besides, these professional servicer providers can guarantee you professional services like filing services to the potential customers because they have been in the business for years.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Virginia
A Certificate of Name Reservation is needed to file Articles of Organization, as other states call it. You need to make reports of this certificate with the Virginia Secretary of State, which costs $100. You may file them online or by mail.
This Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to form your business officially. It will indicate details about your LLC in Virginia, like if it is a member-managed or managers-managed. LLCs with employees need to check the Virginia government portal for guidelines to hire employees.
Before you start filings, you must already have your LLC name and registered agents or employees. You will attach a copy of your Name Reservation Certificate along with a list of the services that your Virginia LLC will offer.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. Select “non-subscriber.” Fill out the online form. The website will alert you if your county does not support online filings after selecting your principal county.
Step 4: Create Your Virginia LLC Operating Agreement
A comprehensive operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
Starting an LLC in Virginia does not require you to have a liability company operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all your details of business operation.
Step 5: Filing a Virginia LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify types of business for tax purposes. It is like a Social Security number dedicated to a business.
It is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). You will need this number for tax filing and to determine tax classification options.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
After Starting your Virginia LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business account
- File Virginia business permits & licenses
- Get liability for business insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Virginia LLC annual report or biennial report
- Already existing LLCs that wish to operate in Virginia must register as a foreign Virginia LLC.
This page has provided you with broad steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember the upcoming filing deadline and filing fee, annual costs, or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Why an LLC in Virginia
Virginia is listed at number 4 regarding the business establishment and number 1 regarding rules and regulations. This becomes a significant advantage of a business that is thinking of establishing itself in the state. Moreover, there are many benefits like reducing tax liabilities, and various business funding options are offered to LLCs here. If you are interested in starting one, then you should take a glimpse of the benefits mentioned.
Business Grants for small Businesses in Virginia
Small business is always nurtured and pushed forward toward growth by the state of Virginia. There are many ups and downs that a small business goes through; that is why there is some grants program that is offered to these small businesses to help them get over these ups and downs easily. The grants are discussed below.
- Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant is the first and most famous grant to a Virginia LLC based on its performance. Governments list out the small businesses, and out of them, those performing well are provided with grant offers. Consuming them, they can think of expansion and create more jobs in the state.
- Next is Virginia Investment Partnership Program, in which a grant is provided to LLC for using advanced technology in their business and focus more on capital growth.
- Commonwealth opportunity fund is another business incentive that can support projects and promote new jobs.
The Virginia Enterprise Zone
Some enterprise zones in the state are an opportunity for LLC in Vermont. There are many incentives provided to businesses that especially come and establish their business in these areas. Some of the incentives offered are:-
- Rebates are offered on fees that are taken for permits and rezoning.
- A net grant of 50% is provided for businesses looking for an upgrade in their tools and machinery.
- A commercial loan façade program helps an eligible business to gain a loan of $5000 to around $50,000.
Some general benefits
There are some general benefits of Vermont State that leverage this state’s option over others to Start an LLC in Vermont.
- Access to the major US markets is readily available in Vermont.
- The labor force that is available in the state is highly educated and well skilled.
- There are many Workforce development programs that help out a business in making the desired workforce.
- The state is right to work, which means no union membership is required if a person wants employment, making it easy to grab a job and find new candidates.
Biggest Businesses in Virginia
As a business person, if you are looking forward to starting an LLC in Virginia, then knowing the state economics is very important. You should study the details of Virginia state businesses and their contribution to the state economy.
The services providing businesses own the biggest chunk of the share in the GDP of Virginia state, i.e., around 66.67%. Yes, the state’s entire service sector is growing at a furious rate as the quality of services here is much better than in other states. The interesting fact is that only 33.3% of people are working in this sector, which means that the per capita income of this sector is also high. The total contribution of the service sector to GDP is around $226.4 billion, which is immense.
The sector includes education and health care sectors with professional and financing services. There is a small contribution of the real estate sector also in this value.
The numbers of technology workers that are present in the state are maximum as compared to other states. The state has exported the maximum number of computer chips to people worldwide, which has made the state one of the best exporters around the world. The state’s technology corridor has many firms related to technology and internet-based software, which is also booming at a huge rate.
The technology sector has alone accounted for the production of $1 billion amount of chips exported worldwide.
Almost 32% of the land of Virginia is occupied by the agriculture sector, which is providing around 357,000 jobs to people around. Although tobacco is not the state’s main crop, it still ranks 5th in terms of its production in the country. The main things for which the state is famous are peaches and plums in crops and turkey raising operations when it comes to poultry.
Top small business ideas that are famous in the state are:-
- Pool cleaning and maintenance business
- Pest control businesses
- Dog grooming business
Virginia LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Virginia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Virginia LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Choose a registered agent
In Virginia, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. You can check out our list of our 5 Best LLC Services in the United States.
- File a formation certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create operating agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement but something encouraged when you start an LLC.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
A “domestic LLC” is one that conducts business in a state where it was formed. Meanwhile, a “foreign LLC” is an existing LLC that extended business to another state.
For Domestic LLCs, it is vital to have a Certificate of Name Reservation and Certificate of Formation. For the foreign LLCs, you must have a Certificate of Good Standing.
The cost to form an LLC varies per state.
Seldom do L.L.C.s use D.B.A. or a ‘Doing Business As’ name nor a fictitious business name. However, if you want to have one, you make read more about DBAs here.
This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
>Your name should have “L.L.C. or LLC” or the phrase “limited liability the business.”
>Do not include words that could create confusion between your LLC and any government business.
>Words like ‘bank, attorney, university’ are restricted as well.
>Lastly, your name should distinguish from other limited liability corporations, limited partnerships, or registered limited liability partnerships.
Typically, you can file your LLC name online or by mail. Check with the state where you will set up your LLC name. Take note that the fees for business names may also vary per state.
As for a website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for URL use with NameCheap to see if your name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a URL. Buying it can help to prevent others from getting your name; check out WPEngine, Kinsta, and GoDaddy for hosting and building your website.
No. Never mail these documents or payments to the Secretary of State directly.
The reason you might need an E.I.N. is that it would help for three reasons:
>Opening a business bank account
>Filing and managing federal and state taxes
>Hiring employees or agents
You are not required a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
International EIN applicants do not need an SSN to get an EIN.