West Virginia LLC – How to Form an LLC in WV [5 Easy Steps]

Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in West Virginia is easy and affordable. The following are few procedural steps on how to start an LLC in West 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 West Virginia, visit How to Start an LLC.

West Virginia LLC

How to Start a West Virginia LLC

Suppose you’re planning to invest in some profitable business or maybe a

bout to set up your business in West Virginia. In that case, forming an LLC in West Virginia is the simplest option for you.

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 step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in West Virginia. 

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC

name llc

If you are to start an LLC in West 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 West 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 West 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? 

name search is vital to make sure your business’ name is unique. Check the availability of your name with Business Entity Search on the West 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, now you need a business email service. You can set up a professional email account with Google GSuite.  

Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in West Virginia

get registered agent

A registered agent, (aka. an agent for service of process or agent of process) is a person/business entity that will act or work on your behalf. This person or business will receive significant tax forms, government filings, formation documents, legal documents, legal forms a notice of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in West Virginia. Choosing a West Virginia-registered agent for service for your LLC is required. 

Make sure your registered agents are residents of West Virginia. It could also be a business. Here are the recommended agents and employees for you:

LLC Service

Our Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More


$49 + State Fees

  • 1st year free agent service

  • Multiple options available

  • CPA assessment records


$299 + State Fees

  • Fast service

  • Resource center

  • Flat Rate for all services

$399 + State Fees

  • 1st year free agent service

  • Digital storage

  • Different types of plans

These five LLC formation services are recommended agents’ registered services as they are authorized to conduct business in West Virginia. Compare them to check the best yet cheapest option for you. Besides, they can guarantee you professional service because they have been in the business for years. 

Step 3: File Articles of Organization in West Virginia

file formation certificate

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 West Virginia Secretary of State, which costs up to $100 to file. You may file them through an online application via email address or by mail through the physical street address. 

This Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to form your business officially. It will indicate details about your LLC in West Virginia, like if it is a member-managed or managers-managed

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 West 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.

How to File by Mail

If you prefer filing real-life forms for your West Virginia LLC registration, then you can download the West Virginia Limited Company Certificate of Formation. Read the form thoroughly and fill it out. It will have to fill, among others,  your name, city, state, zip code, and signature. 

Step 4: Create Your West Virginia LLC Operating Agreement

create operating agreement

An 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 West Virginia does not require you to have an operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all your details of business operation.

Step 5: Filing a West 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.

Mail to:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

After Starting your West 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 West Virginia business permits & licenses
  • Get liability for business insurance with coverage for employees
  • File a West Virginia LLC annual report or biennial report
  • Already existing LLCs that wish to operate in West Virginia must register as a foreign West Virginia LLC.  

This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and your filing fee, annual costs, business expenses, business debts, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.  

Why an LLC in West Virginia

With a GDP of $67.83 billion, West Virginia has become one of the best places for new businesses. A recent report by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research says energy industries are the backbone of the economy. Around $3.7 billion was generated through exports in the same industry. 

Apart from that, there are several benefits like various business funding options and incentives like reducing tax liabilities the West Virginia government provides to the new LLCs and businesses. These programs are available here to encourage operation, job creation, and development of the state economy. 

Energy Incentives

The first and foremost tax incentive is available in the energy sector. Under this program, LLCs involved in such industries will receive tax credit and benefits from the West Virginia state government.

Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone

New LLCs, domestic or foreign LLCs doing business in West Virginia, may receive a tax credit or incentive. Under this program, any business will receive loan facility or tax incentives if they operate in empowerment zones. 

Opportunity Zone

In West Virginia, several locations fell under the Opportunity Zone. If a new LLC is setting up their business or operate their business in those areas, then they may receive a massive tax rebate, incentives, and so on. The program was introduced by the US Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Services (IRS). 

Community Development Program

Under this program, several other programs such as Land & Water Conservation Funds, Small Cities Block Grant, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program are available. Under all these programs, any form of business will receive loans and funding facilities from the government. 

Tax Exemption – Sales & Use Tax

For any LLC in West Virginia, there is an exemption on Sales and Use tax. Following are the services on which the LLC will get sales tax exemption:

  • Daycare service 
  • Real property development, construction, repair, and/or decoration
  • Television or/and Radio broadcasting sales
  • Newspapers, magazines advertisements

Top Businesses in West Virginia

If you are looking forward to forming an LLC in West Virginia, then, first of all, you should know about the economy of the state. Many competing businesses contribute hugely to the state. Here is the list of businesses.

Mining Businesses

Mining businesses are the largest contributor to the GDP of West Virginia, which is around $10.68 billion. Approximately 12,556 people are working in close relation with the industry, either directly or indirectly. If you look at the products that are mined out of the fields of state, then coal is making the maximum contribution making it the second-largest coal mining state of the USA.

Apart from that, there are natural gas reserves also in the soil of the state, which helps in gaining 20% of the mining income.

Manufacturing Businesses

The chemical businesses are the most established manufacturing units in the states. It is helping out in creating 1/5th of the state’s jobs and gives 40% income to manufacturing businesses. The list of chemicals that are produced in the state are:-

  • Adhesives and plastics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Industrial based chemicals

The total contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP of the state is $7.94 billion.


There is a golden agriculture history in the state of West Virginia. The mountain state produces agricultural income through livestock like broilers, cattle, sheep, and lambs. The crop produced the most in the state is hay, dried, and used as fodder for their own livestock.

Some people are not willing to invest so much in the business. for them, some of the small scale businesses that are working well in the state are:-

  • Reviewing website
  • Reputation management agency
  • Equipment renting 

West Virginia LLC Formation Review

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in West Virginia. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.

  1. Name your West 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.).
    name llc

  2. Choose a registered agent

    In West 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.
    get registered agent

  3. 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.
    file formation certificate

  4. Create operating agreement

    An operating agreement is not a strict requirement but something encouraged when you start an LLC.
    create operating agreement

  5. 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.
    get an ein


What is the difference between ‘domestic LLC’ and ‘foreign LLC’?

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.

What do I need for Domestic and Foreign LLCs?

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.

Is the cost to form an LLC the same across states?

The cost to form an LLC varies per state.

Does an LLC need to use a DBA?

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

Why are operating agreements important?

This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.

Is there anything else I should keep in mind when naming my LLC?

>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.

Where can I file my LLC name?

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.  

How can I know if my URL name is available?

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. 

Can I mail the LLC Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State?

No. Never mail these documents or payments to the Secretary of State directly. 

Why do I need an EIN?

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

How do I get an EIN when I do not have a Social Security number?

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.

I already have an EIN for a sole proprietorship; what now? 

Note that an LLC is different from a sole proprietorship. If you already have an EIN for your sole proprietorship, the IRS will require you to get a new one when your convert to an LLC. 

Do foreign applicants need an SSN to get an EIN?

International EIN applicants do not need an SSN to get an EIN.

What is an IRS?

The IRS is the one that will issue your EIN. You can request an EIN from the IRS ONLINE or download the FORM, fill it out, and send it by mail or fax.

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