How to Start an LLC in Virginia

While running a small business as an entrepreneur, you must take care of every legal matter. Many companies choose to organize an LLC in Virginia to deal with personal liabilities and compliance requirements. 

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a legal entity where its owner is not personally responsible for the company’s debts or other liabilities. It is allowed under the state acts. Moreover, setting up an LLC is more manageable than setting up a corporation and provides more protection and flexibility.

You have two ways to apply for an LLC in Virginia, either online or by mail. If you choose the former, it will be created instantaneously. If you decide the latter, the processing might take 1-3 weeks.

After that, you have to complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporate Commission that will cost you $100. The Articles of Organization are legal documents for officially creating Virginia LLC.

If you want to know more about this process and get your business running, keep reading this guide!

Steps to begin your Virginia LLC

Think of a name for your Virginia LLC

Choose a name that complies with all the Virginia naming requirements and clients find it easy to comprehend, use and search. The title should not be in any company’s use.

Also, check online if a web domain with your LLC name is available. It is necessary to buy a web domain with your LLC name to avoid others from purchasing it.

Here are some of the guidelines for a company’s name:

  • Include the phrase Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation LLC.
  • Choose a distinguishable name from other LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships of Virginia.
  • Do not use words that can get confused with any government agency such as the FBI.
  • Restricted words like Bank or Attorney entail extra requirements and paperwork.

Hire a registered agent in Virginia

The hired registered agent will take care of all tax forms, lawsuit notices, legal documents, and official government correspondences on behalf of your business.

Filing the Articles of Organization

You have to file the Articles of Organizations with the State Corporate Commission. The article must have:

  • The LLC name.
  • The LLC’s registered agent name and address.
  • The LLC’s office address.
  • The signatures of LLC’s organizers.

For your convenience, here is a sample of Articles of Organizations for a Virginia LLC:

Virginia LLC sample

Prepare the Virginia LLC Operating Agreement

It is not a requirement to have a written operating agreement in Virginia, but getting one is good practice; this is a legal document that sketches its ownership and how your LLC will be operated.

It brings all the owners to one page and reduces the risk of any future conflicts. It outlines every member and manager’s responsibilities and rights. 

If you don’t have an operating agreement, LLC will be operated according to the state LLC law.

Get your LLC EIN

An EIN is the employer identification number that is a 9 digit number and assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is also referred to as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).

It is a social security number for your business and very helpful in tax matters. Getting an EIN is an easy process and can be obtained online from the IRS website by completing an online EIN application or by mail.

Pay the annual registration fee

Virginia LLCs have to pay an annual registration fee of $50 to do business in Virginia. This fee is due every year and must be paid before the last date of the month your LLC was created. In case you are unable to pay on the due date, a penalty of $25 will be imposed. You have the option to pay the fee online or by postal mail.

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