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For all Virginians

LLC in Virginia

How to Start an LLC in Virginia

LLCs in Virginia are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of Virginia has some unique LLC guidelines. An LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft).

Select a business name

The first step to starting an LLC in Virginia is to select an original business name not already in use or reserved by another business in the state. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your name. When incorporating in Virginia.

You may reserve a name for 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation or for Renewal of Reservation of a Business Entity Name (Form SCC631) with the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. The reservation must be filed by mail. The filing fee is $10.

You can renew the reservation for successive periods of 120 days, as long as you renew during the 45-day period before the reservation expires. Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a Business Entity Search on the State of Virginia's website.

Appoint a registered agent

Every Virginia LLC must have an agent for service of process in the state. This is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if it is sued. In addition to receiving documents, the registered agent can also send documents on behalf of the business. The registered agent must be a legal resident of Virginia. They can also be a corporation that is permitted to do business in the state.

Under Virginia law, your company cannot serve as its own registered agent. You will be required to indicate why the designated person or company is qualified to be your registered agent.

File Virginia Articles of Organization

To register your Virginia LLC, you'll need to file the Articles of Organization with the State Corporate Commission. The articles may be filed online at the Virginia New Entity Formation webpage, or by mail. The filing fee is $100. For online filing, you can pay via credit card or e-check.

The Articles of Organization must be signed and dated by the organizer, the authorized person filing the papers, and include their name and phone number. If you are filing the paperwork for an LLC of your own, you are the organizer.

Filings can take 3 to 12 days to process. Expedited service is available for an additional fee.

Create an operating agreement

Virginia law does not require you to provide an Operating Agreement to establish your LLC. An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC. It can help preserve your limited liability by showing that your LLC is truly a separate business entity. In the absence of an operating agreement, state LLC law will govern how your LLC operates.

Obtain an EIN

If you intend to hire employees or open a bank account, you will need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). incorporate.com can help expedite this step as well. An EIN is to your Virginia LLC what a Social Security Number is to a person. It helps the IRS identify your business for tax and filing purposes.

LLCs in Virginia are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications.