West Virginia Startup
Forming a new West Virginia startup business is a matter of drafting the appropriate
form and submitting it to the state—but how do you determine which form should
The type of startup business you select will influence your taxes, liability, and
startup costs. It's important that you make an informed decision so you know that
you're making the best choice for your specific circumstances.
Incorporate in West Virginia
If your business
incorporates in West Virginia, it will be considered a new, legal entity,
financially separate from its individual owners. Provided the corporation acts properly
and within the law, the assets of the individual owners cannot be seized to pay
for debts or obligations of the corporation. This legal separation is what is known
West Virginia Foreign Corporation
Registration as a West Virginia
foreign corporation is necessary for any for-profit or nonprofit foreign
entity—that is, one that has registered in another state and wishes to do
business in the state.
To register in West Virginia, the foreign corporation must submit an Application
for Certificate of Authority along with a Certificate of Existence from its original
state. There are additional requirements for charitable organizations or insurance
Just as with any other business in West Virginia, the name must be available for
use. It's important to check the state database for conflicting names before submitting
your document to avoid unnecessary rejections.
West Virginia LLC
A West Virginia LLC
is formed by filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. An LLC,
like a corporation, is considered a legal entity and separate from its owners.
The LLC is a relatively new entity type; the IRS does not have a set tax classification
for LLCs, so they allow LLCs to select the tax classification that works for them
from those available based on the amount of owners (single-owner LLC versus multiple-owner
West Virginia Nonprofit Corporation
nonprofit corporation is one that is formed for one of the following purposes:
Testing for Public Safety
Fostering National or International Amateur Sports Competition
Preventing Cruelty to Children or Animals
Eligible corporations will first submit Articles of Incorporation to register as
a West Virginia nonprofit corporation, and then apply for 501c3 status from the
West Virginia Trade Name
A corporation or LLC within the state, if it chooses to do business under a name
other than its legal corporate name, will file a West Virginia
trade name. A trade name does not create a new business entity; rather it
creates an official record with the state that the corporation or LLC is doing business
under another name in the state.
The trade name selected for use must be available within West Virginia; trade names
are subject to name availability limitations.