Forming an LLC in Virginia
In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). This is the document that officially forms your Virginia LLC.
You can file the Articles of Organization either online or by mail.
Virginia LLC filing fee
The filing fee for an LLC in Virginia is $100. This is a one-time filing fee.
The filing fee is the same for both mail and online filings.
Note: The Articles of Organization fee is commonly referred to as the “LLC filing fee”. They are the same thing.
How much is an LLC in Virginia explains all the fees you’ll pay, including the Articles of Organization filing fee.
Virginia LLC approval times
If you form your Virginia LLC online, it will be approved 2-5 business days.
If you form your Virginia LLC by mail, it will be approved in 2-5 business days.
Note: Filing times may take longer due to government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in Virginia?
Which is better: online or mail filing?
We recommend filing your Virginia LLC online for three reasons:
- It’s easier.
- Your LLC will be approved in 2-5 business days.
- You can download your approved Articles of Organization right away.
Filing by mail is a really tedious process and it’s annoying because you don’t automatically get your approved Articles of Organization. Instead, you have to request a copy by either:
- going online and downloading your Articles of Organization
- or calling the state to request it be mailed or emailed to you.
For these reasons, we recommend online filing. However, we provide instructions below for both filing methods.
Alternatively, you can hire a company to form your LLC for you. Check out Best LLC Services in Virginia for our suggestions.
Prior LLC University® lessons
Before forming your Virginia LLC, make sure you have read these lessons:
Virginia LLC Articles of Organization (mail filing):
If you prefer to file the Articles of Organization by mail (instead of online), you will need to:
- Download the Articles of Organization (Form LLC1011)
- Read the instructions carefully, then enter all necessary information
- Prepare a check or money order for $100 and make it payable to the “State Corporation Commission”
- Send your completed Articles of Organization and filing fee to:
State Corporation Commission
PO Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
What do I get back? Once your LLC is approved, the state will mail you a receipt and a Certificate of Organization. After you receive those, you’ll still need to get a copy of your approved Articles of Organization. You can call the SCC (804-371-9733) and have them mail or email it to you. Or you can download your Articles of Organization from the state’s database. Please see the LLC approval section below for instructions.
Mail filing video instructions
Note: This video is older and it mentions a request for a Certified Copy. The request for a Certified Copy is no longer needed. You can download your approved Articles of Organization online, or call the SCC to request a copy.
Virginia LLC Articles of Organization (online filing):
Note: The online filing system is called the Clerk’s Information System (CIS).
- Go to the CIS: Registration Page
- Create an account and click “Submit”
- Go back to CIS and login on the left (if you’re not automatically logged in)
- In the horizontal menu across the top, click “Online Services”
- Under “Business Entities” on the left, click “New Businesses”
Creating a Business
I am filing a formation for a:
“Virginia Entity” will be selected by default. You don’t need to change this.
Business Entity Type:
Select “Limited Liability Company”.
Select “Articles of Organization”.
Note: If you’re forming a Professional LLC, you’ll select “Articles of Organization – Professional LLC”. The instructions on this page will be similar.
Entity Name Check
- Prior lesson: Make sure you have read the Virginia LLC name lesson before proceeding.
Do you have a name reserved?
An LLC name reservation isn’t required to form an LLC in Virginia.
If you don’t have a name reservation: Select “No”.
If you have a name reservation: Select “Yes” and enter your Reservation ID and Reservation PIN.
Tip: If you’re not sure what to do here, it most likely means you don’t have a name reservation. Most people don’t reserve their LLC name. If that’s the case, just select “No”.
Enter your desired LLC name:
- Enter your LLC name with the spelling and capitalization you would like
- Include the designator you’d like to use (for example, “LLC”)
- Click “Check Availability”
If the system says your name is available, you can proceed to the next step.
If your LLC name is not available, you can add a word to make your LLC name unique or try a different LLC name.
Both “Entity Email Address” and “Contact Number” are optional. You can leave them blank since there is already an email address associated with your CIS account.
This section isn’t important and you don’t need to do anything here. Just leave it on “0 – General“.
Exception: Insurance agencies, mortgage companies, and churches.
Duration is how long your LLC will remain open and active.
If you would like your Virginia LLC to automatically shut down (“dissolve”) on a specific date in the future, you can select the second option.
If you would like your Virginia LLC to remain open, either forever, or until you decide to close it, select the first option “Perpetual (forever)”.
Tip: Most people prefer their LLC to have a perpetual existence. This way, it won’t automatically shut down on a specific date. And if they need to close their LLC, they can just file dissolution paperwork with the state.
Registered Agent Information
- Prior lesson: Make sure you have read the Virginia Registered Agent lesson before proceeding. You can also explore this topic more here: Is a Registered Agent a Member of an LLC?
If you or another LLC Member or Manager will be the Registered Agent:
- Type: Select “Individual”
- Name: Don’t enter their name on this page, but instead, click the “Create Individual RA” button
- RA capacity: Select “Member or Manager of the Limited Liability Company”
- Enter their contact information and click “Done”
- Click “Done” again and then click “Next” to proceed
If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent:
- Type: Select “Entity”
- Search for the Registered Agent company by name
- Click the company once to select it (their information auto-fills below)
- Click “Next” to proceed
Principal Office Address
Enter your Virginia LLC Principal Office Address.
What is a Principal Office Address? Your LLC Principal Office is:
- where the primary business activities take place
- where the LLC Members or Managers are located
- or where your LLC records are kept.
Your Virginia LLC Principal Office Address can be:
- located in Virginia
- located in any state
- located in any country
- a home address
- an office address
- a virtual office address or mailbox rental
- the address of your Virginia Registered Agent (if your Registered Agent allows it)
However, your Principal Office Address can’t be a PO Box.
Note: If you hire Northwest Registered Agent, you can use their address for your LLC’s Principal Office Address. Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review for more information.
Principal Information (Management Structure)
- Related article: Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC
This section is optional. We recommend skipping it because it’s better to say how your LLC will be managed in the Virginia LLC Operating Agreement.
Supporting Documentation (optional)
This section is optional.
If you have any additional attachments you’d like to submit with your Articles of Organization, you can do so here.
If there is nothing additional to attach, just click “Next” to proceed.
What do most people do? Most people don’t have attachments unless they’ve been advised by an attorney to add special provisions to their LLC filing.
Signature Information (LLC Organizer)
Most people forming their own LLC are also the LLC Organizer.
If that is the case, select “Individual” at the top. Type your name in the “Signature” box. Enter your name below. Then click “Add” and then “Next” to proceed.
Review the information you entered. Look for any typos and double-check for accuracy.
If you need to make any changes, click the “Back” button at the bottom.
If everything looks good, click “Add to Shopping Cart” to proceed.
Shopping Cart & Checkout
Tip: Some of the messages at the top are a little confusing. You can ignore them.
Click “Go to Payment”.
Click “I Agree”.
Enter your billing information, click “Continue”, and finalize your payment.
Congratulations! Your Virginia LLC filing has been submitted to the state.
Virginia LLC approval (online filing)
After you submit your payment to the state, your LLC will be approved in 2-5 business days.
Download your approved Articles of Organization
- Go to the Business Entity Search page
- Enter your LLC name, click “Search”, then select your LLC from the list
- Click “Filing History” at the bottom
- You should see “Articles of Organization” in the list
- Click the magnifying glass icon on the right to download your PDF
We recommend making a few copies of your documents and/or scanning them to your computer.
Other documents arriving by email
After the SCC processes your online filing, you will also get an email with two other documents:
- Certificate of Organization
- Welcome Letter (aka Commissioner’s Acceptance)
Note: The approved Articles of Organization is the most important document. The Certificate of Organization and Welcome Letter are less important, but you should still keep a copy in your LLC records.
Contact Info: Virginia State Corporation Commission
If you have any questions, you can contact the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) at 804-371-9733.
Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 5pm, Eastern Time.
Search your domain name
If you plan on building a website, you can quickly register your domain name. Creating a website with your business name as the domain name can help people find your business online. You can easily search and purchase a domain name through GoDaddy.
Find a domain name
Virginia LLC Act: Section 13.1-1010
Virginia LLC Act: Section 13.1-1009
Virginia SCC: CIS FAQs
Virginia SCC: New Entity Fees
Virginia SCC: Business Filing FAQs
Virginia SCC: Entity Types and Categories
Virginia SCC: Notice to Virginia Limited Liability Companies
Virginia SCC: Copies and Certificates for Business Entity Documents
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.