Virginia LLC Articles of Organization

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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 State Corporation Commission
(Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth, State Corporation Commission Building)

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.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Virginia LLC approval times

If you form your Virginia LLC online, it will be approved instantly.

If you form your Virginia LLC by mail, it will be approved in 10-15 business days.

Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and 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:

  1. It’s easier.
  2. Your LLC will be approved immediately.
  3. 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.

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
Clerk’s Office
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 - Formation Documents

Virginia LLC Articles of Organization (online filing):

Note: The online filing system is called the Clerk’s Information System (CIS).

Get started:

  1. Go to the CIS: Registration Page
  2. Create an account and click “Submit”
  3. Go back to CIS and login on the left (if you’re not automatically logged in)
  4. In the horizontal menu across the top, click “Online Services”
  5. 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”.

Filing Type:
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”.

Entity Name:

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.

Entity Information

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.

Business Type

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

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

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)

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

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 “Checkout”.

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 instantly.

Download your approved Articles of Organization

  1. Go to the Business Entity Search page
  2. Enter your LLC name, click “Search”, then select your LLC from the list
  3. Click “Filing History” at the bottom
  4. You should see “Articles of Organization” in the list
  5. 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.

Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement

Once you file your Articles of Organization, and it is approved by the state, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Virginia LLC Operating Agreement.

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.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
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.

13 comments on “Virginia Filing Forms”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. If my business is an online business and has a virtual address can I use that as the principal office address?

    Reply
    • Hey Deron, yes, you can use a virtual office address for the principal office address.

      Reply
  2. Hello, please I would like to know if I want business online, what other permit do I need in the State of Virginia?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Vicky, since there are 20,000+ licensing jurisdiction in the U.S., we don’t have all the details on our site. You’ll need to get in touch with your county, city, or town. You can also use a professional company (like IncFile). They can do the research and/or prepare the applications for you. Hope that helps and thanks for understanding.

      Reply
  3. Hi Matt, you have done such an amazing work here!!

    I just filed for my LLC through your links and got the Certificate of Organization (PDF) right away after I paid the $100.

    On the filing instructions, you say: “Mail your Articles of Organization, your Request for Certified Copy and your check or money order for $103.50…” do I have to pay again the $100 again or just $3.50 for the certified copy?

    Thanks a million!

    Reply
  4. These videos are so awesome thank you very much. You have made it so easy for people to become free of working for others and starting your own Thank You .. My question is do i have to include my Operating agreement in my initial formation documentation? or does that happen after ive received confirmation the my llc is registered?

    Reply
    • Hi Carl, you’re so very welcome! The Operating Agreement is not included in the Articles of Organization, but rather it is separate. It’s also an internal document, meaning you don’t need to send it to the state. You can create it either before or after the LLC is formed. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  5. Dear Matt. Thank you for this guide. Your videos are very helpful.
    I want to form an Single Member LLC in Virginia (and today is 24th Nov). You mentioned that if you are forming LLC in November or December, it is advisable to delay it by Jan. Can you please explain why is it advisable to delay it till jan? What will be the cons of doing it right now? Probably, i will not be making any sale during first month but I will be able to get bank account and paypal account before Jan, if I do it right now.. What do you suggest? Should I wait for Jan or make an LLC in Dec?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Bia, you’re very welcome! Sometimes there are tax filings due (even if no money is due) for an LLC that’s open during a taxable year (in this case, the 2018 tax year). That’s why some push it to January. I know if there is no income or expense, you won’t have a federal filing obligation, however, I’m not sure about any state or local filings. You’d have to check with an accountant on that. If you were to mark your LLC effective January 1st, you can still obtain your EIN and open an LLC bank account. On the EIN Online Application, it’ll ask for the “LLC start date”. You can enter January 2019 there. Then with your approved Articles of Organization and EIN Confirmation Letter from the IRS, you should be able to open an LLC bank account. Just call ahead of time and speak to the branch manager, letting them know the details. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  6. This site is extremely helpful! Thank you so much for creating it. I’ve created a single member LLC and I currently the 100% owner. I would like to add my Mother to the company as the majority owner because she is investing in the business. How would I go about doing that and what forms/fees would be associated in doing so?

    Reply
    • Hi Joycelene, you’re very welcome. Thanks for the awesome comment! Since the Virginia LLC Articles of Organization doesn’t ask for LLC Member info, you don’t have to file any amendments with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Instead, it’s internal procedures, updating the IRS, and adding her to the LLC bank account. It’s best practice to hire an attorney as there are many steps, but here is the overview. You’ll need to transfer a portion of your LLC membership interest via an Assignment of Membership Interest Agreement. Then you’ll amend your LLC Operating Agreement. Then you’ll need to file Form 8832 with the IRS electing to be taxed as a Partnership (as opposed to a Sole Proprietorship, since there will be 2 Members now). You’ll then want to go to the bank to add your mother to the account. You may also need to update the Virginia Department of Taxation. As an alternative, you could also consider dissolving your existing LLC and starting a new LLC with your mother. In certain situations, that may be easier. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  7. Hi Matt,

    I opened a LLC in VA using an online option. It is intended to be 2 member LLC and we are planning to operate it on our own (member-managed). I filled up only my information as organizer while forming LLC. Also, while applying for EIN no, I selected 2 members and selected taxed as “partnership” . We created the Operating agreement with each having 50% ownership in the LLC. Question is other than Operating agreement, there is no where officially (with State or IRS) we specified who are the owners of the LLC and we didn’t specify/choose the titles of members. How would we operate without titles? Also, did we do anything wrong setting with the LLC/EIN?

    Thanks
    Sanju

    Reply

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