Starting an LLC in West Virginia comes with more costs than just filing the initial paperwork. But it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.
We explain all of the initial and ongoing LLC costs below, as well as give you tips on how to save money.
How much does an LLC cost in West Virginia?
It costs $100 to form an LLC in West Virginia. This is a fee paid for the Articles of Organization.
You’ll file this form with the West Virginia Secretary of State. And once approved, your LLC will go into existence.
In addition to this LLC filing fee, there are other costs to be aware of when forming a West Virginia LLC (Limited Liability Company).
Costs to forming a West Virginia LLC
There is a $100 one-time state filing fee to form an LLC online.
There are also ongoing fees (like a $25 Annual Report fee), which we discuss below.
LLC Costs in West Virginia
|Articles of Organization||$100|
|Registered Agent||$0 or $125 per year|
|Business Registration Certificate||$30|
|City Business License||$10 - $20|
|Operating Agreement||Free on our website|
|EIN Number||Free from the IRS|
|Annual Report||$25 per year|
West Virginia LLC Articles of Organization Filing Fee ($100)
Starting an LLC in West Virginia costs $100. This is the state filing fee for a document called the West Virginia Articles of Organization.
The Articles of Organization are filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State. And once approved, this is what creates your LLC.
The $100 fee is a one-time fee. You don’t have to pay any monthly (or annual) fees to start your West Virginia LLC.
Note: LLCs are the most common business structure used in West Virginia. They are the most popular business entity because they offer liability protection for the LLC Members (owners).
West Virginia business name cost ($0)
Naming your Limited Liability Company doesn’t cost anything. The West Virginia Secretary of State doesn’t require you to file a Name Reservation as part of the LLC formation process.
Your West Virginia LLC Name is approved (at no extra cost) when your Articles of Organization is approved by the state.
How much does a DBA cost? ($25)
A DBA (aka Trade Name) is filed with the West Virginia Secretary of State using the Application for Trade Name (DBA). The fee is $25 to get a DBA for your LLC.
Tip: You aren’t required to get a DBA for your LLC. It’s optional. For more information, read our article: Do I need a DBA?
West Virginia Registered Agent Fee ($0 or $125/year)
Unlike other states, West Virginia law doesn’t require you to designate a Registered Agent when forming your LLC. But you might choose to name one.
A West Virginia Registered Agent is a person or company who receives legal documents and state notices for your LLC.
There is no additional cost ($0) if you leave the Registered Agent field blank, or if you will be your own Registered Agent.
However, you have the option of hiring a Registered Agent Service. This will cost you about $125 per year. Registered Agent Service companies offer other helpful business services and can protect your privacy.
LLC Operating Agreement Fee ($0)
A West Virginia LLC Operating Agreement is a written contract between the LLC Members. Operating Agreements include detailed information about LLC ownership, how the LLC is managed, and how profits are distributed.
Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs should draft an Operating Agreement, keep it with their business records, and give a copy to each Member.
Most websites charge $50 to $200 for LLC Operating Agreements.
Here at LLC University®, we offer free LLC Operating Agreement templates for all types of LLCs.
LLC EIN Number Fee ($0)
An EIN Number is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
This number is used to file income taxes, to open an LLC bank account, and to hire employees (if applicable).
Although many websites charge a service fee to get an EIN for your LLC, it can actually be done for free.
You can obtain an EIN for your LLC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. The online filing can be completed in a few minutes.
West Virginia LLC Annual Report Fee ($25/year)
West Virginia requires you to keep your LLC’s information up to date by filing an Annual Report.
This keeps your LLC in good standing and in compliance with state law so it can continue operating. You simply confirm the information on the Annual Report, file it with the West Virginia Secretary of State, and pay the Annual Report fee.
The West Virginia LLC Annual Report costs $25 per year. This fee is paid every year for the life of your LLC.
West Virginia Business Registration Certificate ($30)
All West Virginia LLCs must get a Business Registration Certificate from the State Tax Department. The filing fee is $30.
The good news is that this business license doesn’t have to be renewed (unless you change your business’s name or location).
West Virginia Business License and Permit Fees (varies)
Depending on where your LLC does business in West Virginia and the industry you’re in, you may need to obtain additional Business Licenses or Permits. For example, you may need to get a City Business License.
The costs for these other business licenses or permits will vary depending on location and industry, but usually the fees are not very high. Some licenses and permits are issued at the state level, and others are issued by a municipality (the town, city, or county).
LLC Taxes (varies)
There are many different types of West Virginia LLC taxes that owners must pay, so this annual cost varies widely.
Some of the taxes LLC owners pay include:
- Federal income tax
- State income tax
- Local income tax
- Business taxes
- Self-employment taxes
- Sales and use tax
- Payroll tax (if you have employees)
- Property tax (if the LLC owns property)
Your West Virginia LLC taxes depend on your industry and amount of business activity, so we’re not able to provide an estimate. Every business is different, and your specific circumstances determine what taxes apply to your LLC.
Hiring an Accountant
How much your small business pays in taxes is best determined by working with a qualified accountant in West Virginia.
The amount you’ll pay your accountant will vary. However, most accountants will charge $300 per year for a simple tax return, or up to $900 for more detailed filings.
Note: We recommend speaking with a few accountants in West Virginia to make sure they can help you meet all of your federal, state, and local tax obligations. We offer detailed tips on How to Find an Accountant.
LLC Formation Cost
The West Virginia LLC formation cost is $100.
This is the amount you have to pay for the Articles of Organization. It’s a one-time fee paid to the Secretary of State.
If you pay a company to form your LLC, you will have to pay their service fees in addition to the LLC state filing fee.
The West Virginia LLC business license costs $30.
This is the amount you have to pay for the Business Registration Certificate. It’s a one-time fee paid to the State Tax Department.
(Your LLC might need other business licenses as well. Those costs can vary.)
LLC Ongoing Costs
Your West Virginia LLC must file an Annual Report and pay the $25 fee every year.
This fee is paid to the West Virginia Secretary of State. Filing the Annual Report keeps your LLC in good standing.
LLC owners may pay several different types of taxes, like income tax, federal self-employment tax, and payroll tax (if your LLC has employees).
That means the annual cost for your business will vary and we recommend hiring an accountant.
The amount you pay your accountant depends on what you need, but most small business owners pay their accountant between $300 and $900 per year.
Registered Agent costs
Hiring a Registered Agent service for your LLC in West Virginia will cost you about $125 per year. Or you can be your own Registered Agent in West Virginia to save money.
If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
West Virginia Secretary of State
If you have any questions about the cost of opening a West Virginia LLC, you can contact the West Virginia Secretary of State.
Their phone number is 304-558-8000. And their hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5pm Eastern Time.
West Virginia LLC Costs FAQs
It costs $100 to file online using West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal. This is a one-time filing fee for the LLC Articles of Organization.
And every West Virginia LLC must obtain a Business Registration Certificate from the West Virginia State Tax Department. It costs $30 to get this business license. You can get the Business Registration Certificate while forming your LLC on the One Stop Business Portal, or by filing a separate BUS-APP form by mail.
So the total cost to start an LLC in West Virginia is $130.
Yes, all West Virginia LLCs need to pay $25 per year for the Annual Report. These state fees are paid to the West Virginia Secretary of State to keep your LLC in good standing.
If you hire a Registered Agent service, you’ll have an annual fee to pay each year. This is usually about $125 per year.
Some LLCs may need an industry-specific or municipal business license in West Virginia. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. You’ll need to check with your municipality to see if there are any annual fees for a business license.
No, you aren’t required to hire an attorney to form your LLC in West Virginia. You’re allowed to form your LLC yourself if you’d like.
However, some people may want to hire an attorney if their LLC has a complex ownership or management structure, has investors, or requires industry-specific documentation.
A business attorney usually charges between $800 and $2,500 to form an LLC.
You aren’t required to hire a professional service company to form your LLC in West Virginia. You’re allowed to form your LLC yourself if you’d like.
However, if you want to save time and make sure your LLC is filed correctly, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent has excellent customer service and they include Registered Agent services free for the 1st year. They also offer other services, like an Operating Agreement and filing your Annual Report.
You can get an LLC cheaply by filing your formation documents yourself. You’ll also save money by being your own Registered Agent, and using our free LLC Operating Agreement template.
By forming your LLC yourself and being your own Registered Agent, you can save over $250.
It varies. Some banks charge monthly fees ($10 to $20 per month), but these can sometimes be avoided by meeting certain requirements. For example, if you make a certain number of direct deposits or maintain a specified minimum balance, then they’ll waive the monthly fees.
And you might be able to find a bank that doesn’t charge any monthly fees.
Before you open your LLC bank account, we recommend calling and asking if there are ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fees.
A Foreign LLC is an LLC formed in another state that must register (aka Foreign Qualify) in West Virginia. This is because the LLC is doing business in both states.
The West Virginia Foreign LLC cost is $150. The form to file is called the West Virginia Application for Certificate of Authority of Limited Liability Company (Form LLF-1).
How long it takes to get an LLC in West Virginia depends on how you file your Articles of Organization.
You can get an LLC in West Virginia approved in 5-10 business days if you file online. On the other hand, filing by mail takes about 3-4 weeks (including mail time).
Yes, West Virginia is a great state to start a business. West Virginia has quick approval times and helpful representatives at the Secretary of State if you have questions.
However, the most important factors in deciding where to start a business are where you live and where you’re doing business.
Meaning, if you live in or do business in West Virginia, then you should start your business in West Virginia. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business. And just because a certain state has cheaper LLC fees doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to form your LLC there.
For example, if you form an LLC in Delaware, but live in and conduct business in West Virginia, you’ll also need to register your Delaware LLC in West Virginia (and pay fees). And you’ll end up paying West Virginia taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.
In summary, if you are a West Virginia resident, then yes, West Virginia is the best state to form an LLC. If you don’t live in and do business in West Virginia, then no, West Virginia probably isn’t a good state to start an LLC.
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in West Virginia:
- Choose an LLC name and make sure it’s available
- Choose who will be your West Virginia Registered Agent
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
- File the West Virginia LLC Articles of Organization
- Get your Business Registration Certificate
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Open an LLC bank account
West Virginia Secretary of State: Fee Schedule
West Virginia Tax Division: Business Registration
West Virginia Secretary of State: Register Your Business
West Virginia Secretary of State: Young Entrepreneur Fee Waiver
West Virginia Secretary of State: Veteran Owned Business Fee Waiver
West Virginia Secretary of State: New Business Startup Wizard