How to Start an LLC in Virginia

If you are based in Virginia and are looking to start an LLC (Limited Liability Company), you can’t begin the process without knowing the basics. Forming an LLC in Virginia is a great idea since it’s relatively easier than starting the process elsewhere.

But, there are several steps to consider when starting an LLC in Virginia, from choosing a name for your LLC to filing and licensing, and we’re here to help! 

StateVirginiaNorth CarolinaWest VirginiaMarylandUS Average
Population8,642,27410,551,1621,793,7166,165,1296,619,825
LLC Filing Fee$100$125$100$100$130.38
LLC Annual/Biennial Fee$50 (every year)$200 (every year)$25 (every year)$300 (every year)$89.34 (every year)
Corporate Tax Rate6.00%2.50%6.50%8.25%5.60%
Nominal GDP per capita$68,483$62,077$49,017$71,083$64, 773.08

Before You Set Up an LLC in Virginia

Before creating an LLC in Virginia, there are some things to consider, like choosing a Virginia State-compliant name. 

However, the rules imposed by the state for starting an LLC are pretty straightforward. Below we will look into all of the details.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Virginia?

A frequently asked question is how much to start an LLC in Virginia costs, and with good reason. One of the perks of forming an LLC in Virginia is the low cost – future LLC owners in Virginia are required to pay a $100 fee for filing an LLC Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. 

If you’re wondering how much to start an LLC in Virginia will cost me, the answer is – not much at all. 

Although the LLC start-up fee is rather modest, the state of Virginia requires the presence of a registered agent while creating an LLC in Virginia. Even though you can be your own agent, if you are not feeling confident, you can always hire a registered agent for as low as $39.

Steps to Start an LLC in Virginia

Steps to Start an LLC in Virginia

Basically, there are several steps before forming an LLC in Virginia. Namely, choosing a name for the LLC and filing relevant documentation are among some of the necessary steps.

Pick a Name for Your LLC 

First, you need to name your LLC in Virginia – it’s the essential step toward creating an LLC in Virginia. However, there’s more to just picking a name – it has to be in line with specific criteria imposed by the state of Virginia :

  • Follow the guidelines for LLC naming: under the state of Virginia Law, the company name must end with the LLC abbreviation (LLC, L.L.C, LC, L.C, Limited Liability Company, or Limited Company);
  • The chosen company name should not be in any way confused with a government agency like the State Department, FBI, etc.;
  • Specific words like Attorney, University, or Bank might yield extra paperwork and for a licensed professional to be a part of the LLC (an MD or a lawyer, for example);
  • The name you choose for your LLC must be, by all means, separated from other Virginia LLCs;
  • Make sure the name you pick for your LLC is available in Virginia: do research on the available LLC names in Virginia through Virginia State Corporation Commission’s website;

Other than the abovementioned instances, there are a couple of other ones to consider for choosing a name for your LLC:

  • URL availability: Having an online presence with your LLC might not be the first thing you think of, but it is definitely an aspect to consider. So checking if the preferred URL for your LLC is available is a definite plus;
  • Name reservation: If you found that your preferred LLC name is up for grabs, the state of Virginia allows for a 120-day reservation period by depositing a fee of $10. Unlike other states, Virginia offers one of the longest reservation periods for LLC names and for the most affordable fee. You can fill in Form SCC631 and send it by mail, or use SCC Clerk’s Information System and do it all online.

Find a Registered Agent in Virginia

The second most important step to forming an LLC in Virginia, a state-mandatory one, is hiring a registered agent. This entity will act as the catalyst between the owner and the legal system in Virginia.

An entity or a person that’s been authorized to receive service of process or any other legal, official documents and notices (business mail, legal documents, etc.) on behalf of your LLC is considered a registered agent. 

As the owner of an LLC, you too can be a registered agent, or even an employee in your LLC can act as one; other than that, a registered agent is a legal entity that offers registered agent services. However, for you to act as the registered agent in Virginia, the state imposes stricter rules than other states. 

The state of Virginia  allows an individual to act as a registered agent for forming an LLC in Virginia exclusively if:

  • They have licensed law practitioners in Virginia;
  • They belong to a management board of a business, like owners or officers of the business;
  • They have an active residency address in Virginia;
  • And they are on-site and available to receive and process documentation within business days and working hours. 
ZenBusiness – $49 + state fees to register your LLC (read review)
Incfile – $0 + $50 state fees to register your LLC (read review)

Do You Need a Registered Agent in Virginia?

Yes, the state of Virginia requires potential LLC owners to appoint a registered agent to be able to establish an LLC on Virginia territory. Registered agents are needed throughout the US for the formation of LLCs; it’s a standard practice in every state.

Articles of Organization

Next on the list of priorities for creating an LLC in Virginia is filing the articles of organization, which is essentially a document that establishes your LLC in full by showcasing the basic information about your prospective company.

By filing your articles of organization, you will be filling out a document labeled Form LLC-1011 – you can submit it by mail or complete the process online through the Virginia State Corporate Commission’s website. In both cases, the filing fee is even $100.

The articles of organization required by the state of Virginia consist of the following information: 

  • The name and the valid address of your LLC;
  • Contact information of your appointed registered agent (name and address);
  • And the signature and name of the person forming the LLC.

However, suppose your LLC is indexed by the laws of another state, but you wish to broaden your business in Virginia. In that case, you will be deemed a “Foreign LLC” and asked to attain a Certificate of Registration from the Virginia SCC by submitting an LLC-1052 form. Filing this form will cost $100, plus, you’ll be asked to attach a certified copy of your LLC’s articles of organization issued by your home state. 

Besides the articles of organization, the state of Virginia does not require any additional documents to be submitted for creating an LLC in Virginia – other than a copy of the home state articles of organization in the case of a Foreign LLC.

Articles of Organization

How Long Does Processing Articles Of Organization Take?

After you have submitted the articles of organization, the state of Virginia will begin the process and have it completed within a week or two. You’ll then be granted your Certificate of Organization. 

When it comes to forming an LLC in Virginia, the state allows for a same-day or next-day request for issuing the certificate, but it costs an extra fee.

Operating Agreement

Unlike other states in the US, Virginia does not necessarily require a written operating agreement, but LLC owners usually opt for one. It’s considered a legal practice that further establishes and emphasizes all the aspects of owning an LLC in Virginia.

An operating agreement is a legal document that defines the operating procedures of the LLC as well as the ownership of the company. 

When creating an LLC in Virginia, operating agreements are crucial because their legal power guarantees the compliance of all business owners and minimizes the risk of eventual conflicts, like resolving disputes over financial disagreements or even issues that might lead to court appearances.

An operating agreement for running an LLC in Virginia includes the following:

  • The products or services of the LLC;
  • Personal information of the owner(s);
  • Contact details and personal information of the manager of the LLC in the case a third party manages the company;  
  • The financial contributions of the owner(s) to the LLC;
  • Information on the stakes, profit shares, and voting rights of the owner(s);
  • Onboarding options and procedures for accepting partners.
  • If the LLC is managed by a third party, the policies for electing a manager should be included;
  • Ownership transfers in case the owner(s) leaves the LLC; 
  • Meeting agendas;
  • and policies regarding the ceasing of the operations of the LLC. 

Get An EIN 

The final step for creating an LLC in Virginia includes attaining an EIN – Employer Identification Number. 

It is basically a number comprised of 9 digits appointed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with the goal of identifying businesses and identifying tax purposes. 

An EIN can also be labeled as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), and it can be attained by filling the SS-4 online.

The EIN is more or less like an SSN for businesses, and it’s needed for the following:

  • When opening a business bank account;
  • Filing and managing Federal and State taxes;
  • And when hiring staff.

The Forms You Need To Register An LLC In Virginia

To form an LLC in Virginia, the single most important form to file is the Articles of Organization Form LLC-1011 with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Other than that one, if you’re a business owner looking to expand their area of business to Virginia, then the LLC-1052 is required for filing with the Virginia SCC.

Did You Know?
If you’re venturing out as an LLC in Virginia, there are some popular, trending industry branches that Virginians are most attracted to, like clothing stores, dog-breeding businesses, bookkeeping services, grocery chains, and photography studios, example. 

LLC Taxes In Virginia

How much do LLCs have to pay in taxes in Virginia? 

If you’re forming an LLC in Virginia and you have to hire people, the Virginia Employment Commission imposes tax obligations for you as the LLC owner, such as: 

  • Paying employer tax;
  • And paying unemployment tax.

How Much State Taxes Do LLCs In Virginia Have To Pay?

How much tax your Virginia LLC will have to pay depends on the industry in which your company does business. The Sales tax, filed through the Virginia State Tax Department, and the Employer tax filed with the Virginia Tax website are the most common ones for LLCs. 

How Much Federal Taxes Do LLCs In Virginia Have To Pay? 

When it comes to Federal taxes, there are two forms to be filed to the IRS, depending on the type of LLC, like Form 1065, which refers to multi-member LLCs and Form 1040 Schedule C, referring to a single-member LLC (it’s the most common one in Virginia). 

Your federal taxes will also depend on the way you pay yourself as the owner of the LLC.

Corporate Tax Rate Virginia

 

Is Virginia A Good Place To Start An LLC? 

Most definitely, yes. Compared to other states, the start-up costs for an LLC in Virginia are rather insignificant. 

Plus, the state’s Business Incentive Program makes Virginia a popular area for starting an LLC.

Online form submissions, reasonable processing periods, and low registration fees all work in favor of Virginia being a fertile ground for LLCs.

How Long To Form An LLC In Virginia?

Filing a hard copy will take anywhere from 3 to 5 business days to be processed for the purpose of forming an LLC in Virginia; submitting a form online will be processed within the same day of filing. 

How Much Does It Cost To Run An LLC In Virginia?

For those wondering how to start an LLC in Virginia for free – you can’t. 

Running an LLC in Virginia means paying $100 for registration, while the annual registration fee is set at $50. 

An additional $25 may apply for late fees.

What To Do After Formation? 

After you have registered your LLC in Virginia, there are several aspects to take into consideration:

  • Design a logo: Nothing will set you apart more than a customized logo for your LLC;
  • Establish a website or an eCommerce store: With everything going digital, your LLC could only benefit by establishing an online presence for more reach;
  • Open a bank account: Always keep your personal and business funds separate;
  • Attain business insurance: You can never be too careful when it comes to running a business;
  • Create annual reports: Keep in check with everything that’s been going on with your LLC;

Registering an LLC in Virginia might not cost an arm and leg, but if you fail to check other boxes for a successful business venture, you might not get what you expected.

Resources To Start A Successful LLC In Virginia

If you’re forming an LLC in Virginia, these are the reference links that’ll be of great help: 

Start Marketing Your LLC In Virginia

After you have formed an LLC in Virginia and everything is up and running, you should not forget to make it available and bring it closer to the public. 

Establishing social media presence does more for your business than you might think. 

Think outside the box and create compelling digital marketing tactics that’ll generate more reach and leads. 

Keep up with the trends and see where the hype is – stay relevant.

How To Dissolve An LLC In Virginia?

If the time for closing down your LLC has come, it’s utterly important to dissolve it officially. 

Dissolving your LLC in Virginia means closing your business tax account and filing the Virginia Articles of Dissolution

The form can be filed online or by mail, and the filing fee is $25. 

The Final Say On How To Start An LLC In Virginia

After the general idea for your own LLC, considering the steps we’ve covered will lessen the burden of creating an LLC in Virginia – from registering the LLC to choosing a registered agent and reviewing taxes, and how much to start an LLC in Virginia costs – you’ll be on top of your game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

LLC mail filings in Virginia usually take up to 2 weeks. This includes the processing time of 2-3 days and the time your documents have been in the mail. Online LLC filings take from 2 to 3 business days.

LLCs are not required to pay taxes in Virginia; however, the individual members of the LLC are. In Virginia, most LLCs are bound to report their income to the IRS each year.

According to the 2018 Forbes magazine, Virginia is the fourth best country for doing business, mainly because of the low costs for filing and how easy it is to reserve an LLC name.

Virginia does impose owning a license and/or certification for distinctive business operations, so yes, business licenses are required in the state of Virginia.

A fixed sum of $100 is all it takes to start an LLC in Virginia, but note that additional costs might apply if the future LLC owners require name reservation, for example.

It depends on the total gross receipts starting from the day the LLC opens and up till December 31 of the same year. If the estimate comes to less than $100,000, the license will cost the LLC owner $50.00.

Matija

Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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