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Cost to Form an LLC in Virginia: VA LLC Cost Guide

cost to form an llc in Virginia
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

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If you’re considering embarking on the journey of forming an LLC in Virginia, you’re likely aware that there are costs involved beyond just filing the initial paperwork. However, fret not because navigating the intricacies of LLC formation in the Old Dominion State doesn’t have to be as financially daunting as it may seem at first glance. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the essential costs associated with starting an LLC in Virginia, shedding light on potential savings and expert LLC services, like ZenBusiness, that can help you chart a prudent and cost-effective path to LLC success. 

So, let’s break down the cost of forming an LLC in Virginia and discover how to make the most of your entrepreneurial journey without breaking the bank.

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What Is the Cost of Forming an LLC in Virginia?

The primary cost to form an LLC is the $100 fee required for filing your LLC’s Articles of Organization electronically through the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Here’s the LLC Cost Guide for all US States:

Virginia Foreign LLC Formation Costs

If your LLC is already registered in another state and you intend to extend your business operations into Virginia, you must register your existing LLC as a foreign LLC in the state of Virginia.

The fee for registering a foreign LLC in Virginia amounts to $100. To initiate this process, you can file a Certificate of Registration to Transact Business in Virginia (Form LLC1052).

Annual Cost for LLCs in Virginia

To ensure the smooth operation and legal compliance of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Virginia, it’s crucial to be aware of the ongoing responsibilities and costs involved. The primary ongoing obligations for a Virginia LLC include an annual registration fee of $50, which must be paid to the SCC each year. 

Additionally, every Virginia LLC must have a registered agent to handle legal documents and official correspondence, which can cost between $100 and $300 annually when using a third-party commercial agent.

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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Virginia With the Best LLC Service? 

ZenBusiness LLC Formation Cost

The initial cost for filing an LLC in Virginia begins at $100 and may vary depending on additional services. In terms of processing time, the standard processing period typically spans 2 to 3 weeks. However, expedited processing is available, offering a quicker turnaround of 4 to 6 days for an additional fee of $50 or an even more accelerated option of 1 to 2 days for a fee of $100.

ZenBusiness provides three pricing tiers for their business formation services: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

  • Starter plan: The, which is ideal for basic business formation requirements, comes at a cost of $0, with the client responsible for covering state fees.
  • Pro plan: The, priced at $199 in addition to state fees, offers additional features such as expedited filing and registered agent services.
  • Premium plan: For those seeking the most comprehensive package, this includes all the features of the Pro plan plus unlimited Worry-Free Compliance, ensuring businesses remain compliant with both state and federal regulations. The Premium plan is available for $349, exclusive of state fees.

Furthermore, ZenBusiness offers a complimentary year of Worry-Free Compliance with the purchase of any plan.

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Additional Costs When Starting an LLC in Virginia

Virginia LLC Name Costs

Selecting a name for your Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Virginia does not incur any charges. The approval of your Virginia LLC Name is included within the acceptance of your Articles of Organization filing by the state, and there are no additional fees associated with it.

While you might have come across information suggesting the necessity of LLC Name Reservations, it’s important to note that this requirement isn’t applicable in most states, including Virginia. Typically, forming an LLC does not demand a Name Reservation.

 Nevertheless, if you wish to reserve a name for your LLC for up to 120 days before officially establishing it, you can do so by submitting an Application for Reservation of a Business Entity Name (Form SCC631) along with a $10 filing fee. 

It’s worth noting that this name reservation can be renewed for an additional 120 days through the submission of the same form.

Virginia Registered Agent Costs

In Virginia, there’s a registered agent Fee that can either be $0 or $125 annually. Virginia’s regulations mandate the appointment of a registered agent during the formation of your LLC.

A Virginia registered agent serves as the recipient of legal documents and official state notifications on behalf of your LLC. To fulfill this role, a registered agent must possess a physical address within the state and should generally be available during standard business hours.

If you choose to act as your own registered agent or have someone you know perform this duty, there are no additional costs involved. However, you have the alternative of enlisting the services of a registered agent service, which typically ranges from $100 to $300 per year. These service providers not only act as registered agents but may also offer additional beneficial business services and can help safeguard your privacy.

Opting for a registered agent service is advisable under certain circumstances, such as when you lack an address within the state (as Virginia law requires registered agents to have a physical in-state address) or if you wish to keep your address confidential (depending on the specific company you choose, they may allow you to use their address to maintain your privacy).

Virginia Operating Agreement Costs

There’s no fee associated with obtaining a Virginia LLC Operating Agreement. 

This crucial document serves as a written contract between the LLC Members, outlining essential details about ownership, management structure, and profit distribution within the LLC. Whether your LLC is a Single-Member or Multi-Member entity, it’s advisable to draft and retain an Operating Agreement, providing each Member with a copy for reference. 

While many online platforms typically charge between $50 and $200 for LLC Operating Agreements, the state itself does not impose a fee for this essential document.

Virginia EIN Cost

The fee for obtaining an LLC EIN Number, also referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), is $0. An EIN is essential for various purposes, including income tax filing, opening an LLC bank account, and, if applicable, hiring employees.

While numerous websites may charge a service fee to assist in obtaining an EIN for your LLC, it’s important to note that this can actually be done at no cost. You can acquire an EIN for your LLC directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the online application process can be completed swiftly in just a few minutes.

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Virginia LLC Taxes

The annual cost of Virginia LLC taxes can vary significantly due to the various types of taxes that owners are required to pay. These taxes include:

Federal Income Taxes

When it comes to Federal Income Taxes, the IRS provides different tax treatment options for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). 

For Single-Member LLCs, the IRS typically considers them as Disregarded Entities, which means they do not require a separate federal income tax return. Instead, the owner of the Single-Member LLC is responsible for reporting and paying federal income taxes. 

The specific taxation method for the LLC depends on the identity of the owner: if an individual owns the LLC, it’s taxed similarly to a Sole Proprietorship, whereas if another company owns it, the LLC is taxed as a branch or division of the parent company.

Multi-Member LLCs, on the other hand, are generally treated as Partnerships by the IRS. They must file a 1065 Partnership Return and issue Schedule K-1s to LLC owners, who then report their distributive shares of profits on their personal income tax returns (Form 1040).

Husband and Wife LLC Taxes

In certain states, like Texas, a husband and wife who own an LLC together may choose to be taxed as a Single-Member LLC, referred to as a Qualified Joint Venture, instead of opting for Multi-Member LLC taxation. However, it’s important to note that this option isn’t available in states that do not follow community property laws, such as Virginia.

Electing Corporate Taxation

Apart from default tax statuses, LLCs can opt for corporate taxation. There are two types of corporate elections: S-Corporation and C-Corporation. 

  • Filing Form 2553 allows an LLC to be taxed as an S-Corporation, which can reduce self-employment taxes, but it’s generally recommended for established businesses. 
  • Conversely, filing Form 8832 permits an LLC to be taxed as a C-Corporation, which can be advantageous for larger employers, although it’s not commonly chosen.

Virginia State Income Tax for Virginia LLCs

For Single-Member LLCs in Virginia, the LLC itself usually does not need to file a separate state-level return. Instead, the owner includes the LLC’s profits or losses in their personal state-level tax return. 

In the case of Multi-Member LLCs, the LLC may be required to file a state-level Partnership return while the owners still report their respective shares of profits or losses on their personal state-level returns.

Pass-through Entity Tax

Virginia mandates that all Multi-Member LLCs, which are not considered disregarded entities for federal tax purposes, must file the Pass-through Entity Tax Return (Form 502PTET) on an annual basis. However, Single-Member LLCs typically do not have this requirement unless their federal tax status differs.

Local Income Tax for Virginia LLCs

Both Virginia LLCs and individual LLC owners may have obligations related to local income taxes, depending on their specific municipalities, such as towns, cities, or counties. Seeking professional assistance from an accountant or checking with the local municipality is advisable to ensure compliance with local tax requirements.

Virginia Sales Tax

If your Virginia LLC engages in retail sales to consumers, it may be necessary to collect sales tax and obtain a Seller’s Permit from the Virginia Department of Taxation. This permit grants you the authority to lawfully collect sales tax on transactions within the state

Virginia LLC Payroll Taxes

If your Virginia LLC has employees, you’re obligated to manage various payroll taxes, including federal and state income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal and state unemployment taxes (FUTA and SUTA), as well as local and county deductions. 

Although you can handle payroll taxes on your own, the complexity of calculations and potential penalties for errors often lead businesses to hire payroll professionals or consult with accountants to ensure accurate and compliant payroll management.

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Virginia LLC Cost FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Open an LLC in Virginia?

The initial expense for establishing a Virginia LLC amounts to $100, which constitutes a singular filing fee for the LLC’s Articles of Organization. Additionally, certain LLCs may necessitate a business license within the state, contingent upon factors such as their industry and geographic location. The associated costs of acquiring local business permits can fluctuate accordingly.

How Much Does an LLC in Virginia Cost Per Year?

Virginia LLCs are required to pay an annual fee of $50 for the Annual Report to the State Corporation Commission, which is essential to maintaining their good standing. 

Additionally, if you’ve engaged a registered agent service, an annual subscription fee of around $125 is typically expected. Depending on your LLC’s location and industry, there may also be the necessity to acquire a business license, with potential annual renewal fees, which should be verified with your local municipality.

Should I Hire an LLC Formation Service?

You have the option to establish your Virginia LLC without the need to enlist a professional service company. You’re fully permitted to handle the LLC formation process independently.

Nevertheless, for those seeking efficiency and assurance of proper LLC filing, we suggest considering the services of ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness not only provides outstanding customer support but also offers complimentary registered agent services for the initial year. 

Additionally, they extend their assistance to other essential tasks, such as creating an Operating Agreement and managing the Annual Report submission.

Conclusion

In conclusion, establishing an LLC in Virginia entails more than just the initial filing fee. Navigating the process involves various financial considerations, from obtaining essential documentation to engaging registered agents and addressing critical elements like operating agreements and securing an EIN. 

To successfully manage these costs and complexities, relying on trusted LLC service providers, such as ZenBusiness, can be invaluable. 

With a clear understanding of these multifaceted expenses and the support of ZenBusiness, aspiring entrepreneurs can embark on their Virginia LLC journey with confidence.

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About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.