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Cost to Form an LLC in West Virginia: A Complete Manual

Cost to Form an LLC in West Virginia
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

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Starting an LLC in West Virginia is a strategic move toward establishing your business in the Mountain State. However, it’s crucial to understand that the cost to form an LLC in West Virginia involves more than just filing the necessary paperwork. 

But fear not, for we’re here to guide you through the process and help you navigate the expenses associated with LLC formation. Furthermore, we’ll introduce you to valuable LLC services like ZenBusiness that can empower you with cost-effective solutions. 

So, let’s delve into the financial aspects of forming an LLC in West Virginia and discover how to make it a prudent investment for your business.

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What Is the Cost of Forming an LLC in West Virginia?

The primary cost to form an LLC in West Virginia is the $100 fee required for electronically filing your LLC’s Articles of Organization with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

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

West Virginia Foreign LLC Formation Costs

If you currently operate an LLC registered in a different state and wish to extend your business operations to West Virginia, you must undergo the process of registering your LLC as a foreign entity in the state.

The fee for the registration of a foreign LLC in West Virginia amounts to $150. You can initiate this registration by submitting an Application for Certificate of Authority (Form LLF-1).

Annual Cost for LLCs in West Virginia

Successfully running an LLC in West Virginia entails comprehending the ongoing duties and expenses linked to maintaining legal compliance.

These responsibilities encompass filing an annual report, which costs $25 and necessitates providing updated information about the LLC’s ownership and management, as well as designating a registered agent, who serves as the official contact for legal documents and correspondence; though not obligatory, many businesses opt to hire registered agent services, which typically range from $100 to $300 per year. 

Staying informed about these obligations allows for effective budget management and ensures the LLC’s continued legal standing.

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

ZenBusiness LLC Formation Cost

The initial cost for filing an LLC in West Virginia begins at $100, with the potential for additional expenses. The standard processing time typically takes 2 to 3 weeks. However, there are options to expedite the process by paying $50 for a faster 4 to 6-day turnaround or $100 for a rush processing time of 1 to 2 days.

ZenBusiness provides a range of pricing options for its LLC formation services, consisting of three plans: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

  • Starter plan: This is suitable for basic business formation requirements and is priced at $0, with additional state fees applicable.
  • Pro plan: The, priced at $199 plus state fees, offers extra features such as expedited filing and registered agent services.
  • Premium plan: The most comprehensive option builds upon the Pro plan by including unlimited Worry-Free Compliance, which assists businesses in adhering to state and federal regulations. The Premium plan is available for $349 plus state fees.

As a bonus, 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 West Virginia

West Virginia LLC Name Costs

Choosing a name for your Limited Liability Company in West Virginia is a free process, and the West Virginia Secretary of State does not mandate filing an LLC Name Reservation during the LLC formation procedure. Your West Virginia LLC’s name will be confirmed (without any additional charges) when your Articles of Organization are approved by the state.

If you want to reserve your name for up to 120 days before forming your LLC, you can do so by submitting Form NR-1 and paying a $15 filing fee.

West Virginia Registered Agent Costs

Unlike some other states, West Virginia’s regulations do not obligate you to appoint a registered agent when establishing your LLC. However, you do have the choice to designate one.

A West Virginia registered agent can be an individual or a company responsible for receiving legal documents and state notifications on behalf of your LLC.

If you decide to leave the registered agent field blank or serve as your own registered agent, there’s no extra charge ($0).

Alternatively, you have the option of contracting a registered agent Service, which typically costs approximately $125 annually. These service providers may offer additional valuable business services and can help safeguard your privacy.

West Virginia Operating Agreement Costs

There’s no fee associated with obtaining an LLC Operating Agreement in West Virginia. 

An LLC Operating Agreement serves as a formal written agreement among the members of the LLC, outlining key aspects of ownership, management, and profit distribution. Both Single-Member and Multi-Member LLCs are advised to create and maintain an Operating Agreement, storing it as part of their business documentation and providing a copy to each member.

Typically, many online platforms charge between $50 and $200 for the preparation of LLC Operating Agreements.

West Virginia EIN Cost

Obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number), also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), is essential for an LLC to handle tasks like filing income taxes, setting up a business bank account, and hiring employees if needed. While many online services charge a fee for this service, it can be acquired at no cost directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

The online application process through the IRS is quick and straightforward, ensuring that LLC owners can obtain their EIN without incurring any expenses.

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West Virginia LLC Taxes

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

Federal Income Taxes

The IRS offers various tax treatment options for LLCs. In the case of Single-Member LLCs, they’re treated as Disregarded Entities by default, meaning the IRS doesn’t require them to file separate federal income tax returns. Instead, the owner of the Single-Member LLC reports and pays federal income taxes personally. 

The taxation of the LLC depends on its ownership: if owned by an individual, it’s taxed like a Sole Proprietorship; if owned by another company, it’s taxed as a branch or division of the parent company.

For Multi-Member LLCs, they default to being taxed as Partnerships. The LLC must file a 1065 Partnership Return and issue Schedule K-1s to owners, reporting each owner’s share of profits. The income “flows through” to owners, who pay their individual income taxes on Form 1040.

Husband and Wife LLC Taxes

In certain states, such as Texas, a husband and wife LLC has the option to be treated as a Single-Member LLC, known as a Qualified Joint Venture. However, this option isn’t available in non-community property states like West Virginia.

Electing Corporate Taxation

Instead of default tax statuses, an LLC can choose to be taxed as a Corporation. There are two types of corporate elections: S-Corporation and C-Corporation. 

An LLC can request S-Corporation status by filing Form 2553 with the IRS, which can help businesses with established profits save on self-employment taxes. Electing C-Corporation status, done by filing Form 8832, is less common and mostly benefits large employers in specific situations.

West Virginia State Income Tax for West Virginia LLCs

In West Virginia, Single-Member LLCs typically don’t file a state-level return; instead, the owner includes the LLC’s profits or losses in their personal state-level return. 

For Multi-Member LLCs, the LLC may need to file a Partnership return at the state level, with owners also reporting the LLC’s profits or losses on their personal state-level returns.

Pass-through Entity Tax Election

LLCs taxed as S-Corps or Partnerships in West Virginia can choose to be taxed at the business entity level through the Pass-through Entity Tax Election (PTE). While the LLC reports income with this method, owners must still file personal state-level returns. 

Specific industries and business types may have additional West Virginia business taxes, necessitating the assistance of an accountant for proper filing.

Local Income Tax for West Virginia LLCs

Local municipalities, such as towns, cities, and counties, may require you or your LLC to file and pay local income taxes. Hiring an accountant is advisable to handle local income tax preparation, and contacting your municipality will help you understand their specific requirements.

West Virginia Sales Tax

If your West Virginia LLC sells products to consumers, you might need to collect sales tax and obtain a Seller’s Permit from the West Virginia Tax Division. This permit allows you to collect sales tax on retail sales within the state. Different names are used interchangeably for this permit, such as resale license, wholesale license, or sales tax permit/license. 

Consult West Virginia Tax Division resources for more information on state sales tax, and contact your local municipality for details on Municipal Sales and Use Tax.

West Virginia LLC Payroll Taxes

When your West Virginia LLC has employees, you’re responsible for payroll taxes, including federal and state income tax withholding, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, federal and state unemployment taxes, and local/county deductions. 

Setting up payroll and correctly handling these taxes can be complex, so many business owners seek assistance from a payroll company or their accountant to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.

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West Virginia LLC Cost FAQs

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

Starting an LLC in West Virginia involves a $100 one-time filing fee for the LLC Articles of Organization through the One Stop Business Portal. 

Additionally, every West Virginia LLC is required to acquire a Business Registration Certificate from the State Tax Department, which carries a $30 fee. This certificate can be obtained either during the LLC formation process on the One Stop Business Portal or by submitting a separate BUS-APP form by mail, resulting in a combined total cost of $130.

How Much Does an LLC in West Virginia Cost Per Year?

Certainly, all West Virginia LLCs are required to make an annual payment of $25 for the Annual Reports, which are essential state fees submitted to the WV Secretary of State to maintain the LLC’s good standing. 

Furthermore, the presence of monthly or annual charges for your business bank account depends on the specific bank you choose. In the event that you opt for a registered agent service, an annual fee of approximately $125 is typically incurred. 

It’s worth noting that certain LLCs in West Virginia may necessitate industry-specific or municipal business licenses, contingent on the nature of the business and its location. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult with the local municipality to ascertain any applicable annual fees associated with the business license.

Should I Hire an LLC Formation Service?

While it’s not obligatory to enlist the services of LLC formation providers for setting up your LLC in West Virginia, you have the option to independently navigate the formation process. Nevertheless, for those seeking time efficiency and precision in their filing, we suggest considering ZenBusiness for LLC services. ZenBusiness offers outstanding customer support and provides complimentary registered agent services for the initial year. 

Furthermore, it offers additional services, such as crafting an Operating Agreement and facilitating the Annual Report filing, ensuring a comprehensive and hassle-free LLC formation experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, navigating the process of forming an LLC in West Virginia involves more than just the initial filing fee. It requires careful consideration of various financial aspects, from obtaining necessary documents to securing the services of registered agents and addressing critical elements like operating agreements and obtaining an EIN. 

It’s evident that effective financial management in these areas is essential for success. LLC services like ZenBusiness offer valuable expertise to guide entrepreneurs through this journey, providing a comprehensive approach that establishes a strong foundation for their West Virginia LLC. 

With the right support and understanding of these multifaceted costs, aspiring business owners can confidently embark on their LLC venture, creating an environment conducive to sustained success.

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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.