In Virginia, your business name should include one of the following words or abbreviations: Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability, LLC, LC, L.L.C., or L.C. The name should be unique and distinguishable and should not be an existing business name registered before the Virginia State Corporations Commission, Office of the Clerk.
To check for the business name availability, you can use the Virginia business name search tool. You can also reserve your chosen business name for 120 days by submitting an Application for Reservation or for Renewal of Reservation of a Business Entity Name (Form SCC631) before the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. You can file through postal mail along with a $10 filing fee.
Businesses in Virginia regardless of entity type are required to have a registered agent to receive service of process notices from the state.
Your agent should be an individual or a business entity authorized to conduct business in Virginia. The agent should also have a physical address in Virginia.
To form your Virginia LLC, you have to file your Articles of Organization (Form LLC-1011) before the Virginia State Corporations Commission. The following are some of the information that you need to include: Virginia LLC name and address and Virginia Registered Agent name and address.
You can file your articles through postal mail or online at the Virginia New Entity Formation page. Prepare a filing fee of $100.
A Virginia LLC with more than one member must get its own Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service whether or not it has employees. Even if you’re just a one member LLC, you are still required to obtain an EIN.
You can also elect to be taxed as a corporation than as sole proprietorship. You can get your EIN by filing an online EIN application at the IRS website. It’s totally free so you don’t have to worry about anything else.
It’s essential that you maintain the financial health of your Virginia small business. The only way that you can do this is if you have a separate business bank account where you can receive payments and checks and deposit business profit or revenue.
Before launching a business, this should be one of your top priorities because without a business bank account, there’s a risk of mixing your personal to your business finances or vice-versa. If you want to stay on top of every transaction, a business bank account is the answer.
Recommended Resource: There are different kinds of business bank accounts so you have to choose the best one for your business. You can read this roundup.
Congratulations, you’re now officially a Virginia LLC! Before you start celebrating make sure that you complete these additional requirements first. They’re not really mandatory, but they can make a huge difference in your business.
A solid business plan is essential but not a state mandatory requirement. It is a game plan which you can use to start your Virginia small business in the right direction.
A business plan is a guide that details every step of the startup process comprehensively. It is also a powerful tool that will help you look for the right financing option.
To help you get started in writing a solid business plan for your Virginia LLC, below are some useful resources that you can take advantage of.
By opening a business bank account for your Virginia startup, you will be able to do the following: separate personal and business finances, accept payments and checks and keep track of your business expenses better. Before you launch your business, open a business bank account in a credible and trusted bank.
Recommended Resource: For further information on the different types of business bank accounts, you can read this roundup. Choose a bank account type that fits your business needs now!
Monitoring and recording your business finances is not a mandatory requirement but keeping yourself organized by tracking and recording every expense will help you comply with state taxes better during tax period. The latter is one of the most difficult times of the year so you have to prepare ahead by keeping things organized.
Before anything else, you have to gain a better understanding of Virginia tax regulations, taxes and business owner obligations. You can visit the business section of the Virginia Department of Taxation or check out Virginia’s online services page.
Recommended Resource: To make financial management easier, I highly suggest that you use the services of Xero. It’s one of the best and most credible softwares in the industry. Try Xero free for 30 days now!
In Virginia, you have to adhere to the standards set by the state for businesses. Regardless of entity type, you must comply with business licenses to operate legally in Virginia. Business licenses and permits are different for every town, city or county so you have to inquire first before you start obtaining licenses.
If you need the full list of business licenses in Virginia, you can check it out here. If you want to register for business licenses the easy way, you can use Virginia’s one stop online registration tool.
Recommended Resource: As mentioned, licenses are different from business to business so you have to compile the right ones. For professional assistance you can take advantage of this business research license package. You might also want to use the SBA’s roundup resources.
Building a business website is not mandatory but it will definitely help you in marketing your products/services and establishing your customer base.
When you have a business website, you are able to convey your company message and branding even better. People can just type your website name, click on it and they’ll be able to access your business website. It’s that easy!
Today, business websites are major tools in generating business revenue for companies that are situated in one specific location but are reachable by people around the globe. Good news is, you no longer have to pay thousands of dollars to build your very own business website.
You just have to trust on tools like WordPress which allows you to build and customize a website in as fast as minutes. Bluehost is also another great tool which features a one-click WordPress installation tool and a customer support service.
Note that this guide is made for the sole purpose of giving you information on how to form a Virginia LLC. It should not be considered a legal document or a legal advice. If you want to know the specifics of starting an LLC, you can consult a lawyer for professional legal advice.