In West Virginia, you are required to include one of the following words or their abbreviations after your business name: corporation, incorporated, limited or company. Your chosen business name should also be unique and without duplicates from existing business name registered at the West Virginia Secretary of State.
To check for business name availability, you can use the Secretary of State’s business name search tool. If you want to reserve your business name, you may do so by filing an Application for Name Reservation before the West Virginia Secretary of State. Your application should be submitted by mail along with a filing fee of $15.
To form your West Virginia Corporation, you need to file your Articles of Incorporation at the West Virginia Secretary of State. There are certain details that you need to prepare such as your West Virginia Corporate name and address, Name and address of registered agent, nature of business, the number of shares the West Virginia Corporation is allowed to issue, name and address of incorporators and name and address of all board of directors.
The acres of land that the corporation will own in West Virginia should also be indicated because there are specific fees that will apply. If the corporation has more than 10,000 acres of land it is required to pay 5¢ for every acre over 10,000. You can file at the Business4wv website or via postal mail. Prepare a filing fee is $50.
Corporations in West Virginia have to appoint a registered agent which will take care of their service of process notices in the state. Your agent can be an individual or an entity authorized to do business in West Virginia.
Some prerequisites that your agent must have is a physical street address and residency in West Virginia. They must also accept the responsibility of receiving legal documents on your corporation’s behalf.
Your Corporate Records Book or Corporate Records Binder is an important requirement that you have to obtain. This is where you’ll keep your important documents such as the minutes of your meetings, stock certificates, registration forms, tax forms and many others.
You can buy your Corporate Records Book at the local office supply store or you can order it from Amazon for direct shipping.
As the incorporator of your West Virginia Corporation, you need to appoint the initial directors of who will be part of the board. They will be present during the annual meeting of shareholders and serve the board until newly elected directors replace them.
You have to make an Incorporator’s Statement detailing the names and addresses of the initial directors. Sign the statement and keep it in your Corporate Records Book. Your statement is not filed before the state government. It is yours for safekeeping.
After you’ve appointed your initial directors you can proceed by scheduling the first board of directors meeting. You will discuss the following agenda during the meeting:
If your West Virginia Corporation is formed as an S-Corporation, you have to include this in the board agenda. Don’t forget to make your minutes of the meeting, have your directors sign and keep it in your Corporate Records Book.
Business tax and licenses are mandatory requirements in West Virginia. Below are some documents that you need to process so you’ll be able to comply with your taxes and licenses.
A business bank account is essential to separate your personal and business assets. It will also help you keep track and monitor your business finances better because every transaction is recorded. For the sake of efficient financial management, you need to open a business bank account from a credible bank.
Recommended Resource: For the types of business bank accounts available, you can check out for more information using this roundup.
Now that you’ve finally completed the incorporation of your West Virginia Corporation, it’s time to finish the following additional requirement to officially operate your business. These are not mandatory requirements but they are highly recommended.
Building your West Virginia small business with the right capital is essential if you want to go through the startup process smoothly. While money does not determine the success or failure of a business solely, it is a helpful resource that can make a huge difference.
To gain the right funding, you need to write a solid business plan for your business. Get started by using these practical resources.
A business website is important for many reasons. It helps you reach a wider market, enables you to deliver your company message and branding better, makes you accessible and reachable at any time of the day and a lot more.
Good thing creating a business website is no longer that difficult because there are tools like WordPress and Bluehost. WordPress allows you to build and personalize your website while Bluehost has a one-click WordPress installation tool and a customer support service.
Your West Virginia Corporate Bylaws is an internal rulebook that contains outlines of your daily operations, corporate rules, ownership and status and management structure.
Your Corporate Bylaws will help ensure that every shareholder of the corporation is on the same page. This is not a mandatory requirement but highly recommended.
Please note that this article is informational and instructional in nature and should not be considered a replacement of legal advice. This guide is also not a legal document. For inquiries or specific questions, you can ask for professional advice from a West Virginia attorney.