Tue 28 Jun 2016 | By:

How to Incorporate in Virginia: The Simple Guide

Ready to incorporate a business and bring your great idea to life? Use this free guide!

However, if you want professionals to incorporate the business for you, the two most popular services are IncFile ($49 + state fee) and LegalZoom ($149 + state fee).

Step 1) Choose the Best Business Structure

Why Incorporate a BusinessYour business structure will influence a lot of business aspects when you operate your business. It will affect how you are taxes, the requirements that you must comply and the opportunities for business growth and development. To come up with the best decision, you have to assess your business needs first and study the nature of your startup.

If you’re at a crossroads, no need to worry because we’re going to assist you choose the best business structure through this walkthrough guide. You can also take a look at this side-by-side entity comparison chart for more information.


Step 2) Incorporate Your Virginia Business with the State

Business WebsiteOnce you’ve selected an entity, you proceed by filing a Virginia registration form which you can obtain from the Virginia Secretary of State’s office or at their website.

You must also submit other required and necessary documents along with your form. Incorporation can be challenging so if you want to  use the services of professional incorporation providers, you can try  IncFile (for $49) or LegalZoom (for $149).

On the otherhand, if you’re confident enough to process your incorporation on your own, you can use some of these guides.

After Starting an LLC

To-Do After Incorporating in Virginia

You’re finally incorporated in Virginia! But before you operate, you must complete these additional requirements to legally operate your startup in the state. Although these are not mandatory requirements, they will make a big difference in your Virginia small business. Comply with them now!

1) Write a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanWriting a business plan is one example of a requirement which is not mandatory but is highly essential for your business.

Having a game plan while building your business will enable you to work in an efficient and organized manner. You will also be able to gain funding easier if you have a solid business plan that will prove how financially viable your startup is.

You can start writing a professional business plan now using the trusted resources below.

Quick Links to Write a Business Plan


2) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountOpening a business bank account is important for a variety of reasons: it allows you to separate your personal and business finances, it enables you to accept payments and checks and it provides a better way of tracking your expenses.

Recommended Resource: For the different types of business bank accounts available, you can check out for more information using this roundup. Select the bank account type that best fits your business needs!


3)  Keep Track of Your Virginia Taxes and Finances

Small Business TaxesKeeping track of your Virginia business finances is not a mandatory requirement but being ready and organized will give you an advantage during tax period.

The latter is one of the busiest and most challenging times of the year. If you want to surpass and complete every state tax obligation with ease, you must monitor and record your finances well.

It is important that you understand Virginia tax regulations, taxes and business owner obligations before anything else. Check out the business section of the Virginia Department of Taxation. You can also look into Virginia’s online services page.

Recommended Resource: For better financial management, I recommend you use one of the most trusted accounting softwares – Xero. Try Xero free for 30 days now!


4) Obtain Your Virginia Business Licenses

Business LicensesThere are certain standards that you have to meet inorder to operate your business legally in the state of Virginia.

You meet these requirements through business licenses which you can obtain at the local town, city or county Commissioner of Revenue, Zoning Office and Department of Finance where you belong.

For a list of Virginia business licenses, you can check out this complete list. You can also use Virginia’s one stop online registration tool to comply with local business licenses.

Recommended Resource: Licenses vary from business to business. For professional assistance in compiling for the required licenses, you can take advantage of this business research license package. You can also check out the SBA’s roundup resources.


5) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteBusiness websites are essential for a business to survive in the business industry. It makes an enterprise more accessible and reachable and allows you to reach a wider and broader market of customers. Good thing building a business website is easier today, you can use tools such as

WordPress which allows you to set-up and customize a website in just minutes.  Bluehost is also another tool which has a one-click WordPress installation and 24/7 customer support service.

Need Help Incorporating Your Business

Have a professional filing service take care of the paperwork for you. All services use online questionnaires that take you less than 15 minutes to fill out.

This article is meant for informational/instructional purposes only and should not be considered a legal document or an alternative legal advice. For more information on how to incorporate in the state of Virginia, you can talk to your attorney.

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via DonorsChoose.org.