Starting a Virginia LLC is Easy
You can start a Virginia LLC online by registering the Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission. The cost for Virginia LLC registration is $100.
Follow our How to Start an LLC in Virginia guide below to get started.
Step 1: Create A Name For Your LLC in Virginia
Before you register your LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.
We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.
Naming Your LLC
First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.
Next, make sure your name meets Virginia guidelines:
- it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC or L.L.C.
- it doesn't contain restricted words or phrases (these often include words like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
- it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Virginia
- full list of Virginia naming rules
Next, do a Virginia LLC name search with the State Corporation Commission to find out if your name is available in Virginia.
If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Virginia Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission.
Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.
We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.
Step 2: Appoint A Virginia LLC Registered Agent
When you file your Articles of Organization, you will be asked to appoint a Virginia registered agent.
Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving important legal documents like tax forms and service of process notices on behalf of your Virginia LLC. Your registered agent can be an individual resident of the state or a company that’s legally authorized to represent businesses in Virginia.
Virginia does give you the option to act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to appoint a professional instead. Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own:
- You’ll have to maintain normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide.
- If you run your business from home, you’ll be required to make your personal address public.
- You must keep up on important notices, dates, and deadlines.
- You could be served in front of your family or coworkers.
Step 3: File Your Virginia LLC Articles of Organization
It’s time to officially form your LLC by filing your Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission.
Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.
You'll need to know the following information to complete each Article:
- Entity Name
- Registered Agent Name
- Registered Office Address
- Principal Office Address
For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our Virginia Articles of Organization guide.
Mail Your Articles of Organization:
Send the form and payment (payable to the State Corporation Commission) to:
State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
How long does it take to get an LLC approved? LLC processing time is one week by mail or immediately online (following payment).
Step 4: Create a Virginia LLC Operating Agreement
Creating a Virginia LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having this document in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises.
Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.
Your operating agreement should outline the following:
- Each member’s responsibilities
- How new members will be admitted
- How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
- How profits and dividends will be distributed
You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with Virginia business law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.
Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
Step 5: Obtain An EIN (Employer Identification Number) For Your LLC
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of Virginia will use this number to track your business activity.
Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:
- Open a business bank account
- File Federal and State taxes
- Hire employees
The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in Virginia is by using the free online application on the IRS website.
Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.
Steps After Forming an LLC
After forming your LLC, it's important to:
- Open a Business Bank Account. A business bank account legally separates personal finances from business finances. This separation is required to maintain your LLC's corporate veil (your limited liability protection).
- Research Virginia Business Licenses and Permits. For help, visit our How to Get a Virginia Business License guide. There are also business license services that can help.
- File Your Virginia LLC Annual Registration. File online with the Virginia Corporation Commission by the last day of the month in which the LLC was registered, each year.