Articles of Organization West Virginia

 The Articles of Organization is the legal document you file with the West Virginia Secretary of State in order to officially form your limited liability company (LLC). 

In this guide, we’ll give you the links to the form and we’ll help you fill it out. You can also have a professional LLC service do the work for you.

Recommended: Northwest will form an LLC for you for just $29 plus state fees.

Woman excited that she just filed her articles of organization.

How to File the Articles of Organization in West Virginia

You can download Form LLD-1: Articles of Organization from the West Virginia Secretary of State website to file by mail, by fax, by email, or in person OR file online using the WV One Stop Business Portal.

In order to file your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will need to fill out the following information:

Section 1: Limited Liability Company Name

Your LLC’s name will have to be both creative and legally compliant. 

You will need to make sure that your business name:

  • Satisfies West Virginia’s naming guidelines
  • Is not already taken by another business in West Virginia

There are certain guidelines that you will need to follow when naming your LLC:

  • You must include the words “limited liability company” — or any abbreviation (e.g., LLC, L.L.C, etc.). 
  • You cannot use any words that suggest that your LLC has a different purpose from that outlined in its Articles of Organization (e.g., FBI, CIA, etc.). 
  • Must be easily differentiated from other West Virginia business names that have been previously registered.

For a full list of naming guidelines see the West Virginia naming statute.

Check Name Availability:

Do a name search with the West Virginia Secretary of State to check your LLC name’s availability. If you are unsure about what to name your LLC, use our business name generator to brainstorm business names.

Register Your Domain Name:

You’ll want to check that your business name (or something very similar) is available as a web domain.

Find a Domain Now

Section 2: Company Designation

Indicate whether you are forming a standard LLC or a professional LLC (PLLC). If you’re forming a PLLC, check the box saying that you meet the necessary requirements.

Section 3: Principal Office Address

List the street address, county of formation, and mailing address (if different from the street address) of the LLC’s principal office.

Section 4: Designated (Physical) Office

List the designated office address of the LLC, if different from the principal office address.

Section 5: Agent for Service of Process

Your West Virginia agent for service of process, known as a registered agent in most states, can be either an individual or business entity, like a registered agent service.

If it is a business entity, it can be both a domestic entity or a foreign entity, as long as they are registered to do business in West Virginia.

When it comes to individuals, keep in mind that they are legally required to be West Virginia residents in order to act as your business’s agent for service of process. 

This means that your LLC’s agent for service of process can be:

  • Yourself
  • Another LLC member
  • A specialized registered agent service

Recommended: Get a year of free of registered agent services when you form your LLC with Northwest ($29 + State Fees).

Section 6: Email Address

List your business’s email address where the state can send business correspondence.

Section 7: Business Website Address

List your business’s website address, if any.

Section 8: Multiple Businesses

Indicate whether you own more than one business and, if so, how many businesses and in which counties.

Section 9: Organizers

List the name and address of at least one organizer.

Section 10: Duration

Indicate whether your LLC will be an at-will company or a term company with a set end date.

Section 11: Management

Indicate whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Then, list the names and addresses of each member/manager.

Section 12: Member Liability

Indicate whether the business’s debts, obligations, and liabilities belong to the company or to certain members.

Section 13(a): Purpose

Describe the purpose of your LLC. Then, indicate whether the stated purpose includes activity conducted by a consumer litigation financier. If so, you will need to attach a separate form.

Section 14: Scrap Metal Dealer

If your LLC is a scrap metal dealer, you will need to include a separate form. Otherwise, this section can be left blank.

Section 15: Additional Provisions

List any additional provisions not otherwise covered in previous sections.

Section 16: Number of Attached Pages

Note the number of additional pages included in your Articles of Organization filing.

Section 17: Requested Effective Date

Choose whether your LLC’s effective date will be at the time of filing or a different date within 90 days of formation.

Section 18: Veteran-Owned Organization

If your LLC qualifies as a “veteran-owned organization,” include the applicable form in your filing. Otherwise, check “No.”

Section 19: Contact and Signature Information

List the name and phone number of the designated contact person as well as the name and title of the signer.

How to Submit Articles of Organization

You can mail or hand-deliver this form to one of the following Business Service Centers:

Charleston Office
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311

Clarksburg Office
North Central WV Business Center
200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301 

Martinsburg Office
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Or, you can email the form to:

Fax filings can be sent to:

(304) 558-8381

To file online, use the WV One Stop Business Portal. You will need to create an account.

File Online

Steps After Filing the Articles of Organization

After you have filed your Articles of Organization, we recommend taking the following steps:

1. Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, can be thought of as your business’s Social Security number. It is used by the IRS to identify your business and ensure that it is operating legitimately. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an LLC is required to obtain an EIN if:

  • It hires employees
  • It is required to file excise tax forms
  • It is a multi-member LLC
  • It withholds taxes for non-wage income paid to nonresident aliens

That being said, we recommend that all LLCs get an EIN so that they can open a business bank account.

You can apply for an EIN for your LLC by filing Form SS-4.

2. Create an Operating Agreement

LLC operating agreements are legal documents that outline the responsibilities, duties, and rights of all members of your LLC. 

Even though state law does not require you to draft a West Virginia LLC operating agreement, it is still highly recommended. This is the case even if you operate as a single-member LLC (e.g., to avoid piercing your corporate veil, etc.). 

Recommended: Use our free LLC operating agreement template to create your very own LLC operating agreement quickly.

3. Apply for Business Licenses

After you have registered your LLC and applied for your EIN, you will want to ensure that your business remains “legitimate”. You can do this by applying for any local, state, and federal business licenses that you may need.

For a more in-depth overview, see our guide on how to get business licenses in West Virginia

4. Create a Business Website

Now is a good time to build a business website. A business website adds to your credibility, branding, marketing, and customer experience.

Your website can also be a gateway to your other platforms, including your LLC’s social media accounts, online stores, and contact information. 

Recommended Service: Check out the GoDaddy Website Builder to get started. 

5. Get a Business Bank Account

Next, you will want to open a separate bank account. This can offer both legal and financial benefits. 

Choosing to open a business bank account can allow you to:

  • Allow you to accept credit card payments
  • Offer high-yield savings accounts

Most premium online banks also come with third-party integrations, including accounting and ecommerce tools. These can help you manage your budget, automatically detract a percentage of your revenue for your LLC taxes, and expedite your online payments. 

Besides the financial benefits, opening a business bank account can allow you maintain your LLC’s corporate veil by separating your personal and business finances.

Recommended: Interested in getting started? See our in-depth review of the best banks for startups and entrepreneurs in 2024.  

6. Build Business Credit

When you are just starting your business, you will need to build your business credit from the ground up. The fastest way to do this is by opening net 30 accounts and getting a business credit card:

  • First, you will want to open at least five net 30 accounts that report to business credit bureaus. 
  • Then, you can apply for an easy-approval business credit card from a company like BILL.

Taking these steps will help you increase your business’s cash flow and build business credit fast, which will be essential when you are applying for higher-end business credit cards and large business loans in the future. 

See our How to Build Business Credit guide for more information. 

7. Find a Business Phone System

You will also likely want to invest in a business phone system. This can go a long way in improving your credibility and can ensure that you have placed yourself in a position that always allows you to provide adequate customer service. 

Most high-end business phone systems will include the following features:

  • Unlimited calling
  • Conference calling
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Toll-free and vanity phone numbers
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Hold music

Recommended: Check out our review of the best business phone systems to get started. 

8. Get Business Insurance

As a business owner, you will also want to consider whether you will benefit from purchasing business insurance. 

This will be highly dependent on your industry, amount of risk, and business operations. It can also depend on the existence — and number — of employees in your LLC.

There are several business insurance policies that you may want to consider, although this can be highly situational. Below we have provided an overview of the most common small business insurance policies:

See our Small Business Insurance article for more information. 

9. Taxes and Accounting

Next, you will want to learn everything you need to know about how LLCs are taxed. This is important because LLCs are a very flexible business entity, and — depending on the situation — can choose to be taxed as:

  • Pass-through entities
  • C corps
  • S corps

Generally speaking, we recommend talking to a professional attorney or law firm if you are in need of the most up-to-date tax advice (e.g., whether you need to pay sales tax, etc.).

Working with an accountant can help you manage all your business expenses and taxes effectively and on time, and ensure you do not face any penalties or back taxes when starting out. 

Need help with accounting? Check out our review of the best accounting software