How to File the Articles of Incorporation for a West Virginia Nonprofit

Person submitting paperwork.

Filing the Articles of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in West Virginia. Whether you have been running a charity for a while or are just starting out, your nonprofit organization will need to fill out the Articles of Incorporation and file them with the State of West Virginia. This will allow you to file for 501(c)(3) status and reap the benefits of having an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Want to form a nonprofit elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start a Nonprofit guides.

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Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in West Virginia is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation:

If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in West Virginia, you have come to the right place. After reading the comprehensive guide for West Virginia nonprofit formation, follow this guide to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. Information you will need to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation
  2. How to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation
  3. West Virginia Nonprofit Formation FAQ

Information you will need to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in West Virginia you must file Form CD-1NP, the Articles of Incorporation for nonprofit corporations (with IRS attachment).

Here are the sections that you will need to complete.

Section 1: Entity Name

Enter the name you have selected.

For help with selecting a name for your nonprofit read our comprehensive guide on how to name a West Virginia nonprofit.

Section 2: Principal Office

Enter the street and mailing address of the principal office of your nonprofit.

Section 3: Physical Office

Enter the street and mailing address of the physical place of business of your nonprofit.

Section 4: Registered Agent

The registered agent (agent of process) can be any entity registered to do business in West Virginia or any person who is a resident of the state. Your organization cannot act as its own registered agent.

Any person you designate as the registered agent must have already explicitly consented to act as the registered agent for your organization even though you do not need to include proof of consent with your Form CD-1NP.

Enter the information of the registered agent you have selected.

For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? and The West Virginia Registered Agent Guide.

Section 5: Email Address

Provide an email address where business correspondence may be received.

Section 6: Website

If applicable, provide your organization’s web address (eg. www.nonprofitname.com)

Section 7: Multiple Businesses

Complete this section, indicating if you own or operate more than one business in the state of West Virginia.

Section 8: Organization

Check the box to indicate your organization is organized as a Nonprofit, Nonstock corporation.

Section 9: Purpose

Describe the purpose of your nonprofit organization.

In order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must explicitly be limited to one or more of the following:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

NOTE: You can read the IRS guidelines on their website.

Section 10: Membership

Select the appropriate box depending on whether or not your nonprofit corporation plans to have members. Please note: if your organization plans to have different classes of members, those details must be included in your Articles of Incorporation or bylaws.

Section 11: Incorporator(s)

The incorporator is the person who completes, signs, and submits the certification of formation. This person does not need to be a part of your organization. This can be you or a lawyer helping you with the process of formation. Include the name and address of each incorporator.

Section 12: Veteran Ownership

Check the appropriate box to indicate if your business should be considered veteran-owned. If you select yes, you must attach Veteran Affairs Form DD214.

Section 13: Land Ownership

If applicable, indicate the number of acres of land your organization plans to hold.

Section 14: Execution

When you sign and date the form you are affirming everything written in the form. You are also affirming that the registered agent listed has already consented to be the registered agent for this nonprofit organization.

Attachment: IRS Statement

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must convince the IRS that the organization’s assets will always only be used for the purposes approved under 501(c)(3) rules. To this end, you must include provisions ensuring that in the event your organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization will be used towards tax-exempt purposes.

The state of West Virginia has included an IRS Attachment that must accompany your Articles of Incorporation, as it includes language required for 501(c)(3) exempt status, including a statement regarding the organization’s purpose and distribution of funds upon dissolution.

How to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation

You can submit the Articles of Incorporation in one of two ways:

Online:

Submit the Articles of Incorporation through West Virginia's One Stop Business Portal.

In-Person:

Submit the Articles of Incorporation 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

The filing fee is $25.

  • Personal checks or money orders must be made payable to the "West Virginia Secretary of State"
  • Mailed forms can be paid by credit card by completing the Credit Card Authorization sheet
  • Accepted credit cards include American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
  • Prepaid accounts must attach a prepaid slip

NOTE: All submissions must include the Customer Order Request form that is attached to Form CD-1NP.

West Virginia Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process Form CD-1NP?

If you file online it typically takes about 2 business days. If you file by mail expect to get a response in 5-10 business days.

There are three expedite options available:

24-Hour Expedite - $25 extra
2-Hour Expedite - $250 extra
1-Hour Expedite - $500 extra

Full details on the expedited services are available on Form CD-1NP.

Can I submit my Articles of Incorporation via email?

Yes - standard processing requests can be emailed to CorpFilings@wvsos.gov and expedited requests can be emailed to eFilings@wvsos.gov.

Can I request a Certified Copy of my Articles of Incorporation?

Yes, you will need to indicate on your filing form and pay $15 for each certified copy you request.

What is the Excess Acreage Fee?

If your organization will own or hold more than 10,000 acres of land, it must pay $.05 for each acre over 10,000 that it will hold.

How do I contact the Business Center for more information?

You can contact the three Business Service Centers at the listings below:

Charleston Office:
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30a - 5:00p EST

Clarksburg Office:
Phone: (304) 367-2775
Fax: (304) 627-2243
Hours: Mon. -Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST

Martinsburg Office:
Phone: (304) 356-2654
Fax: (304) 260-4360
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00a - 5:00p EST