The Virginia Corporation: structured, protected, and traditional.
With significant fringe benefits and a decent corporate tax rate of 6%, many entrepreneurs in Virginia choose this traditional business entity type for their expanding business.
On this page, we explore the basics of a corporation, a comprehensive outline of how to incorporate, and the breakdown of our corporation formation services!
At a Glance: Our Services
Virginia Incorporation Package | $225.95
|Virginia SCC Filing Fee||$76.95|
|Our Formation Service Fee||$100|
|1 Year Registered Agent||$49|
Ready to go now? Head over to our sign up page!
On This Page:
- Virginia Articles of Incorporation
- Virginia Corporate Business Name
- Virginia Registered Agent
- Virginia Business Address
The Corporation: A Basic Review
A corporation is a business entity that is legally declared as a separate entity from its owners per the laws of its state of incorporation. Because of this separation, you’ll often hear corporations referred to as an individual “person,” or hear the term “Corporate Personhood,” since corporations have some of the same rights as a real, or “natural” person.
A corporation is owned by its members, who are typically the shareholders that possess varying levels of ownership, profits, and control of the company. A shareholder can be a natural person, or even another company. A shareholder’s power usually includes tasks like electing who sits on the Board of Directors.
Corporations are the oldest business entity type, and therefore, the most traditional and prestigious entity type. Loved by investors, a corporation is the trusted, consistent, and easily understood entity type for venture capitalists. It’s much easier to trade shares than it is to, for example, transfer or sell ownership of an LLC.
The automatic tax classification for a for-profit (or “stock”) corporation is a “C” corporation, named after the Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code. This tax identity makes the corporation’s profits taxed separately from the owners initially, then taxed again on personal income after dividend distribution (referred to as “double-taxation”). If certain criteria are met, such as no more than 100 shareholders, a corporation can elect the S corporation tax status. An S corporation tax identity allows the business to be taxed as a pass-through entity (much like an LLC), and avoid double-taxation.
If you don’t plan to take your business public one day, reinvest back into the company, or seek investors for large future growth, a better fit for you may be the more commonly formed Virginia LLC.
Virginia Incorporation: A Full Outline
The elaborate process of forming a corporation in Virginia starts with filing a state document called the Articles of Incorporation (or simply, “Articles”) with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).
Looking for the details of our incorporation package options instead? Jump to the bottom of the page here.
Virginia Articles of Incorporation
Virginia’s Articles of Incorporation is about one full page you’ll need to fill out with the following information:
- Your corporation’s business name
- How many shares of stock the corporation is authorized to issue
- Name of the corporation’s initial registered agent
- Whether the initial registered agent is an individual or a business
- Address of the corporation’s initial registered office (for the registered agent)
- City or county of registered office
- (Optional) Principal (physical) business address of your corporation
- Name and addresses of initial directors
- Signatures with dates from incorporator(s) (person authorized to fill out and submit this document)
- Optional items: phone number & email of incorporator(s)
There are a few pieces of information that go into your Articles of Incorporation that need extra forethought and consideration, such as the Business Name, Registered Agent, and Virginia Business Address and Initial Director Address portions.
Virginia Corporate Business Name
To ensure your filing doesn’t get rejected by the Virginia SCC, it’s important to understand the rules to picking your Virginia corporation business name.
Your corporation name must include one of the following words or abbreviations:
- Corporation or Corp.
- Incorporated or Inc.
- Company or Co.
- Limited or Ltd.
Your corporation business name must be different from any other business entity on file with the SCC. You can check and make sure that the name you want is unique by searching the Virginia Business Entity Search website.
Virginia Registered Agent
A Virginia registered agent is a person or entity with a physical address in Virginia where they are available during normal business hours to accept service of process and other official correspondence and notices, such as an annual report notice, on a business’s behalf. For example, if your company is sued, your Virginia registered agent will be the main point of contact for the state, and will ensure that your company is properly notified.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all business entities are required to have a registered agent per the Code of Virginia (§13.1-1015).
Did we mention yet that we are a registered agent service? We’ve been in the game of both business formation and registered agent service for a long time. We know the folks down at the Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth, and they know us. We’re friendly, easy to get in touch with, and have a passion for the business world.
Check out our $49 Virginia registered agent page to learn more and get started today!
Virginia Business Address
All the information you list on your Articles of Incorporation will be made available to the public from the SCC website, so it’s important you don’t list any sensitive information, including your personal addresses (e.g. your business office address or your initial directors’ addresses). The last thing you need as a business owner is the stress of losing your privacy to potential scammers, marketers, junk mailers, or even that one disgruntled customer who might want to visit you in person.
We have a solution: use our Virginia business address at no extra cost when you sign up for any of our services. The privacy that you save alone is worth it, not to mention the hassle you save if you move and the credibility and professional appearance you gain.
Learn more details about this on our Virginia Business Address page!
What’s the Difference Between a Registered Agent Address & Business Address?
Your registered agent address is the place where your agent accepts service of process and state notices, and is listed under “registered office” on your formation documents. Our business address service also uses our registered agent address on the principal office and initial director address portions of your formation documents.
Filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation: Methods, Costs, and Times
Virginia’s Articles of Incorporation come with a one-time state filing fee of $75 if you authorize 1 million or fewer shares (roughly $76.95 if you file online). You can take care of this filing and payment in a few different ways:
When you file online, you’ll sign up for and use the SCC’s real-time online program called the Clerk’s Information System (CIS) to submit your Articles and pay the filing fee by credit card or eCheck. From there, you have two options:
- You can use the CIS’s online forms, and your corporation will be formed instantly (recommended).
- You can submit a PDF of your Articles.
Note: The Virginia SCC prefers online filings—it’s faster and safer for all involved. You’ll most likely end up needing to create an account in the CIS, anyway, to take care of other filings, such as Annual Reports.
Filing in Paper
When you file by mail or in-person delivery, the filing time can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks (not to mention travel time if you choose to deliver it to their office in Richmond).
You can mail the completed Articles and check or money order payable to Virginia SCC.
State Corporation Commission
PO Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
You can deliver the completed Articles in-person with the correct payment to the SCC’s main floor.
When Is My Virginia Corporation Official?
After you’ve filed your Virginia Articles of Incorporation online, you’ll have the awesome advantage of seeing a real-time approval of your incorporation as soon as you submit your filing, and you’ll get the official corporation certificate in your CIS account immediately.
If you’ve filed by mail or in-person, you’ll get your official corporation document sent to your listed business email address (or regular mail address if that’s all you provided on your Articles).
Finish Establishing Your Corporation
Having your Articles of Incorporation accepted by the state for your corporation is only half the battle. You need to get your corporation off the ground and fully-established (and legal).
Here’s a few next steps you’ll need to complete to authenticate your new corporation:
- Adopt customized Bylaws
- Draft Shareholders’ agreement
- Issue shares of stock
- Obtain an EIN
- Establish a business bank account
- Get necessary permits, insurance, and licenses
- Find professional guidance: accountants and lawyers
- Register in other states (foreign qualify)
You’ll find plenty of other tasks to complete as you go, such as looking into marketing or setting up accounting software. Arguably, a business owner’s job is never finished in this regard. Remember—you will have our customer service representatives on standby to help you with business-related inquiries for the life of your business when you use our Virginia business formation service or sign up for our Virginia registered agent service!
Incorporate With Us Today
Our Virginia Incorporation Package: $225.95
This Incorporation Package Includes:
- Same-Day Corporation Formation
- Our Virginia Business Address at No Extra Cost
- 1 Year Registered Agent Service
- Annual Registration Fee Reminders
- Secure & Safe Client Account
- Official Documents Emailed Directly to You
- Operating Agreement Template
- Fair & Transparent Pricing That Never Goes Up
|Virginia SCC Filing Fee||$76.95|
|Our Formation Service Fee||$100|
|1 Year Registered Agent||$49|
Sign Up Today For Our Virginia Incorporation Services
We are a small company with big experience in business formation and registered agent services. We have the resources in place to make sure we stay at the top of our game. Our friendly customer service is available to answer any further questions you may have about Virginia business. Hire us today and take advantage of our first-class incorporation prices and service!