Start an LLC in Virginia
Contrary to popular belief, starting an LLC in Virginia can be a straightforward process. In fact, one of the reasons limited liability companies (LLCs) are so popular is because they are not burdened by as much bureaucracy as other types of business entities. That said, setting up an LLC in Virginia does take some paperwork, and maintaining your Virginia LLC does mean you’ll need to stay on top of deadlines.
No worries. Follow our fast and simple guide to set up a Virginia LLC:
- Name your Virginia LLC
- Designate a Virginia Registered Agent
- Complete and Submit Virginia Articles of Organization
- Next Steps and Maintaining an LLC in Virginia
Or you can hire us to form your Virginia LLC today. Our local Virginia LLC formation experts make sure that you get comprehensive, first-class business services at an affordable and transparent price.
Get back to business. Leave us to handle the odds and ends.
The Virginia LLC: An Overview
The Virginia LLC: popular, affordable, and with strong legal protections. Virginia is an all-around prosperous and flourishing state, so it’s no surprise that starting an LLC in Virginia is a keen idea for an entrepreneur. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about LLCs—and why forming an LLC in Virginia is a smart move for you, too.
What is an LLC?
LLCs, or limited liability companies, are beloved by business owners with companies of all shapes and sizes. An LLC is a hybrid business entity, combining the best elements of a corporation, sole proprietorship, and partnership.
More specifically, the LLC is usually treated like a sole proprietorship or partnership when it comes to taxes by enjoying “pass-through” taxation, meaning the LLC’s profits pass through to its members (LLC owners) to be reported on their personal taxes.
On the flip side, the LLC is similar to a corporation when it comes to limited liability, with the owners not being personally liable for their company’s debts or other liabilities.
The advantages don’t stop there. The LLC is famous for its flexibility and low maintenance. LLCs are not required to do things like elect a board of directors or hold shareholder meetings, and can make decisions on the fly if needed.
Planning on taking your business public one day or requiring investors for large future growth? Perhaps a Virginia Corporation is a better fit for you.
What are the benefits of an LLC in Virginia?
The benefits of an LLC in Virginia are two-fold: (1) Virginia recently ranked #1 for business climate among states in the US, and (2) LLCs enjoy the tax benefits and asset protection of a legally recognized business entity without all the red tape.
Since Virginia been a perennially top-ranked state for business climate, it makes sense that business owners would want to operate there. So why choose to form a Virginia LLC among other types of business entities?
- Personal asset protection. This is the main reason business owners would opt for an LLC rather than simply operating as a sole proprietorship. Forming a Virginia LLC sets a legal distinction between your personal assets and your LLC’s assets. Meanwhile, a sole proprietor has no personal asset protection. That means if your business is sued and you’re a sole proprietor, your personal property is at risk since your business has not been officially registered with the Virginia SCC.
- Less regulations and formalities. An LLC affords you as a business owner a solid basis for personal asset protection by limiting your personal liability from business creditors. But the reason many entrepreneurs choose to form an LLC rather than go for the prestige of a corporation is, to put it simply, the ease of forming and maintaining an LLC. There are fewer requirements to worry about, making an LLC the perfect business entity for small business owners in Virginia.
- Pass-through taxation. Limited liability companies are taxed as disregarded entities or partnerships by default. These are considered “pass-through entities,” which means that your business taxes “pass through” your LLC and are collected on the individual tax returns of LLC members. The bottom line: You avoid getting taxed twice (once as an LLC and once on your personal income tax returns).
At the end of the day, the key benefits of an LLC in Virginia are the liability protection and pass-through taxation. But at the heart of why a Virginia LLC is the best for small business owners is the fact that it is a legally recognized business entity without the strict regulations. That means business owners have a lot of leeway to run their business thanks to the LLC’s flexible business structure.
How to Set Up an LLC in Virginia
To set up an LLC in Virginia, you will need to fill out and submit your Virginia Articles of Organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and pay a $100 filing fee. That’s the broad overview of how your LLC can be recognized as a legitimate business entity by the state.
Name Your Virginia LLC
The first thing you’ll need to do is name your Virginia LLC. Understanding the rules to picking your Virginia LLC business name will ensure your filing doesn’t get rejected by the Virginia SCC. Make sure your LLC name includes one of the following words or abbreviations:
- Limited Liability Company or L.L.C.
- Limited Company or L.C.
Your LLC name must also 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.
Interested in registering a Fictitious Name for your LLC? Also known as a DBA or Trade Name, filing for a Fictitious Name in North Dakota allows your LLC to operate under a name other than its legal one. Add our Trade Name Service inside your online account, and we’ll do it for you for just $125 plus state fees.
Designate a 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).
Need a registered agent? That’s included as part of our Virginia LLC formation package. For $49 per year, you can retain us to serve as your registered agent. 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.
If you’re DIYing your LLC and just looking for a registered agent, feel free to use our guide and pay only your state fees. Keep in mind two things about setting up an LLC in Virignia on your own, though:
- If you’re filing your articles yourself, your personal information will become public record. Many business owners hire professional registered agent services like ours to protect their personal address from a flood of unsolicited junk mail and sales people.
- You’ll need to draft and adopt key LLC documents from scratch or pay an attorney way too much to do it for you. When you hire a service that employs local specialists (like ours!), you’ll have access to our database of Virginia LLC documents, saving you the time and money of hiring an attorney to draft those documents for your business.
Check out our $49 registered agent main page to learn more and get started today!
File Virginia Articles of Organization
Virginia’s Articles of Organization is about one full page you’ll need to fill out with the following information:
- Your LLC’s business name
- Name of the LLC’s initial registered agent
- Whether the initial registered agent is an individual or a business
- Address of the LLC’s initial registered office (for the registered agent)
- City or county of registered office
- Principal (physical) business address of your LLC
- Signature of organizer(s) (person authorized to handle this document)
- Optional items: phone number & email of business organizer(s)
The Articles of Organization comes with a one-time state filing fee of $100. You can take care of this filing and payment in a few different ways:
If you choose to 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 LLC 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
If you choose to 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.
State Corporation Commission
Clerk’s Office, First Floor
1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219
What is a Virginia LLC Business Address?
A Virginia LLC business address is the address that will go on public record with the Virginia SCC and is treated as the authorized address for accepting service of process on behalf of your Virginia LLC. In fact, all of the information you list on your Articles of Organization will be available, in full, to the general public from the SCC website. That’s why it’s important not to list any sensitive information, including any of your personal 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.
The 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.
Check out our Virginia Business Address page to learn more!
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 address portion of your formation documents.
When Is My Virginia LLC Official?
If you file your Virginia Articles of Organization online, you’ll have the awesome advantage of seeing a real-time approval of your LLC formation as soon as you submit your filing, and you’ll get the official LLC certificate in your CIS account immediately.
If you file by mail or in-person, you’ll get your official LLC document sent to your listed business email address (or regular mail address if that’s all you provided on your Articles).
Maintaining a Virginia LLC
Submitting and getting your Articles of Organization accepted for your LLC is only half the battle—there’s still maintaining your Virginia LLC, getting your LLC off the ground, and making sure it’s fully-established (and legal).
Here’s a few next steps you’ll need to complete to authenticate your new LLC:
- Draft and adopt an Operating Agreement (we provide one when you use our services)
- 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 qualification)
There’s a bevy of other small steps to take as well, 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 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!
Form Your Virginia LLC With Us Instead
You can follow the steps above to form your Virginia LLC, but you’ll likely need to hire a registered agent in order to preserve your privacy, draft your own LLC documents (e.g., an operating agreement), and stay on top of your LLC fees and deadlines on your own.
If you form your Virginia LLC with us instead, you won’t have to worry about registered agent service since it’s included in our formation package, along with free limited mail forwarding for any non-registered agent mail. You won’t have to worry about your personal address ending up on public record because we provide our business address to our clients free of charge. And we provide you both a secure online account for timely compliance reminders and valuable LLC documents (internal resolution, operating agreement, and more included).
Our Virginia LLC Formation Package: $249
This LLC Formation Package Includes:
- Same-Day LLC 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||$100|
|Our Formation Service Fee||$100|
|1 Year Registered Agent||$49|
Sign Up Today For Our Virginia LLC Formation 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 LLC formation prices and service!