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West Virginia Nonprofit Organization

We’re Just Not Annoying®



Run a name search on the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website to make sure the name you’ve chosen for your WV nonprofit corporation is available. The official name of your WV nonprofit needs to include a corporate ending, such as “incorporated” or “Inc.”


Assemble a dedicated, organized team of initial directors before filing your formation documents, as teamwork will be vital to the success of your WV nonprofit corporation.


Bylaws will help shape your WV nonprofit corporation’s overall goals and direct the organization’s daily actions. Drafting the bylaws may require the help of an attorney who knows the in’s and out’s out West Virginia nonprofit corporations. These bylaws will also be required by the IRS if you apply for federal tax exempt status.


File the Articles of Incorporation with the West Virginia Secretary of State. You can file by mail, fax, or in person. To complete the formation documents, you’ll need to include the following:

  • Nonprofit corporation name
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Purpose of nonprofit corporation
  • Name and address of at least one incorporator

If you’ll be applying to the IRS for tax exempt status, you’ll also want to include a clause concerning what will happen to the corporation’s assets upon dissolution. You’ll also want the document to be completed in IRS tax exempt language.


After filing your Articles of Incorporation, hold your WV nonprofit corporation’s first official meeting, of which the goal should be to elect officers and directors and to adopt the corporation’s bylaws.


Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This can be done on the IRS’ website and should only take a few minutes. Then, if applicable, apply to the IRS for federal tax exempt status.


If you’re planning on collecting donations of any kind, you’ll need to register your nonprofit corporation as a charity with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

How much does it cost to form a nonprofit corporation in West Virginia?

The filing fee is $25. You can submit your filing online, by fax, by mail, or in person.

How long does West Virginia take to process Articles of Incorporation?

One day if you file online or by fax. If you file by mail, it’s the same turnaround, but you’ll need to allow for mailing times.

How many directors are required on the Articles of Incorporation?


How many incorporators are required on the Articles of Incorporation?

At least one.

Does my registered agent need to sign the Articles of Incorporation?

No, registered agents aren’t required to sign the articles of incorporation for a West Virginia nonprofit corporation.

Do I need to be specific about my nonprofit corporation’s purpose?

West Virginia does require a brief explanation of purpose. If you’ll be applying for federal tax exemption and West Virginia Tax Exemption you will want to include very specific language.

Do nonprofit corporations in West Virginia need to register as charities?

Yes, if your WV nonprofit corporation solicits donations, then you’ll need to register as a West Virginia charity.

Do nonprofits in West Virginia need to file annual reports?

Yes. WV nonprofit corporations need to file annual reports by the 30th of June each year. The filing fee is $25.

Do West Virginia nonprofits need a West Virginia registered agent?

Yes. All West Virginia nonprofits need a West Virginia registered agent.

Can an out of state nonprofit do business in West Virginia?

Yes, but you have to register with the state as a foreign nonprofit in West Virginia.

Is there anything weird about forming a nonprofit organization in West Virginia?

For the most part, forming a nonprofit in West Virginia a straightforward state process. If you don’t file online, the hard copy filing is the same as a for-profit corporation (there’s a box you check for nonprofits). Also, West Virginia is one of the only states that asks how many acres of land your nonprofit corporation owns in West Virginia.

For more nonprofit incorporation information:

Secretary of State
Corporations Division
1900 Kanawha Blvd East
Bldg 1, Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304)558-8000

Charities Division
Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Phone: (304)558-8000

West Virginia State Tax Department
Taxpayer Services Division
Post Office Box 3784
Charleston, WV 25337-3784
Phone: 1-800-982-8297

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®