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Virginia LLC Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start an LLC in Virginia

To start an LLC in Virginia, you must file Articles of Organization with the State Corporation Commission, pay a $100 filing fee, and get an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to forming a Virginia LLC are as follows:

  1. File Virginia LLC Articles of Organization
  2. Pay the Virginia State Corporation Commission $100
  3. Wait to receive your Certificate of Organization
  4. Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the LLC
  5. Create a Virginia LLC Operating Agreement
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get a Virginia LLC bank account
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Virginia LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining a Virginia LLC. All for free.

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Documents & Forms

How to File Virginia LLC Articles of Organization

To form a Virginia LLC, you file the LLC Articles of Organization in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new LLC
Step 2 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 3 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 4 File online and pay with a credit card (fastest) or mail to the State Corporation Commission (Clerk’s Office, PO Box 1197, Richmond VA 23218-1197) with a check.

How Long Does it Take to Start a Virginia LLC?

1

Fastest 1 day

File online yourself with the commonwealth’s SCC eFile portal and receive your Certificate the same day.

1

Almost Fastest (and some might say better) 1 day

Hire Northwest to file your Articles of Organization online for you. Just answer a few brief questions, sit back and let our Corporate Guides fill out everything correctly the first time.

1-3

Archaic 1-3 weeks

Have some time to kill? Print and mail your Articles. Wait for someone to enter all of your information into the system by hand and eventually process your filing.

What is the Cost of a Virginia LLC?

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s filing fee for LLC Articles of Organization is $100. There’s also an online convenience fee of around $3. When you hire Northwest, your total, out-the-door cost is $328, including filing fees.

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How much does an LLC in Virginia cost each year?

The State Corporation Commission charges Virginia LLCs an Annual Registration fee of $50.

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What are the Virginia LLC taxes?

The Virginia personal net income tax rates are:

2%: $0 to $2,999
3%: $3,000 to $4,900
5%: $5,000 to $16,999
5.75%: $17,000 +

Virginia’s sales tax is 4.3%. Cities and counties can tack on their own sales taxes as well, making the average total rate 5.348%.

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Is a Virginia LLC Registered Agent Required?

Yes, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires LLCs to have and maintain a Virginia registered agent. You can either choose an individual agent, such as yourself, or a business, such as Northwest. So what’s the difference?

Being your own registered agent can save you a few dollars each year, but it will cost you in other ways—namely in privacy and availability. All the information you list in your Articles and other Virginia business filings are public—including names and addresses. A public address means you’ll soon be on the lists of data sellers. Also, the responsibility of a registered agent is to be available during business hours to accept legal notifications. Considering that business doesn’t just take place in the office, this can put a damper on your ability to run your business how you want. You don’t want to risk missing a process server while you’re off meeting investors or scouting new storefront locations.

Avoid these headaches when you hire Northwest. We’re a commercial registered agent service—and your registered agent needs are the heart of our business. We list our address in your Articles so you don’t have to worry about junk mail and unwanted visitors on your doorstep. We accept, scan and send service of process the same day, so you can run your business on the go (or even just at the beach).

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Virginia LLC Versus Virginia Corporation:

When it comes to filing fees, Virginia corporations are either a little or a lot more expensive than Virginia LLCs. Instead of a flat fee, corporate filing fees (for both Articles and Annual Registration) are based on the number of authorized shares. To file Articles, the minimum cost is $75 for corporations with fewer than 25K shares. For Annual Registrations, the minimum fee is $100 (compared to the $50 for LLCs) but can be as much as $1700 for huge corporations.

In addition to their cost advantage, LLCs are also a popular choice for small businesses. LLCs are easier to maintain, more flexible in deciding how to deal with federal taxes, and have fewer corporate formalities like a board of directors or officers. Corporations are more common for large businesses (or those that hope to scale quickly). Considering a corporation? Here’s information on Virginia incorporation.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a Virginia LLC?

Your Virginia LLC is required to get a federal tax ID if you want to hire employees or file certain federal excise taxes. You’ll also find that as you start your business, you’ll be asked for your EIN over and over again. Just to open a bank account, you’ll likely need your EIN. To register for business permits and licenses, you typically need your EIN. To file local taxes, you usually need one. Even vendors will request it when you go to establish credit. In some of these cases, you can use your personal social security number instead—but why risk your personal information when you don’t have to? EINs are free from the IRS. Can’t bear to fill out one more application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you when you sign up for our services.

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Does a Virginia LLC Need a Business License?

Virginia doesn’t require a general business license on the commonwealth level—just professional licensing and permits for specific business activities. General business licensing is done at the local level. Cities or counties in Virginia typically assess a “business license tax” each year on gross receipts. For example, this tax is managed on the county level for businesses in Arlington County but on the municipal level in cities like Richmond.

What is a Virginia LLC Annual Registration?

Your Virginia LLC Annual Registration is a yearly fee—not a report or other filing, just a $50 fee you can pay using Virginia’s SCC eFile system. Forget to pay? There’s a late fee of $25. And if you don’t pay up within three months of the due date, the commonwealth will revoke or dissolve your LLC. Yikes. Northwest can help here—when you sign up for services at Northwest, we send you annual compliance reminders so you’re free to focus on your business, not fees.

Does a Virginia LLC Need an Operating Agreement?

Absolutely. Technically speaking, there’s no law saying you have to have one, but forgoing an operating agreement is a recipe for disaster. Operating agreements aren’t public filings, like Articles of Organization, which is why you don’t have to file them with any Virginia agency. Instead, operating agreements are private documents—and the most critical internal documents of your Virginia LLC.

Your operating agreement sets the terms for your business. It puts into writing who owns the business. It lists how much each person invested. It explains how profits and losses will be allocated. It spells out what happens in worst-case scenarios, from infighting to shutting down the LLC. Even if you’re the only person in your LLC, you’ll still find you need an operating agreement. Taking the time to write one puts you in the position to carefully consider these major decisions for your Virginia LLC. And despite being an internal document, outside people and businesses will need your operating agreement as well. Banks will ask for one when you go to open an account or take on debt. Potential investors and partners will want to see it as well. And the last thing you want to do is rush through these kinds of huge decisions on the spot after someone asks to see your agreement.

This is why Northwest gives you a free operating agreement—specific to your management style—when you hire us to form your Virginia LLC. We also give out free resolutions, free membership certificates, and more. We’re proud of our forms at Northwest. We were the first website to hand out free LLC forms, and we’ve spent years refining them to make them better and better. Over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form their businesses. Take a look:

 

 

Virginia LLC Articles of Organization Requirements:

Company Name

You must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation. Most businesses keep it simple with “LLC.”

Registered Agent

List either an individual or a business. Individuals must be Virginia residents connected to the LLC (members, managers, partners, etc.) or members of the State Bar. Businesses must be authorized for business in Virginia. Tip: Northwest Registered Agent has been providing expert registered agent service in Virginia for years.

Registered Office

This Virginia street address becomes part of the permanent record of your Virginia LLC. Hire Northwest and our address goes here.

Principal Office

This must be a physical address and will be part of the public record. Tip: Hire us as your registered agent and you can use our Virginia address as your principal address.

Virginia LLC Organizer

Your organizer is just the person who signs and submits your Virginia LLC Articles of Organization. It doesn’t have to be a member or manager. We’ll be your organizer when you hire Northwest.

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