Starting Your Business in West Virginia | A Step-by-Step Guide

Start a Business in West Virginia

If you want to start an LLC in West Virginia, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in West Virginia. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in West Virginia. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in West Virginia?

If you’re looking to start a business in West Virginia, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in West Virginia.

  1. Energy Business
  2. Tourism Business
  3. Information Technology
  4. Wood Products Manufacturing Business
  5. Car Repair Shop

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in West Virginia, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


How to Start a Business in West Virginia?

To form a business in West Virginia, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in West Virginia serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in West Virginia. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for West Virginia Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in West Virginia.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in West Virginia

Selecting a business entity for your West Virginia company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in West Virginia.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in West Virginia by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for West Virginia small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in West Virginia if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in West Virginia reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

To choose the right business structure in West Virginia, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

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Step 3: Determine your West Virginia Business Cost

In West Virginia, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial West Virginia Articles of Organization fee costs $100, while the LLC annual fee costs $25 in West Virginia. In terms of filing West Virginia Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $25 for online and by mail filing.

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in West Virginia.

Step 4: Name your Business in West Virginia

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of West Virginia Business Name Search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in West Virginia, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In West Virginia, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name. You must file a name reservation application in the West Virginia Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 120 days. The online name reservation fee is $15 and the mail name reservation fee is $15. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in two methods, by mail and in person, which you can file in West Virginia Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in West Virginia for clearer understanding.

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Step 5: Register West Virginia Business

To register a business in West Virginia, you need to file it with the West Virginia Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a West Virginia Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

You can serve as your own Registered Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Registered Agent Services in West Virginia.

Apply For Articles of Organization

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the West Virginia Articles of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the West Virginia Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Registered Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in West Virginia. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from the IRS.

The application of an EIN in West Virginia can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

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Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in West Virginia. Before launching your new business, request any required business license or permission. Most West Virginia businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in West Virginia, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain a Bank Account

Your business dealings in West Virginia might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Opening a separate bank account for your West Virginia business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in West Virginia, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in West Virginia

Now that your West Virginia business is registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.


What resources are available for entrepreneurs in West Virginia?
The WV Small Business Development Center offers free counseling and resources for starting a business in West Virginia.
What industries are prevalent in West Virginia for starting a business?
Common industries in West Virginia include energy, healthcare, tourism, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace.
What is the cost of starting a business in West Virginia?
The cost of starting a business in West Virginia varies based on factors such as industry, location, and business structure.
What are the legal requirements for starting a business in West Virginia?
Legal requirements include registering a business name, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and registering for taxes.
What types of business structures are available in West Virginia?
Sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, and nonprofit are all available business structures in West Virginia.
How do I register my business in West Virginia?
You can register your business through the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
How long does it take to register a business in West Virginia?
It can take up to ten days to process a business registration in West Virginia.
Can I start a business in West Virginia without a physical location?
Yes, many businesses operate virtually or from home in West Virginia.
How can I obtain financing for my West Virginia business?
Financing options include bank loans, grants, SBA loans, and venture capital.
Are there any tax incentives for starting a business in West Virginia?
There are various tax incentives available through the WV Development Office for businesses in targeted industries or locations.
What is the West Virginia Open For Business website?
The website offers information on available sites and buildings, community profiles, and business resources for locating a business in West Virginia.
Do I need a business plan to start a business in West Virginia?
A business plan is not required but can be helpful in securing financing and mapping out a plan for the business.
How do I obtain a business license in West Virginia?
Business licenses can be obtained through the Secretary of State’s Office or the local county clerk’s office.
Can I apply for business licenses and permits online in West Virginia?
Some licenses and permits can be applied for online through the Secretary of State’s website.
How do I name my West Virginia business?
Before registering a business name, check to make sure it is available and complies with state requirements.
What are the insurance requirements for my West Virginia business?
Insurance requirements vary based on the industry and type of business.
Is there a state minimum wage in West Virginia?
The minimum wage in West Virginia is currently $8.75 per hour.
Can I get free legal advice for my West Virginia business?
The WV Small Business Development Center offers free legal advice for businesses in West Virginia.
How can I make my West Virginia business environmentally friendly?
Consider implementing sustainable practices such as using energy-efficient appliances, recycling, and reducing paper use.
What are some networking opportunities for West Virginia business owners?
There are various organizations, such as the Charleston Chamber of Commerce, that offer networking events for business owners.
How can I market my West Virginia business?
Consider using social media, advertising, and sponsoring local events to market your business in West Virginia.
Can I get a permit to operate my business on state lands in West Virginia?
Yes, a permit may be required if the business activities will be conducted on state lands.
Do I need a business license to sell items at West Virginia flea markets?
Yes, a business license is required to sell at flea markets and other public events.
What types of insurance are required for my West Virginia business?
Some types of insurance to consider are liability and property insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and business interruption insurance.
Can I incorporate my small business in West Virginia?
Yes, small businesses can incorporate in West Virginia.
Can I file my business taxes electronically in West Virginia?
Yes, the West Virginia State Tax Department offers electronic tax filing for businesses.
What is the West Virginia Healthy Employees Act?
The Act requires employers with fifteen or more employees to provide paid sick leave.
What incentives does West Virginia offer for carpooling?
Incentives include priority parking, free park-and-ride passes, and vanpool subsidies, among others.
What are the different types of business structures I can choose in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, you can choose from a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
How much does it cost to register a business in West Virginia?
The cost of registering a business in West Virginia varies depending on the type of business structure you choose and the filing fees.
Is it easy to get a business license in West Virginia?
The requirements for getting a business license in West Virginia vary depending on the type of business and the city or county where it will be located.
Does West Virginia have a website where I can find information on starting a business?
Yes. Visit the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website for information on starting a business in the state.
How long does it take to get a business registration in West Virginia?
The time it takes to get a business registration in West Virginia depends on the type of business structure you choose and how quickly you submit the necessary documents.
What are the taxes for businesses in West Virginia?
In general, businesses in West Virginia are subject to state income tax, sales tax, and property tax.
Are there any state-specific taxes for businesses in West Virginia?
Yes, there is a business franchise tax in West Virginia.
What resources are available for small businesses in West Virginia?
West Virginia has a variety of resources available for small businesses, such as the Small Business Development Center and the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.
Can I get a loan for starting my own business in West Virginia?
Yes. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has loans available for small businesses.
What industries are strong in West Virginia?
The coal mining industry is historically strong in West Virginia, but the state has diversified in recent years, with growing industries in healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.
How do I find a business mentor in West Virginia?
Contacting the West Virginia Small Business Development Center is a good place to start looking for a business mentor in the state.
What is the minimum wage in West Virginia?
The minimum wage in West Virginia is currently $8.75 per hour.
How do I apply for business permits in West Virginia?
The application process for business permits in West Virginia varies depending on the type of permit and location of the business.
Does West Virginia offer any incentives for starting a business?
Yes, West Virginia offers incentives such as tax credits, grants, and low-interest loans to businesses looking to start or expand in the state.
What is the sales tax rate in West Virginia?
The sales tax rate in West Virginia is 6%.
Where do I go to get a federal identification number for my West Virginia business?
You can apply for a federal identification number for your West Virginia business on the IRS website.
Can I register a trademark in West Virginia?
No, West Virginia does not have a state-level trademark registration process. You will need to register a trademark federally with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
What are the steps for starting a home-based business in West Virginia?
Some specific zoning requirements and permit applications may apply to those starting a home-based business in West Virginia. Check with the county office in which the business will be located.
What resources does West Virginia have for non-English speakers starting a business?
Resources such as those found at the Latino Economic Development Center can be a good resource for non-English speakers starting a business in West Virginia.
What are the steps to properly close a business in West Virginia?
To properly close a business in West Virginia, you need to file dissolution paperwork with the West Virginia Secretary of State.
Is it required to obtain a business insurance in West Virginia?
Business insurance is not legally required in West Virginia. That said, insurance is still recommended to protect your company from unexpected accidents, liability, and more..
What are the penalties for not registering my business in West Virginia?
Failing to register your business in West Virginia can result in fines and has implications regarding business operations.
Can I get help paying my fees to start a business in West Virginia?
In some cases, you can look to the West Virginia Small Business Administration for funding that might help cover the fees needed to start your own successful business.
If I’m registering an LLC, name my business registered with such with West Virginia?
When registering an LLC in West Virginia, you’ll need to select a unique name that’s also available for use within the state.
Will I have to apply for extra permits other than the State Articles of Organization if I want to register an LLC in West Virginia?
Additional documents, registrations, or permits may be required on a case-by-case basis, depending on the work of your LLC. Contact your local business bureau or other business mentor professionals to help you with any particular registration with West Virginia.
Where do I register an EIN in West Virginia?
An (Employer Identification Number) EIN can be applied on the IRS website once registered as a legal West Virginia entity.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Business in West Virginia

One of the most compelling reasons to start a business in West Virginia is the state’s incredibly low cost of living. From affordable housing to low taxes, you’ll find that your hard-earned dollars stretch much further in the Mountain State than in many other parts of the country. This means that you can invest more in your business and see a greater return on your investment.

In addition to its affordability, West Virginia offers a plethora of resources and support for small businesses. The state is home to numerous economic development organizations, business incubators, and networking groups that can provide valuable assistance as you navigate the process of starting and growing your company. Whether you need help with funding, marketing, or any other aspect of running a business, you’ll find a wealth of expertise and guidance in West Virginia.

Another major advantage of starting a business in West Virginia is the state’s strategic location. West Virginia is situated within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, making it an ideal setting for businesses looking to reach customers across the country. This prime location can give your business a competitive edge and help you expand your reach in ways that might not be possible in other parts of the country.

When it comes to quality of life, West Virginia truly shines. The state boasts stunning natural beauty, with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing. This idyllic setting can provide a welcome respite from the stresses of running a business and help you recharge and refocus as needed. Additionally, West Virginia’s strong sense of community and close-knit neighborhoods can make you feel right at home as you build your business and put down roots.

In terms of workforce, West Virginia offers a highly skilled and eager talent pool. The state’s colleges and universities produce graduates with a wide range of skills and expertise, making it easy to find the talent you need to help your business succeed. And with a strong work ethic and a friendly, can-do attitude, West Virginia residents are known for their commitment and dedication to their jobs, making them valuable assets to any business.

Overall, West Virginia offers a wealth of benefits for entrepreneurs looking to start a business. From its low cost of living and abundance of resources to its strategic location and high quality of life, this state has everything you need to turn your business dreams into a successful reality. So why wait? Take the plunge and start your business in West Virginia today.


Starting a business in West Virginia has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in West Virginia is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive West Virginia business landscape.

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