Starting a business in Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions about Virginia Business Registration
What is the best way to do a Virginia business registration with State Corporation Commission?
The quickest and least expensive way to file new domestic Virginia LLCs and new Virginia corporations is online on the VA State Corporation Commission website, but you can only do simple filings such as a corporation with only common shares and basic articles. The Virginia SCC eFile system also allows you to change your Virginia registered agent, file the Virginia annual report and obtain certificates online. Your articles of incorporation or articles of organization do not need to be complex and can be uploaded on the VA State Corporation Commission website.
Foreign Virginia corporations and foreign Virginia LLCs can only be filed in person or by mail. The application must be submitted to the Clerk of the Commission with a certified or otherwise authenticated copy of the corporations articles of incorporation or LLCs articles of organization (including all amendments) from their state of original formation. The authentication must be within the past year under the original signature and seal of the Secretary of State. The certificate of the Secretary of State must indicate that the attached articles are a “true and correct copy” of the official records, or words to that effect.
How long will it take the Commonwealth of Virginia to process my Virginia business registration?
Using the online corporate filing system, your filing is processed instantly at no extra charge. If you file by paper, it will take 1-2 weeks for normal processing.
How will I get my Virginia business registration filing back?
The filing will come back to your Virginia registered agent. Your VA registered agent doesn’t need to sign your filing but you need to list their name and address on the filing.
If you filed for a certificate of authority in Virginia, you will receive the certificate by mail.
What signatures are needed on the Virginia business registration filing?
For domestic entities, original signatures are not needed. The incorporator must sign for Virginia corporations. The organizer must sign for Virginia LLCs. A member or manager must sign a foreign Virginia LLCs filing. Foreign Virginia corporations filings have original signatures by a corporate officer or chairman of the board of directors.
Is annual reporting required?
Domestic and foreign corporations must file a Virginia annual report which is due on or before the last day of the month in which they were incorporated or issued the certificate of authority in Virginia, and they must also pay an annual registration fee at the same time. The annual report is a means of updating the SCC’s records for Virginia corporations.
The Virginia annual report is sent to the corporation’s Virginia registered agent, who then forwards it to the corporation. It is important to have a reliable VA registered agent! Failing to file the Virginia annual report will put the corporation in bad standing, and after 4 months, the corporation will be dissolved or certificate of authority revoked.
Domestic and foreign LLCs do not have to file a Virginia annual report but do have to pay the registration fee.
The annual registration fee is $50 for LLCs and a minimum of $100 for stock corporations (the exact amount is based on the amount of shares it is authorized to issue).
What licenses are required by the Virginia Licensing Board?
If you are starting a business in Virginia that requires a Virginia professional license, certificate or registration, you need to apply through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Many of the 167 license types that are issued through the DPOR can be applied for online on the DPOR website.