The TRUE Cost to Form an LLC in Virginia

Have big plans for your new business? Before you can get started, you will have to incorporate your company. When you are starting an LLC in Virginia, there are a few startup costs that you should keep an eye on.

Virginia LLC Costs

To make sure you know how much it costs to start a Virginia LLC, we have put together this comprehensive guide with the common Virginia LLC costs you’ll have to pay.

Quick Summary

Short on time and want to get a jump start? Before we dive in with the detailed cost review, let’s give you brief highlights of the cost to start a Virginia LLC. To start an LLC in Virginia, you will have to pay $100 to file the Articles of Organization.

You can file the documentation online or send them through the mail. If you want same-day processing, you will have to pay $200. Moreover, if you want next-day processing, you will have to pay $100. Moreover, you want to reserve your business name before you file the documents, you will have to pay $10 for that as well.

The fee for same-day processing of name reservation is $200 and $50 for next-day processing. There are going to be additional costs such as annual report fees, registered agent charges, operating agreement costs, etc. as well.

If you choose a professional LLC formation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile to form your LLC for you, they will take care of everything you need to get your LLC up and running.

Form Your Virginia LLC Quickly

Want to save your time and energy and don’t want to get lost in legal paperwork? You can hire a professional incorporation service that will take care of all your business needs. Services such as ZenBusiness and IncFile will take care of your LLC formation process at a very nominal fee.

  • Signup for ZenBusiness if you want high-quality services at affordable prices. Not only will they form your LLC, but you will get free registered agent services for a year as well!
  • Signup for IncFile if you are on a tight budget. IncFile has a free LLC formation package that not only helps become a proud LLC owner but offers various enticing features as well.

Virginia LLC Costs

Requirements Cost
LLC Name $0-$10
Registered Agent $0-$250 (per year)
Certificate of Formation $100
Operating Agreement $0 (free templates available)
EIN Number $0 (free on IRS site)
Franchise Tax Reports $0 (for most LLCs)
Taxes Varies

In order to form a Virginia LLC, you have to register your company with Virginia State Corporation Commission. However, before you get started, you have to choose your LLC’s name, select a registered agent for your company, and create a business operating agreement.

Moreover, you will also need a Federal Tax ID (EIN) from the IRS as well as figuring out taxes your LLC will have to pay taxes at federal and state levels. Sounds a lot? Don’t worry – we are here to help. We will lead you through all the steps you need to follow to establish an LLC.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Certification of Formation Filing Fee

The first thing you have to do is prepare your articles of organization and file them with the State Corporate Commission. This is the largest and most important of the Virginia LLC costs and you will be charged $100 to process the Certification of Filing.

However, it is a one-time charge and you will not have to pay the fees again as long as your LLC is up and running. The filing process usually takes 3-12 business days. If you want next-day or same-day processing, you will have to pay $100 and $200, respectively for expedited service.

If you choose a professional LLC formation service, they will handle all your paperwork and will keep you informed about the status of your order.

Virginia LLC Name

Have you selected a name for your LLC? Working out a few business details and want to reserve your tentative company name beforehand? If you want to reserve your name before you file your documents with the State of Virginia, you can do so.

For a small fee of $10, you can reserve your LLC’s name for 120 days. If you want to renew the reservation later, you can do so by paying $10 again. You can reserve your name online or by filling out a form.

However, you are not legally obligated to reserve your name. You can call the State Corporation Commission in Virginia, and confirm the name availability. If the name is available, you can simply file your Articles of Organization and register your company’s name.

You will not have to pay anything for the Virginia LLC name as long as you don’t reserve it first.

Virginia Registered Agent

After selecting your company’s name and before filing your paperwork, you have to select a registered agent for your business. A registered agent is a person who communicates with the State of Virginia on your behalf.

Your registered agent will handle all the tax documents, sensitive legal documents, and will keep your company compliant with the Virginia business law. Therefore, you need to choose a registered agent that you can trust.

You can become your own registered agent as well. However, you will have to keep up with all the business filings and handle any potential legal issues. Moreover, since your address will become part of the public records, you will have to say goodbye to privacy.

Want to save yourself from the stress of all the paperwork and any penalties due to delinquent filings? It is a good idea to hire a professional registered agent such as Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness to ensure your annual reports and any other legal forms are filed in an efficient and timely manner.

Usually, most professional LLC formation companies offer registered agent services as a part of their LLC formation plans. For the first year, you won’t have to pay anything to companies like ZenBusiness and IncFile. After that, you will have to pay yearly subscription fees that vary from $99 to $250.

If you choose to become your own registered agent then you will not have to pay anything. For the sake of convenience, privacy, and discretion we recommend that you hire a professional registered agent.

Virginia Operating Agreement

The next thing you need for your LLC is an operating agreement. A business operating agreement is the legal document that not only outlines the hierarchical structure of your company but will also lay down a few rules your company will run by.

It doesn’t matter whether you are going to start a single-member LLC or multi-member LLC. Having an operating agreement is pretty important for your LLC. Instead of creating an operating agreement yourself, the best way to ensure you have a legally binding and thorough business operating agreement, you should purchase one from a professional LLC formation service.

Most of the LLC formation services such as ZenBusiness and IncFile provide you with business operating agreements as part of their multi-tiered formation packages. You can buy an operating agreement separately online as well. The fee for operating agreements usually ranges from $40 to $200.

Virginia EIN Number

We all have social security numbers. An EIN is similar to a social security number but it is the federal tax ID for LLCs. With the help of an EIN, you can hire employees, open your business bank account, and a lot more.

You can get an EIN from the Virginia Department of Taxation. Simply register your business by completing the registration form R-1. After registering, your LLC will be assigned a tax account number that you can include on your payments, tax returns, or any other tax filings.

If you don’t want to apply for an EIN yourself, you can get the help of LLC incorporation services online. A few of them offer EIN acquisition services as a part of their formation packages. You can get this service separately as well.

If you go the DIY route, you will get your EIN free of cost from the IRS. If you hire a business attorney, the rates will vary according to their hourly rates. LLC formation companies usually charge $40 to $100 for acquiring an EIN for your LLC from the state.

Virginia LLC Bank Account

After getting your EIN, the first thing you should do is open your business bank account. Every successful LLC needs a bank account for its financial proceedings. Even if you have a personal bank account, it is a good idea to separate your personal and professional financial dealings. This will help you a lot when you file your taxes.

Simply get in touch with your local bank and they will guide and help you to form your LLC’s bank account. If you open an account yourself, you will not have to pay any money.

If you hire a professional LLC formation company, they will handle the opening of your LLC as a part of their incorporation packages. Instead of making several trips to the bank, save your time and get the services of ZenBusiness or IncFile!

Virginia Taxes

LLCs are classified as “pass-through” entities by the federal government. This means that you won’t have to file a corporate tax return for your LLC. Individual members of LLCs have to report the income and the losses on their personal tax returns.

State income tax and franchise tax are not imposed by the State of Virginia on LLCs. However, you have to file business tax returns in order to keep your LLC’s information updated with the State. In specific situations, your LLC will have to pay business-related taxes such as sales tax, use tax, withholding tax, unemployment tax, etc.

You should visit Virginia’s tax website to know more in detail. LLC formation services usually offer business tax consultation free or for a nominal fee. They have professionals who guide you regarding the taxes you have to pay, and when.

Therefore, it is better to get help from a tax expert and professional, instead of making errors on your own.

Virginia Business Attorney Fees

If you have any concerns or questions regarding the LLC formation procedure, then the best option is to get in touch with a professional business attorney. They are definitely not cheap and you will have to pay a hefty sum in lieu of attorney fees.

However, for your peace of mind, it is necessary to get professional help. Business attorneys usually offer free first consultation (30 minutes at most), and then charge hourly afterward. Usually, business lawyers charge between $200 to $400 per hour.

However, we recommend that you contact the customer services of a professional LLC formation company, like Northwest Registered Agent, and let their representatives answer your queries. Moreover, comprehensive legal service providers such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer also exist who will not only take care of your LLC formation needs but will also provide professional legal help.

Foreign Qualification Fees

Do you have an LLC in another state and are now expanding your company into Virginia? If yes, then you don’t have to file your Articles of Organization. Instead, you will have to submit an application to get the Certificate of Registration.

The filing fee for the certificate is $100 and you only have to pay for it once. You can send an application online or fill out a physical form and then mail it.

Business Licenses

Before you can do business in Virginia, it is highly probable that you will have to get a business license. However, not every LLC needs a business license – it depends on the geographical location of your business as well as its type.

For example, cosmetologists have to get a business license from the Board for Barbers & Cosmetology. Moreover, cities and counties have specific rules and licensure laws. Therefore, you have to check whether you need any licenses to operate your business in the area or not.

It is a safe option to hire a professional to do this for you so that you can rest assured that you have all/any federal, state, or local permits to do business in Virginia.

For federal licenses, you can check out the US Small Business Administration website. To learn about the state licenses and permits, you should check out the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s website. Your local Chamber of Commerce will help you figure out the local licensing requirements.

Virginia Annual Business Registration Fees

Every LLC in Virginia has to file an annual report yearly. Remember the date of your LLC incorporation because it will act as the deadline for your annual business report the next year. You can file the annual report online or on paper. You don’t have to pay any filing fee for the annual report.

However, you have to pay an annual registration fee of $25 to the state. If you miss your filing deadline, you will have to pay a fine. Moreover, if you don’t pay your annual registration fee three months after the deadline, the state of Virginia will dissolve your company.

Moreover, if your company has stocks or shares, you will have to pay annual fees based on the number of shares your LLC is authorized to issue. Nonstock LLCs have to pay a $25 flat registration fee only.

How to form a Virginia LLC yourself

Starting an LLC of your own is an exciting prospect. We all dream of becoming our own boss and run a successful business. Forming an LLC with the state is the first step in that direction. You will have to go through plenty of paperwork and cut through legal red tape to get started, but it will be worth it.

If you know the steps for creating an LLC, the task becomes even easier.

One of the Virginia LLC costs when forming the company yourself is simply the cost of your time! Instead of spending hours going through tedious filing paperwork, why not hire the services of a professional LLC incorporation company to help you out?

By paying no money (IncFile’s free package), or paying a very nominal fee (ZenBusiness’s $49 starter plan), you can get your business up and running in no time.

Therefore, we recommend that you hire ZenBusiness or IncFile to form your Virginia LLC.

Let’s take a look at the few things that you need to know before you start forming your LLC on your own!

  1. Naming your Virginia LLC

The first thing you have to do is find the perfect name for your LLC. A well-chosen name will help you attract clients and increase the popularity of your business. Apart from choosing a catchy name, you have to make sure it fulfills the legal criteria as well.

You have to choose a one-of-a-kind name since Virginia law doesn’t allow duplicate names of LLCs. Check for the name availability by going through Virginia’s business database. Moreover, your business name must include a particular version of Limited Liability Corporation, such as LLC, L.L.C, Ltd., Co., etc.

Moreover, you can’t add certain words in your business’s name. Check out the rules for business names on Virginia’s Corporate Commission website. You have the choice of reserving the name beforehand, which we have already mentioned above.

  1. Choosing a Registered Agent

Once you have decided on a name, you need to choose a registered agent for your business. A registered agent is a person who will receive legal documents from the state on the behalf of your LLC. You can become your own registered agent, but we highly recommend that you use a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent to take care of this for you.

  1. Filing your Articles of Organization

After you have selected your business name and registered agent, you have to file your articles of organization with the state. You have to get the LLC filing form and fill in the relevant information. You can file the documents online or send them through the mail. In both cases, you will have to pay a $100 filing fee.

If you are opting for paper filing, you will have to send the fees via a check to the State Corporation Commission. In case of online filing, you can pay through e-check or credit card.

  1. Creating a Business Operating Agreement

Even though you are not obligated to have a business operating agreement for your LLC, it is a good place to start after you file your documents with the state. It will help safeguard and protect your company against any legal liabilities.

An LLC operating agreement will set out the precise rules which your company will follow along with details of the company’s ownership structure. With the help of an operating agreement, you can avoid any future conflicts.

LLC incorporation services either give you a standard operating agreement as part of their packages or separately for nominal fees.

  1. Getting an EIN

The last step to acquire an EIN for your LLC. If your LLC has 2 or more members, then you need an EIN. You can apply for one on the IRS’s website and get one free of cost. However, if you don’t want to get lost in the legal jargon and paperwork, LLC incorporation services such as ZenBusiness take care of acquiring an EIN for your LLC.

Costs to Start a Virginia LLC: Conclusion

To get your LLC up and running in the state of Virginia, you have to pay a $100 filing fee. There are a few other expenditures such as registered agent service, operating agreement template, etc. that you have to take care of.

However, we recommend that you should get the help of a professional LLC incorporation company such as ZenBusiness so that you can relax and focus on running your business.

Here’s to your successful business in Virginia!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the State of Virginia have any publication requirements?

No. If you are forming an LLC in Virginia, you don’t have to publicize the formation. Therefore, you will need publication services that are offered by many LLC incorporation services.

Do I have to submit company bylaws to the state?

No. It is not a legal obligation to submit the bylaws of your company to the State. However, it is necessary that you create a business operating agreement that you can use as a blueprint for your company’s day-to-day operations.

How long will it take to form my LLC in Virginia?

Usually, it takes almost 3-5 business days to process your articles of organization. However, if you want, you can get same-day or next-day processing by paying an expediting fee.

Does the State of Virginia allow the formation of a Series LLC?

Yes, if you want multiple LLCs to operate under a single umbrella of a larger LLC, the State of Virginia gives you the permission to do so.

How can I dissolve an LLC in Virginia?

If you want to dissolve an LLC in Virginia, you have to fill out the Articles of Cancellation and file them with the state. You will have to pay a $25 fee for this.

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