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Virginia LLC: How to Start a Virginia LLC in 7 Steps


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Are you thinking about starting your own business in Virginia? If you’re leaning toward setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’re on the right track! Creating an LLC is important easy to set up and offers legal protections. Don’t worry if you’re new to this; we’re here to guide you through the steps to get your LLC up and running in Virginia.

Here are the steps you need to follow to form a Virginia LLC.

Step 1: Picking the Name for Your Virginia LLC

First things first, your LLC needs a name. Virginia has rules about what your name should include:
Naming Guidelines: Your LLC name should be unique and distinct from existing Virginia businesses.

  • Must Include: Add “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” to show it’s an LLC.
  • May Not Include: Avoid government-related terms like “FBI” or “Treasury”.
  • Distinguishable Names: Your LLC name should stand out. So, “Sam’s Bakery LLC” is cool, but “Sam’s Bakeshop” might be too close to “Sam’s Bakery”.

If you think about getting a website name that matches your business name. You can find good deals for your website domain names on Namecheap.

Step 2: Filing Your Virginia LLC Articles of Organization

Next up, it’s time to file your Articles of Organization. This step is important in Virginia to officially make your business an LLC. Don’t skip this step, or your business isn’t legally an LLC yet.

Here’s what you need to include in your Articles of Organization:

  • LLC Name: Write the full legal name of your LLC. Don’t forget to add “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” at the end.
  • Mailing Address: If you get mail somewhere different from where your business is, put that address here.
  • Registered Agent: This is who will get all the official papers for your LLC. Write down their full name or company name, address, and phone number. Make sure they agree in writing to be your Registered Agent.
  • Management Structure: Tell if your LLC will be run by its members (you and any partners) or by the managers you pick. List their names and addresses. Remember, this info will be public, so you can use a P.O. box for addresses if you want.
  • Purpose: Write a short description of what your business will do.
  • LLC Organizer: This person or company fills out and sends in your LLC’s paperwork. They’re really important for setting up your LLC right.
  • Formation Date: When will your LLC officially start? It can be right when you file this form or a date you choose (up to 90 days later).
  • Signing: After you double-check everything, sign and date the form. Make sure your Registered Agent has agreed to their role.

How Much It Cost:

File Articles of Organization with Virginia State Corporation Commission. Filing Fee costs $100.00

How to Send Your Form:

  • Online: Fast and convenient, file at the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s website.
  • By Mail: Send your form to State Corporation Commission, Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197.
  • In Person: Drop it off at the Clerk’s Office at 1300 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219.

Step 3: Make Your LLC Operating Agreement

Let’s talk about setting up some ground rules for your business.
This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it like a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s like a rule book for your LLC. You don’t have to file it, but it’s good to have. It’s really important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. I
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do, and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section is all about how new people can join your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized, so everyone knows what to expect. It can save you a lot of headaches down the road! 

Step 4: Getting Your Virginia EIN

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts, credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees. 

 It’s free and you can get it from the IRS website at

Step 5: Appointing a Registered Agent in Florida

Your LLC needs a Registered Agent in Virginia. This person or company will handle all your important paperwork. They must have a Virginia address and be available during business hours. Remember, that while someone in your LLC can be the Registered Agent, their address will be public. Alternatively, you can use a legal service specializing in this area, services like Northwest Registered Agent can help you out with this.

Step 6: Obtain Additional Permits & Licensing in Virginia

Your LLC might need more than just a business license:

  • Business License: Most businesses need one. Check with your local city or county government.
  • Trader’s License: Required if you’re into buying and selling products.
  • Professional License: Certain professions need this – think doctors, lawyers, etc.
  • Federal Licenses & Permits: Needed for specific business activities.

File Virginia LLC Annual Report/Renewal Form

Don’t forget this annual task:

  • Online Filing: Head over to the Virginia SCC website to file.
  • Fee: It’s $50.
  • Deadline: Due by the last day of the month when you started your business.
  • Late Fee: Miss it and pay $25, plus risk your LLC’s standing.
  • Consequences: Not renewing could mean losing your LLC’s protections.

Virginia LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Virginia Seller’s Permit:

  • Required for selling goods or services.
  • Register to collect sales tax.

Virginia Employer Taxes:

  • For businesses with employees in Virginia.
  • Register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax.

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

  • Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:

  • First Report Deadlines:
    • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
    • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you need to file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.
  • Who Needs to Report:
    • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and other similar entities within the U.S.
    • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities that are registered foreign entities need to adhere to these new rules too.
  • Exceptions to Reporting:
    • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.
  • What Must Be Reported

When it comes to what you need to report, it’s all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about the ownership and control of your LLC.

  • When Must Reporting File Reports

Timing is key! Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.

  • Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You cannot file before January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – this means you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and true.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information: Providing false information or failing to report accurately is a big no-no.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. They’re not trying to trip you up; they want to help you get it right.
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? You have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report if you discover inaccuracies in your initial report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, don’t hesitate to visit the FinCEN website for all the details.

What to Do After You’ve Started an LLC 

Open a Separate Business Bank Account

It’s super important to keep your personal money and business money apart. Mixing them up can cause big problems, like losing the protection that comes with having an LLC. This mix-up is sometimes called “piercing the corporate veil,” and it can put your personal stuff like your car or house at risk if your business runs into trouble. To open a business bank account, you’ll need:

  • Your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
  • Your Operating Agreement.
  • Your Employer Identification Number (EIN).

When picking a bank for your business, think about the fees, minimum deposits, and the benefits (like earning interest) they offer. Look for features that help your business, like using a debit card to pay for things.

Get a Business Credit Card

A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review.

Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024?

Set Up Your Finances Right

Start with good habits for keeping track of your money. This means not mixing your personal cash with your business’s. Good record-keeping makes tax time less stressful and helps avoid problems with the rules. You might want to use a program like QuickBooks for tracking your money, inventory, payroll, and sales. It’s also smart to talk to professionals like accountants or business lawyers, especially to understand Florida’s tax rules. Find experts who know a lot about the area where your business is.

Create a Professional Website 

Having a website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. For hosting your website, you can check out SiteGround or Hostinger. They’re both good options to get your site up and running.

Announce Your Business with a Press Release: Let the world know about your new business with a press release. It’s a cool way to get the word out and attract customers.

Starting a business in Virginia is simple and enjoyable. You can take it one step at a time. If you need assistance, Northwest Registered Agent can help you set up your Virginia LLC. This will save you a lot of time as an entrepreneur, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of your business.

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