Starting a company

How To Start An LLC In Virginia

Key Takeaways

  • Virginia is one of the top states when it comes to welcoming a new venture.
  • The state also offers a competitive advantage of the modern economy and low operating costs. 
  • The process of starting an LLC is relatively easy, but the process turns out to be a bit longer in some cases. 
  • Carrying out all the listed procedures, as mentioned, will result in easy approval of the establishment, and you will be able to start with the operations soon. 

Before we start with the detailed steps of starting an LLC, let us know what it is. 

What Is An LLC? 

A Limited Liability Company is a venture that combines aspects of both corporations and partnerships. It is founded by a group referred to as members of the business structure. People opt more for LLC because it offers a higher level of liability protection than a sole proprietorship. It means that the owners of LLC are not held financially responsible, nor any of their assets can be seized by the company under any lawsuit. 

Based on the number of members involved in founding the LLC, the business is classified as a single-member or multi-member LLC. The advantage of an LLC is that while it operates, the personal finances are separated from the business finances, making filing and paying taxes easy. 

Coming to the taxation of LLC, the venture is taxed under different provisions, and each way has its advantage. Taking into account a single-member LLC, the concerned person pays personal income tax and self-employment tax on the entire profits earned. Discussing the taxation of partnership, each partner pays income tax for their income and also self-employment tax on the total profits earned. 

Steps To Start An LLC In Virginia

The process of forming an LLC starts with completing all required details in Form LLC1011, the Articles of Organization. Entities out of the state but want to set up their corporation in Virginia should fill up Form LLC1052. A few critical details are to be filled up on the form, such as the LLC name, the registered agent's name, and your company's physical address. 

Let us get started with some key considerations that you should keep in mind when starting your LLC. 

Decide The Ideal LLC Kind

Considering the formation of corporations, the establishment of LLCs requires less paperwork and is also less expensive to start. Though the cost is more than that of a sole proprietorship business, its taxation is also complex. As discussed, this business structure offers a great level of protection for personal assets, though exceptions apply to some cases. 

Naming Virginia LLC

After you have decided to set up an LLC in Virginia, you will have to create a unique name for your venture. As an entrepreneur, this is one of the toughest decisions. The name greatly impacts several business aspects, including marketing, branding, and customer retention. When deciding on a name, have some considerations in mind to come up with a unique solution. 

Just as a rule applies anywhere regarding business names, you should think of a name that doesn't already exist in Virginia. Search for the used business names in the Clerk's Information System of the State Corporation Commission. The name chosen should make sense when used for a website as well. That said, a domain under your business name should be available to make a website for digital presence. 

The Need For a Virginia Business License

When planning to start an LLC in Virginia, you will have to determine whether or not you will need a state license to operate the same. Obtaining a state license is not required, but it may sometimes be needed. The county or city may separately have their requirement for licensing or zoning. If not clear with the local LLC requirements in Virginia, contact the zoning or commissioner's office. 

If you plan to trade in taxable goods or services, register your business with the Virginia Department of Taxation. Sales tax is to be filed quarterly based on the sales volume. 

Turning In LLC Document

This step is mandatory; you can turn in your LLC documents in three different options. 

i.) You must submit all required documents online by signing up on the CIS website. 

ii.) Mail the required documents along with the payment to P.O Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197. 

iii.) All completed forms with the required documents can be taken in person to 1300 East Main Street, Tyler Building, 1st Floor, Richmond, VA 23219. 

The filing fee for your LLC in Virginia is $100. All cheques or money orders are to be made in the name of the State Corporation Commission, and also using Black Ink is recommended for all physical paperwork. 

Key Considerations After Establishing An LLC In Virginia

By now, the immediate steps to establish an LLC in Virginia are complete, but there is more to the process. The steps taken after this process is for the business entity's long-term existence and good health. Let us now go over some of the post-establishment steps that should be taken into account. 

Correction Of All Filing Errors

There are instances where after filing the LLC establishment paperwork, people realize that some mistakes were made. During such a situation, you need to make the required corrections to make sure nothing wrong is submitted to the department. In that case, you need to make the changes real quick. Submit a Form LLC1011.1 to take care of all the mistakes made in the previous application. You can do this either through the CIS website or by filing paper. 

To carry out the corrections because of your mistake, you will be charged a fee of $25. 

Obtain Employee Identification Number (EIN) 

Almost every business operating in Virginia will require an Employee Identification Number. Though obtaining this number is optional in some cases, it is for single-member LLCs with no employees. The owners can easily get by with their Social Security Numbers of the owner. Also, the EIN is ideal for one-member LLC business structures since it helps protect the SSN from identity theft and also helps preserve its privacy. From the IRS website, you can easily check your EIN. 

Payment Of Annual Registration Fees

If you are an LLC in Virginia, you will not have to file annual reports. However, an annual registration fee of $50 is to be paid by the corporation operating as an LLC in Virginia. The same payment gets due after the firm has completed a year since its formation, and the last payment date is the end of its anniversary month. 

Preparing An Operation Agreement

Though the document is not mandatory in Virginia, it is highly recommended that you obtain the same to be safe. It is an internal document that is being prepared to establish the working of the LLC. The rights and responsibilities of the managers and its members are set out, along with the management procedures of the business. 

In addition, it helps protect the limited liability company by showcasing that the business being operated is a separate business entity. For businesses that don't prepare an operating agreement, the state LLC law looks after their operations. After the creation of the operating agreement, there is no need to file it with the Articles of Organization. 

Marketing Your Business

When you are all set to operate as an LLC in Virginia, you also need people to know about your brand and offerings. For this, you will need a robust marketing strategy in place. 

i.) Carrying out intense market research is what we recommend. This will help you gain insights about your target consumers, and also you will be able to serve them better. 

ii.) Invest your time and some money in advertising and promoting your brand in front of the right audience. You can either do it all by yourself or hire experts for this job so that all your efforts don't go to waste. 

iii.) Media outlets are often receptive to the news they get about your LLC. Hence, you should not forget about them and keep them updated with news about your brand, the launch of a new product or service, or just any other coverage. 

iv.) Gone are the days when businesses used to advertise themselves on the billboards installed at the sides of the road. Platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have taken the world by storm. These social media platforms offer great opportunities for businesses to advertise themselves and promote their products or services in front of a more diverse audience. 

v.) Nothing can beat that in-person relationship you share with your consumers. Hence, take time to build it and nurture them with everyone who walks in your door for purchase. When they find a good business like yours, they are sure to spread the word about your LLC in Virginia to their family, friends, and other people they work with. 

Know The Business Insurance Options In The State

There are several business Insurance options that you can consider for your LLC in Virginia. That said, to choose the ideal one for your venture, have an idea of the options available. Some of the commercial insurance types are listed below for you to have an idea. 

  1. Commercial Property Insurance: This insurance type will protect your business during uncertain events like fire, theft, weather damage, etc. 
  1. General Liability Insurance: It will help protect your LLC against lawsuits that result from injuries, accidents, or negligence. 
  1. Commercial Auto Policy: The insurance offers extra coverage for the vehicle that you want to use for your business. 
  1. Business Income Coverage: This helps protect your business's income in case of any of the above-listed events and can also cause damage to the office, equipment, or store. 
  1. Workers' Compensation Coverage: This particular insurance type is mandatory for all businesses with employees operating in Virginia. It helps cover internal disputes among employees, all kinds of employee injuries, and workplace crime victims. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of operating in Virginia? 

The business filing fees and annual registration fees are quite low in Virginia as compared to the other states. The state doesn't require an annual report from the LLC as well but has strict terms for the person signing up as a registered agent. 

Is hiring a registered agent for LLC mandatory in Virginia? 

Yes, all registered agents for LLC filing should be residents of the state and should also have a physical address or operate as a Virginia business. Also, they should be available during normal business hours. 

How much time will the LLC setup in Virginia take? 

The process of LLC formation in Virginia can easily take a few days. The process, when done online, takes less time compared to the one done in person. That said, when LLC filing is done in person, the paperwork can easily take a couple of weeks or even more. 


The state of Virginia offers several tax advantages to new businesses. This is one of the primary reasons why they are looking forward to setting up their existence in the state. Moreover, the state offers numerous developmental programs for businesses to obtain the maximum benefits, and it also offers an educated workforce. 

Learn more with us

We can help!

At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

We can provide sufficient information to guide you in starting a limited liability company in Virginia. In this way, you can avoid some common mistakes and errors that people usually face in the process.

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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