Start a Business in Virginia

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Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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This guide on starting your business in Virginia provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Virginia, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Virginia Limited Liability Company

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  • Form LLC-1010: Articles of Organization of a Virginia Limited Liability Company
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form R-1: Virginia Department of Taxation Business Registration Form
  • Formation: $100 + optional $100-200 expedite fee
  • Formation: ~3-5 business days plus mail time. Next-day service for $100 expedite fee. Same-day service for $200 expedite fee. File online and receive immediate confirmation (no expedite fee); however, note that after hours the effective date is marked the start of the next business day.

Virginia Corporation

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  • Form SCC619: Articles of Incorporation of a Virginia Stock Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form R-1: Virginia Department of Taxation Business Registration Form
  • Incorporation: $75 for 25,000 authorized shares or less + optional $100-200 expedite fee.
  • Incorporation: ~3-5 business days plus mail time. Next-day service for $100 expedite fee. Same-day service for $200 expedite fee. File online and receive immediate confirmation (no expedite fee); however, note that after hours the effective date is marked the start of the next business day.

Virginia Nonprofit

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  • Form SCC819: Articles of Incorporation of a Virginia Nonstock Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form R-1: Virginia Department of Taxation Business Registration Form
  • Form NPO: Retail Sales and Use Tax Exemption Application
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • Form 102: Charitable Organization Registration or Form 100: Virginia Exemption Application for a Charitable or Civic Organization
  • Incorporation: $75
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Virginia charitable registration: $100 + $30-$325 depending on contributions ($10 if exempt)
  • Incorporation: ~7 business days by mail. ~3-7 business day online. Expedited options available for a fee.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Virginia

  1. The corporate filing authority is called the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. You'll often hear it called "SCC". Their online system is called "sccefile".
  2. Virginia offers a consolidated state tax registration application for new businesses. Not all states do and this is a great convenience.
  3. Every business entity authorized to transact business in Virginia is required by law to continuously maintain in the Commonwealth a registered office and a registered agent. We'll explain what this is and what it takes to serve as the registered agent for your own business.
  4. There are two types of corporations in Virginia: stock and nonstock. Generally speaking, in Virginia business corporations form stock corporations and nonprofits form non-stock corporations. In other states, sometimes business corporations form nonstock corporations; however, in Virginia “no dividend or income of a nonstock corporation may be distributed to its directors, officers or individual members, except as reasonable compensation for services rendered or upon the dissolution or liquidation of the corporation” (§13.1-814 of the Code of Virginia). As a result of this limitation, most businesses who intend to produce profits organize as stock corporations.
  5. Both corporations and LLCs are obligated to file an annual report with the SCC.

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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