There are many advantages to forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Virginia. One of those is asset protection. That means that even if the company incurs debts and obligations, it will not affect the personal assets of the business owners, who are known as members. Aside from that, the company can also have pass-through taxation treatment. These two major benefits are what make this structure an appealing option for many entrepreneurs before starting the LLC paperwork.
Forming a Virginia Business Entity
Generally, all companies have to register to ensure the legality of their operations. The registration will be done at the state level. It will involve the submission of LLC paperwork and the completion of multiple steps.
The formation process depends on the state where the business has chosen to organize. The company may also have additional obligations during its existence depending on state laws. Having a reliable agent by your side will help the business handle all of the processes and make sure that the LLC remains compliant with all of its state obligations.
Here are the things to prepare before starting a Virginia LLC:
- State Naming Requirements – Virginia has set naming guidelines that all business entities have to follow. For LLCs, that includes the addition of a proper designator. You can use the phrase Limited Liability Company or any of its abbreviations, such as LLC or L.L.C. Do not include any term that could mistake the company as a government agency. The state also requires the business to have a distinguishable name. That means not using a name if another Virginia business entity has already taken it. A reliable agent like DoMyLLC can help ensure that your LLC name follows the state guidelines. We can also conduct a business entity name search to check the availability of the desired name.
- Articles of Organization – When starting a company, the business owner will need to complete certain LLC paperwork, the Articles of Organization. This document will formalize and legalize the business operations. You will have to submit it to the Corporations Commission, along with the $100 filing fee. To accomplish, disclose the following pieces of information:
- LLC Name
- Name and Address of the Registered Agent
- Principal Office Address
- Management Structure
- Company Organizer
- Operating Agreement – The state of Virginia does not require LLCs to create an operating agreement. However, having this internal document will be advantageous for the company. It will set the duties, powers, and rights of the members, which can help prevent possible disagreements in the future. It will also define the operating procedures of the LLC. Additionally, it will help maintain the limited liability protection feature of the LLC structure since it will prove that the company is a separate entity. If you think preparing a quality operating agreement is a bit complicated, rely on an agent to help.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – The LLC may need an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It will be necessary if you plan on hiring employees and opening a business bank account. It is also needed for taxation purposes. To apply for an EIN, submit a completed SS-4 form to the IRS. Make sure to use the name that was registered in the Articles of Organization. The application for an EIN can be completed online for free.
- Business Licenses and Permits – There are certain industries, business activities, and locations that require licenses and permits. Make sure to check with the county, city, and state government agencies to find out more about the requirements.
- Annual Registration Fee – All LLCs operating in Virginia have to pay an annual registration fee of $50. It is due on the last day of the month when the company was created. The LLC’s registered agent will receive a notice of the assessment from the Corporations Commission.
The LLC’s Registered Agent For LLC Paperwork
As stated earlier, an LLC will have to disclose the name and address of a registered agent in the Articles of Organization. That is because appointing an agent is a requirement in the state of Virginia.
You have to nominate a registered agent to serve as the point of contact for the company with the state. They will be in charge of receiving all legal correspondence and business mail on behalf of the LLC.
Before selecting a registered agent, make sure they qualify based on the guidelines of the state.
If you choose an individual, s/he has to:
- be a resident of Virginia
- be at least 18 years old
- be a member of the Virginia State Bar or a part of the management of a business entity
- have a physical street address in the state
- always be available in the registered office during normal business hours
If you opt for a commercial registered agent, they have to:
- be authorized to do business in Virginia
- have a physical street address in the state
- always be available in the said address during regular business hours
Making the Right Choice
Since the state allows you to choose a registered agent, opt for one that offers the best services. Also decide whether an individual or commercial agent is the right fit for you.
Companies that decide to have an individual can appoint a member of the LLC or an attorney. However, make sure that they have the right qualifications.
To make the right choice, weigh the pros and cons of both options. Make sure that you will be comfortable working with whoever is selected.
Some entrepreneurs choose to appoint an individual because it allows them to save money. But, doing this can also expose the company to unwanted risks.
Meanwhile, nominating a commercial registered agent requires you to spend a bit more. But, finding a reliable third-party organization like DoMyLLC, can have a hassle-free experience. You can also have peace of mind since the experts are handling the LLC paperwork.
There is a reason why the state requires a registered agent to always be available in the registered office during regular business hours. The state forwards all communications to them. So, if they were not able to contact the agent, you may miss important filing or reporting deadlines. In such cases, there is a possibility for the LLC to lose its good standing status or face administrative dissolution.
Process servers will also reach out to the LLC through the registered agent. They will inform the registered agent if the company is facing a lawsuit. If they fail to relay the message, the business owner may end up being clueless about a proceeding. What is worse is if the court reaches a decision against the company because you were not able to defend it.
A commercial registered agent may be more beneficial. With a reliable team to support, you can have more freedom when it comes to the management. Additionally, you will not have to worry about looking for a new registered agent in case the business moves.
How DoMyLLC can Help
Forming and maintaining a Virginia LLC requires you to handle various paperwork and tasks. Having a reliable agent can streamline the processes.
A responsible registered agent can also prevent any issues. They will help ensure that the company remains compliant with all of its state obligations.
Since the agent will serve as the general point of contact for the business with the state, you will have to make sure to select one that is qualified and experienced.
Our team of experts offers services ranging from company formation to business compliance. We can handle various paperwork and state processes. Be sure to ask for a personalized solution to fit the needs of the business. Also get access to an expert who can answer all queries and concerns through our live support service. Contact us now to find out how you can benefit from our services.
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