Articles of Incorporation West Virginia: How to Start a Corporation



West Virginia Articles of Incorporation

Ordering an article of incorporation is fast and easy. You can do it online, over the phone, or in person. If you want to incorporate a corporation in West Virginia, there are several benefits to doing so. First, you’ll protect yourself against personal liabilities if something happens to your company. Second, you’ll be able to take advantage of tax incentives offered by the state. Finally, you’ll be able start up your business without having to deal with the hassle of registering your business name.

What Are West Virginia Articles of Incorporation?

Incorporating a business requires filing articles of incorporation with the state government. These documents give a company its legal identity and provide it with certain privileges such as limited liability protection and tax benefits. A company cannot operate without having been incorporated.

A person or group of people can form a corporation under either a general or specific statute. General statutes apply to most businesses while specific statutes apply to particular types of entities. For example, a limited partnership is governed by a special type of statute called a Limited Partnership Act.

West Virginia Code § 31C-5-1 et seq., known as the WV Business Corporation Law, governs corporations formed under the laws of West Virginia. To incorporate a business, individuals or groups must follow the steps outlined in the law.

The following information provides an overview of the requirements for incorporating a business in West Virginia.

What Exactly Are Articles of Incorporation in West Virginia?

The articles of incorporation are the basic documents required to form a corporation. They include information about the name of the corporation, the type of entity it is, how many shareholders there are, the organization’s purpose, and much more. You must file the articles of incorporation within 30 days of forming the corporation.

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Name of Corporation

You must provide the full legal name of the corporation. This includes both the words “corporation” and “limited liability.” For example, if you want to form a limited liability company, use the phrase “Limited Liability Company”. If you want to form a general partnership, use the word “partnership.” Do not use abbreviations such as LLLC or LLP.

Purpose of Organization

This is where you describe why you formed the corporation. For example, you might state that the corporation will engage in the business of selling widgets. However, do not say that the corporation will sell widgets. Instead, say that the corporation will manufacture widgets.

Number of Shareholders

If you are incorporating a domestic corporation, you must list the number of shares authorized. If you are incorporating a foreign corporation, you must list either the number of shares authorized, or the number of outstanding shares.


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For Domestic Businesses

The fastest way to register a business in West Virginia is to file articles online through the state’s Division of Corporations. “If you’re incorporated in another state, it’s important to make sure you incorporate here,” explains Chris Hagerty, director of the division. “You don’t want to do anything that could cause problems later.”

Your company’s name needs to standout. You’ll find a list of acceptable names on the state’s website. If you choose one that isn’t on the list, your application won’t be accepted.

There are different ways to set-up a corporation in West Virginia, including filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Each corporation should maintain an ongoing corporate existence for at least 3 years.

A registered agent is required for serving legal papers. This person will receive mail sent to the corporation and forward it to the appropriate party. He or she must live in West Virginia and sign the receipt for each piece of correspondence received on behalf of the corporation.

For Foreign Businesses

Foreign companies are required to register with the West Virginia secretary for state’s office. This includes filing an application for certificate of authorization and a certificate of good standing. Companies must also pay fees for the registration process.

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The West Virginia secretary of state keeps track of companies registered in the state. He can issue certificates of authority and good standing if a company meets certain requirements. These include having paid taxes and filed annual reports.

How to Choose a West Virginia Business Name

When selecting a business name, it helps to follow some basic rules. A good rule of thumb is to avoid choosing a name that is already being used by another business. This includes both businesses and brands. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose a name like “The Best Pizza Place Ever.” But you might select a name like “Best Pizzeria,” since there are many pizza places out there. You’ll also want to make sure that your chosen name doesn’t confuse people. So don’t pick something like “Crazy Awesome Ice Cream Shop.” Instead, go with something simple like “Ice Cream Shoppe.”

Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t choose a name containing numbers. If you’re thinking about naming your business “123 Main Street,” think again. People are much less likely to remember a number than a word. And while it’s true that most states allow businesses to register names containing numbers, it’s still best to stick with words.

Finally, you’ll want to avoid picking a name that is too long or contains multiple syllables. While longer names tend to look better on a sign, they often lead to problems when trying to type out addresses and phone numbers.

Articles of Incorporation in West Virginia: Optional Information

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office recently updated its online filing form for articles of incorporation. In addition to the mandatory items listed above, there are several optional sections that you can add to your application. These include:

– Provisions not covered by the West Virginian Business Corporation Act

– Initial Directors’ names and addresses

– Bylaws

– A statement regarding whether the corporation shall issue shares without par value

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– A statement regarding the issuance of preferred stock

– An agreement to provide notice to shareholders upon dissolution

– A statement regarding how much capital the corporation intends to raise

– A statement regarding authorization to make loans

– A statement regarding authority to enter into contracts

– A statement regarding liability insurance coverage

– A statement regarding corporate governance

How to File a Form for Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation form is used to establish a corporation. This document must be filed within 30 days of incorporation unless you are filing under Chapter 11 of the Business Corporation Act. If you file online, you can use the Electronic Filing System (EFS). Please note that the form cannot be mailed directly; it must be sent to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.


Once your Articles of Incorporations are submitted and processed successfully, your business is officially recognized as a corporation. Congratulations! You’ve accomplished something very few people ever do. Now it’s time to celebrate.

But don’t just sit there waiting for someone else to send a press release about your newly formed corporation. Make sure you take some time to enjoy what you’ve done.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my WV tax ID number?

WV Tax ID Number – Find Your WV Tax ID Number provides information about obtaining a West Virginia tax identification number (WV-ID) online. You may use our free service to search for your WV-ID number.

Is an LLC a corporation

An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is not a corporation. A corporation is a legal entity created under state law to conduct business. An LLC is a type of business organization distinct from corporation. Corporations have shareholders who own stock in the company while members of an LLC do not hold shares in the company. Members of an LLC may share profits and losses according to their ownership interest. In addition, an LLC does not need to file annual reports with any government agency.

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