How to Form an LLC in Virginia

Virginia is frequently ranked as a top state for business, if not. It makes sense to establish a limited liability company in Virginia with so much potential.

Learn how to form an LLC in Virginia by reading our guide. We will walk you through the entire process and highlight key considerations.

If you want to use an LLC service, visit our list of the best LLC services in Virginia.

Before starting an LLC in Virginia

There are some key steps you need to take before you can set up your LLC. These are the first steps to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Register for a login on the Clerk’s Information System Website (CIS).

The State Corporation Commission Clerk’s Information System (CIS) has helped Virginia streamline its business creation and tracking process in recent years. It is still possible to download forms, but it is faster and more efficient to use a login and password to access the system. You can also complete most of the process digitally.

Check the availability of LLC names

The name of your LLC must be distinct from any other business names that are filed with the State Corporation Commission. You can avoid having your LLC application rejected by checking name availability by visiting the CIS Name availability search engine. You can reserve your potential LLC name if it is not yet available.

You can either complete the reservation online or download and send Form SC631. You can keep a name on hold for up to 120 calendar days with a $10 filing fee. You can request more time by paying an additional $10, and you can renew your hold for an additional 120 days.

Northwest R.A. is the 2nd largest registered agent service, charging $125/year. CT Corporation aka Wolters Kluwer is the largest, oldest, and one of the most expensive, charging $337/year. CT Corp charges $788 for incorporation with reg. agent service.  

Appoint a Registered Agent

All formal businesses in Virginia must have registered agents. This person receives and manages paperwork from the state as well as important court documents. The registered agent must be a Virginia resident who has a physical address in the state (the “registered offices”); a Virginia P.O. A box is not sufficient.

The agent must be available during normal business hours. The agent must also be a member of either your company’s management (typically, a member or manager of your LLC) or of the Virginia State Bar.

A company can also provide registered agent services. You can expect to pay an affordable fee for reliable, annual service. The average price is between $49- $300.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Start the process of creating an LLC by filling out Form LLC1011 and the Articles for Organization. To register in Virginia, entities from outside the state must complete Form LLC1052. The LLC name, physical address, and registered agent must be included in the filing.

You have three options when it comes to turning in your LLC documents

  • Sign in to the CIS site to submit everything online
  • Send documents and payments to P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197
  • Completed forms can be delivered in person to Tyler Building, 1st Floor at 1300 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219

The filing fee is $100. The filing fee is $100.

What to do after setting up an LLC in Virginia

While the initial process of forming a Virginia LLC is completed, there are many steps you can take to ensure the continued health and existence your business entity. Here are some key post-establishment considerations.

Correct Any Filing Errors

You must immediately correct any errors found in your LLC paperwork after it has been filed. You can quickly correct any errors by submitting form LLC1011.1 either on paper or via the CIS website. The fee is $25.

Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most businesses require an EIN, but single-member LLCs without employees are an exception. These owners can still use their Social Security Number (SSN) to get by. EINs can be used by one-member LLCs to protect the owner’s Social Security number (SSN) from identity theft and preserve privacy. The IRS website allows you to quickly get your EIN.

The Annual Registration Fee must be paid

Virginia LLCs do not have to file yearly reports. An annual registration fee of $50 is required for LLCs. The annual registration fee is payable one year after the LLC’s formation and by the end of the anniversary month.

Make an LLC Operating Agreement

Is Virginia a requirement for LLCs to have operating agreements? Not necessarily. SS13.1-1023 describes how an operating agreement works and the circumstances in which it may be enforced by law.

The state code allows you to create an LLC operating agreement to “regulate or establish the affairs, the conduct, and the relations of its members.” This agreement can be used to “regulate or establish the affairs, the conduct of its businesses, and the relationships of its members.” However, members will still be bound by the agreement if it is executed later.

Important to remember that an agreement is binding regardless of whether it has been in writing. Make sure to be as transparent as possible regarding all details, including voting rights, financial obligations, and responsibilities.

A court of equity has the power to enforce the LLC operating agreement.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of a Virginia LLC?

Virginia LLCs are $100 each for domestic and international entities.

What is the time frame to establish a Virginia LLC?

Online filings can take up to two weeks, while mail-in paperwork can take as long as two weeks.

What are the advantages of starting an LLC?

LLCs are very popular because they are usually less expensive and more straightforward to set up regardless of where you live. LLCs, being pass-through entities, don’t have to pay corporate income taxes. LLCs also offer liability protection since the business assets are separated from owner and member assets.

What is the best way to get a DBA for my LLC?

Yes. In some cases, it may be necessary. A business that is not based in the United States might require a DBA (doing business under) or a fictitious business name. This is if it has an existing Virginia company name. If your LLC intends to operate under a trade name other than the LLC’s official name, you may need a DBA.


  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.