If you are looking into starting your own LLC in Virginia, you can probably do it yourself. But it might not hurt to have a little help along the way. That’s why we provide instructions on getting your paperwork filed (totally free) below. If you’d like some extra assistance, including sample forms, operating agreement templates, an article discussing the pros and cons of choosing to operate as a limited liability company, as well as instructions on getting an EIN so you can open a business bank account, you might find our Virginia state kit, available for $34.95, an excellent value.
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
Your first step in setting up an LLC is to check if the name you want to use is even available. To do this, you can use the Virginia County Clerk’s search form at:
By selecting option 10 (Name Search on All Business Entities) and entering the name you want to use in the search form, you’ll be able to see if there’s another business already using the name that you want. You can’t use a name, by the way, that’s the same or deceptively similar to another existing LLC’s name.
2. Download the Articles of Organization form from the Virginia Corporation Commission’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
If you are a professional who wishes to create an LLC you must file for a professional limited liability company (PLLC.) A PLLC is required if you are any of the following: pharmacist, optometrist, physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, veterinarian, surgeon, dentist, architect, engineers, land surveyor, certified landscape architect, certified interior designers, public accountant, certified public accountant, attorney at law, insurance consultant, audiologist, speech pathologist, or clinical nurse specialist. The Articles of Organization for a Domestic Professional Limited Liability Company is located at:
With the exception of one additional step (listed below under Step 4), these forms are identical.
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
After you download and print the LLC application form, you’re ready to fill the form out.
Enter your business or investment name into top box labeled, “Name of Limited-Liability Company.” The name must include the words “limited company,” “limited liability company,” or the abbreviation “LC,” “L.C.,” “LLC,” or L.L.C.”
For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
4. Identify the registered agent
Virginia wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of Virginia who can act as the contact person should the state have questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation. You can pay someone else to be this registered agent, but it’s really easiest and cheapest to just be your own registered agent.
Accordingly, enter your name on the line labeled “Name of the Limited Liability Company’s Initial Registered Agent.” To indicate how your LLC will be managed, mark the appropriate checkbox in box labeled “The Registered Agent is:” You must then indicate if the registering agent is an individual or a company.
Note for PLLC filers: If you are filing out the form for the professional domestic limited liability company, you will have an extra step before this. You will be asked to list your professional services.
5. Give the address of the LLC’s registered office
In the next line, provide the address of the LLC’s registered office and indicate the county, for example, Fairfax County. This address must be located within VA. A Post Office Box is only acceptable if there is not street address associated with the registered office’s location.
6. Give the address of the LLC’s principal office
In the next line indicate the office where the principal officers are located. It is not required that this address be within the state of Virginia. This is the office where a full and current list of all members is located at all times. A Post Office Box is only acceptable if there is no street address associated with the location.
7. Identify the organizer(s)
Name the person(s) organizing the LLC and then provide their dated signature(s) and telephone number(s) using the Organizer(s) area are the bottom of the form.
Our downloadable kit shows an example, completed Virginia state LLC application.
8. Mail in the application
After you complete the application to form a limited liability company, mail the completed form and a check for $100 to:
Clerk of the State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission’s office.