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How to incorporate a business in Virginia

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2022 | Business Formation & Planning

Incorporating a business provides limited liability protection and makes it easier to acquire third-party funding. Virginia has a certain process as well as a minor application fee to incorporate your business.

Choose a valid name

Business formation law mandates that corporation names have corp., co., inc., or ltd. in their names. It must also be different from other corporation names that are on file with Virginia State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk. You could check the Virginia business name database to ensure your desired company name is available. Virginia allows you to reserve names for 120 days. To reserve a name, you must mail your reservation form to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

File Articles of Incorporation

You must file the state’s Articles of Incorporation with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. This document will ask for your company’s name, number of authorized shares, the names and addresses of your board of directors, the incorporator’s signature and other relevant information. The number of shares you are selling determines what your filing fee is. Shares of 25,000 and below have a filing fee of only $75. At the highest, your filing fee would be $2,525 for more than ! million shares.

Choose a registered agent

Virginia law requires that each corporation has a registered agent. A registered agent accepts legal papers for the corporation if someone sues it. Eligibility criteria for your registered agent include director status of the corporation or a member of Virginia State Bar and a physical street address in Virginia.

Write your corporate bylaws

Although Virginia law doesn’t require corporate bylaws, it’s in your best interest to create them. Corporate bylaws make it clear how your corporation will operate. Lenders, partners and IRS will see your business as legitimate and professional when it has bylaws.

Issue stock

You need to issue stock for all of your shareholders, even those who are providing services or property. Virginia’s default value for company stock is no par value. Par value is the amount at which you can’t sell the stock.