Virginia offers multiple incentives to businesses. According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, these include opportunity funds, development funds, infrastructure assistance, financial assistance, performance-based incentives, and many more. The various grants and assistance programs make Virginia a favorable state for businesses.
If you’re looking to start an LLC in Virginia, you can see your eligibility for these grants with the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. Once you have sufficient funds to establish your small business, follow the steps below:
Pick a Name
The first step to starting an LLC in Virginia is to pick a name. The name you choose for your business must be distinct from other existing businesses. Virginia requires adding the term LLC to your business in any form, including LLC, LC, L.L.C., L.C., Limited Liability Company, or Limited Company. If your business falls into the category of businesses the state considers professional services, i.e., law firms and doctors’ clinics, you will need to add a Professional Limited Liability Company or PLLC to the business name.
Other requirements for choosing a business name in Virginia include making the name distinct and reflective of the business. For example, if your business is not providing engineering services, you cannot use the word engineer or its relative terms in your business name. Similarly, LLCs cannot use the words Inc. or Co. in their names. The name must also be available for use.
Once you have found a name that complies with state rules, you can reserve it for up to 120 days. Reservation of business name can be executed online or through the mail.
Find a Registered Agent
Like all other states, naming a registered agent is essential to start an LLC in Virginia. A registered agent is a person or an entity who handles the LLC’s business on its behalf. However, Virginia has stricter laws compared to other states for this step. Only those individuals or entities can be named as registered agents in Virginia who are licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth or who is an owner or officer of a business. Moreover, if the registered agent is a person, they must also have a physical street address in Virginia.
Since finding a registered agent in Virginia can be challenging, it is best to use a professional service to complete this step.
Get a Virginia Business License
The Commonwealth requires additional licenses for certain industries, such as real estate, engineers, home inspectors, etc. If your business operates in industries requiring a state license, you can apply for one at your local zoning office or a commissioner’s office.
You may also require an additional license if your business is based on providing taxable services or products. In this case, you can register with the Virginia Department of Taxation to collect sales tax on your products or services.
Prepare and Submit Articles of Organization
After acquiring the license, you can move on to filing Articles of Organization. While the name sounds complicated, this step only involves gathering the basic information on a form and submitting it to the department of the Commonwealth. The information required for this step includes the business name and address, the registered agent’s name and address, the purpose of the business, and the name, address, and signature of the person submitting the articles of organization.
Once you submit articles of organization, you will receive the certificate of establishment of LLC in a week or two. If you want to expedite the process, you can do so at an additional cost.
Get an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement outlines the processes for various business operations. Most LLC operating agreements contain a framework for business operations such as basic information and details of the business, products and services offered by the business, contribution by each business owner, owners’ stakes in the company, profit sharing, voting rights, the procedure for eliminating a business member, the process for adding a business member, and the method for dissolution of the company. You can also add meeting schedules, details of business partners, or any other information you want to add to it. Click here to get one for your business for free.
Though this isn’t an essential step to starting an LLC in Virginia, preparing an operating agreement can benefit your business. If you don’t prepare one, the Virginia state LLC law will apply to your business. While the law is fair, you can increase your or your business’s favorability by drafting an LLC operating agreement for your business.
Obtain Employee Identification Number
Once you receive the certificate of establishment for your business, you can open a bank account, register it for taxes, and obtain an Employee Identification Number or EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. EIN acts like a social security number for businesses. Without it, you cannot hire any employee. Moreover, any new employee you hire after starting an LLC in Virginia must be reported to the Virginia New Hire Reporting Center as per state and federal law.
Pay Annual LLC Fee
Virginia requires an additional annual fee of $50 for LLCs. You will pay the first year’s fee after establishing the LLC is complete. For subsequent years, you must pay this fee before the start of the next year.
Get a Website
With your business established on paper, you need to establish it online, so your audience can find it. Getting a website makes a business appear legitimate and more professional.
However, building a website can be challenging if you don’t have any prior experience with it. But don’t worry! You don’t have to learn graphic designing, copywriting, and interface design just to get your business up and to run. Go to Trady.com to build a website within minutes!
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Market Your Business
However, leading the audience to the website is yet another challenge. You may receive some clients through search engine results, but you can only get enough customers to generate profit from your business once you market it. Marketing includes creating social media profiles, making accounts on websites like Yelp and Nextdoor, and running digital media campaigns.
If you don’t know where to begin with marketing, just head to Trady.com again. Besides website building services, they also provide end-to-end marketing services for trades and home services companies.
With Trady.com, you can enjoy 360 marketing, client management, scheduling, invoicing, client follow-ups, and task reminders. Automating these operations and more will free up your time to focus on providing excellent services to your clients. Get started with the 14-day free trial at Trady.com to convince yourself.