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Starting a business is an exciting time and West Virginia makes it simple to get an LLC up and running.

You’re probably eager to turn your business idea into a reality, but it’s vital that you follow particular steps to establish your business.

One of the tasks on your to-do list will include selecting a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or company that’s in charge of accepting official paperwork on behalf of your company. This person could receive sensitive documents like tax notices or service of process papers that are delivered when a company is sued. For this reason, the selected registered agent must be qualified and trustworthy.

Of course, selecting a registered agent is just one step in the set-up process. To give entrepreneurs a hand, this guide should answer most questions about setting up a West Virginia LLC.

What is a West Virginia registered agent?

A registered agent is a person or company that agrees to accept confidential documents for your company. The person could be the owner or another employee of the company, or a registered agent service can be hired to fill the role too.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in West Virginia?

A West Virginia small business owner lists the registered agent’s name on the LLC formation documents and then maintains the contact year after year. The state requires an up-to-date contact to be on file at all times.

Who can be a registered agent in West Virginia? 

In West Virginia, a registered agent can be any adult or company with a physical street address (not a P.O. box) and daytime availability. Since some documents, like service of process documents, are served in person during business hours, daytime availability is a must.

Can I be my own registered agent in West Virginia?

Yes, an owner can list him or herself as a registered agent in West Virginia. It’s quite common to do so, but you must provide a street address in the state and must be available during regular business hours too.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

Many owners consider serving as the company’s registered agent to save money, but there are certain benefits to working with a registered agent service. The most common benefits include:

  • Convenience. A registered agent can be available during normal business hours to receive your LLC’s important documents. Many start-up owners can’t be tied to their home or office during regular business hours due to travel, meetings, or errands.
  • Experience. A registered agent has expertise in filing reports and handling compliance matters, which could be valuable as you start your company, especially if you want to remain in good standing. For a small yearly fee, many businesses prefer to have a professional company at their service.
  • Privacy. Lawsuits and legal documents are often delivered in person, and sometimes by law enforcement. As a business owner, you may not want customers or employees to witness that moment. A registered agent service, which is offsite, offers more privacy. The registered office’s physical address will be public record instead of your office address.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in West Virginia?

A registered agent service does cost money, but it might be more affordable than you expect. Registered agent services that offer basic features like mail forwarding are about $50 a year.

Companies with more extensive features like document storage, compliance reminders, and assistance with annual reports are more expensive. Expect an annual fee of $100-250.

List of West Virginia registered agent services 

West Virginia has many qualified registered agent services. To find a full list, reach out to the Secretary of State’s office. To explore a few options immediately, here’s a look at three registered agent services each with different features and pricing:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

West Virginia registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in West Virginia?

Yes. It’s state law. The state of West Virginia, along with most other states, requires a registered agent‘s contact information to be on file with the secretary of state.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. A registered agent must be continually updated with the state. If a change needs to take place, a change form can be filed at any time. It can be done online through the West Virginia Secretary of State website. There is a $15 filing fee for a change form.

What’s a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is the same as a registered agent. The name varies by state. The title resident agent and service of process agent are also the same as registered agent.

In West Virginia, registered agent is the preferred title.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

A commercial registered agent is a registered agent service. A non-commercial agent is any person or company that’s not paid to fill the role. If the owner or an employee is the company’s registered agent, for example, the company has a non-commercial agent.