When you create an LLC in Virginia, you have several choices about how to do it. The process can be difficult if you’ve never started a business before and you’re learning about all of the requirements for the first time. Help is available, but it’s available for a price. That price is often worth it because it saves you time and energy.
One option is to do all the work to create a Virginia LLC yourself. This has the lowest cost, at least in terms of dollars. You must pay filing fees to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), along with some administrative costs. You also have to do all of the work.
You could hire a lawyer to create your LLC. This option is at the other end of the cost spectrum. In addition to filing fees, you could pay $1,000 to $1,500 in attorney’s fees. You might want to have an attorney on hand in some situations, such as if the LLC you have planned is particularly complicated.
The middle option, cost-wise, is to use an LLC formation service like our own. A service can handle the paperwork and filing for you for a few hundred dollars.
The Virginia LLC formation process has six main steps, several of which could involve filing fees and other costs:
A Virginia LLC must have a unique name, meaning that it is distinct from all other LLC names in the state. The SCC provides a Name Availability tool on its website that lets you search the names of existing businesses for free.
If you find that the perfect business name is available, but you’re not quite ready to form your LLC yet, you can reserve the name for up to 120 days by filing Form SCC631 for a $10 fee.
You can also create a fictitious name for your LLC, known as a DBA (“doing business as”) name. You can file the paperwork for this with the county clerk in the county where your business is located. This also costs $10.
If you want trademark protection for your business name, you can file Form TM1 with the Virginia Division of Securities and Retail Franchising. The application includes a non-refundable $30 fee.
The SCC charges a $100 filing fee for articles of organization to create an LLC.
You might need a certified copy of the articles of organization or a certificate of good standing in order to open a bank account or take out a business loan. Each document costs $6, which is payable to the SCC.
You must designate a registered agent when you file the articles of organization. If you are serving as your own registered agent, you do not have to pay any additional fees related to registered agent services. You may also use a registered agent service, in which a third-party company acts as your LLC’s registered agent. Tailor Brands provides this service for an annual fee of $199. Other companies might charge up to $400 per year.
Virginia does not require an LLC to have an operating agreement. State law covers many aspects of how LLCs operate in the absence of an agreement. It is highly advisable, though, to have an operating agreement even if you are the only owner of your LLC.
You may be able to create your own operating agreement. You could hire an attorney to draft one, or you could use a service like Tailor Brands. The cost may range from $0 if you do it yourself to $1,000 or more if you have a lawyer.
Your LLC might have other costs, including annual costs payable to the state or other government entities.
Many states require registered business entities to pay an annual tax or fee to maintain the liability protection that comes from an LLC or other business entity. It is often known as a “franchise tax” or “privilege tax.”
Virginia requires LLCs to pay an annual registration fee of $50. This fee serves the same general purpose as a franchise or privilege tax. It is due on or before October 1 every year.
Your LLC might need to obtain licenses or permits to operate in a particular area, engage in certain types of business, or engage in particular activities. Many cities and counties in Virginia, for example, require businesses to obtain a business license. If your business has locations in multiple cities or counties that require business licenses, you will need a license from each of them.
Common licenses and permits include:
Application, registration, and renewal fees for these types of licenses and permits vary among jurisdictions.
Virginia does not require LLCs to file an annual report. If your LLC engages in business activities regulated by the state or federal government, you might be required to file periodic reports with one or more regulatory agencies.
LLCs registered in Virginia could owe annual fees to multiple government agencies depending on their business activities. Every LLC in the state owes two fees to the SCC, one paid when the business is formed and one paid every year afterward:
Type of fee
Articles of organization filing fee
Annual registration fee
The good news in all of this discussion of fees is that most LLC formation costs are tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes, including:
LLC filing fee
Varies by county or city, and is often a tax based on gross annual revenue. For example, in Arlington County:
● Gross receipts of $10,000 or less: no tax
● Gross receipts between $10,001 and $50,000: $30
● Gross receipts between $50,001 and $100,000: $50
● Gross receipts of $100,001 or more: tax rate based on business activities
Registered agent service (optional)
$199–400 per year
Busines name reservation (optional)
$10 for 120 days
DBA filing (optional)
Operating agreement (optional)
Annual registration fee
No statewide requirement
Starting your own LLC can be an exciting time, with a promise of business success. To get to that point, you have to pay some fees and do some work. Paying more fees means less work for you, though, and many small business owners would tell you that the benefits of an LLC are worth the costs. Now that you know what you need to do, you’re ready to get to work.
This portion of our website is for informational purposes only. Tailor Brands is not a law firm, and none of the information on this website constitutes or is intended to convey legal advice. All statements, opinions, recommendations, and conclusions are solely the expression of the author and provided on an as-is basis. Accordingly, Tailor Brands is not responsible for the information and/or its accuracy or completeness.
Shai Shmarel started his life as a corporate lawyer before switching to being an SEO and Content Manager at Tailor Brands. He has experience in managing companies, rankings SERPs and covering a content-driven approach for all things legal, business and marketing. When off work, you’ll usually find him chilling with a cup of coffee and a book in the desert.