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An LLC is a business license that allows an individual to protect personal assets from liability. It also provides certain tax advantages. LLCs are simpler to start and maintain than other types of businesses, like corporations. The Virginia State Corporation Commission provides valuable information about forming an LLC and how to file.

Forming an LLC in Virginia is a relatively straightforward process. It only takes a few steps to organize and complete. Getting started requires little more than choosing a name, filing the paperwork and paying the registration fee. Many owners choose to register the business online, saving time and effort.

  1. Choose a business name—While the name itself could be almost anything, all LLCs must include “limited liability company” in some way. Use the phrase itself, “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The Virginia SCC provides a full list of rules on its website.
  2. Choose a registered agent—The registered agent is the person who receives important documents from the state. These documents include any official letters from the state, legal paperwork and tax forms. Many businesses choose a registered agent service, but any Virginia resident can act as the agent, including the owner.
  3. File the Articles of Organization—The Articles of Organization is the document that legally forms an LLC. It includes the business name and the information on owners, managers and registered agents.

Single-member LLC or sole proprietor?

According to the Virginia State Government website, single-member LLCs are similar to sole proprietorships, as one person operates the business. However, single-member LLCs protect the owner’s personal assets from liability and provide different tax benefits.