Updated on: May 24th, 2024

West Virginia Registered Agent 2023 (Everything You Need to Know Before Hiring a Registered Agent)

Hire #1 Registered Agent Service for West Virginia

It may come as a surprise, but hiring a free Registered Agent service in West Virginia is not mandatory, unlike most other states in the US. However, we’ll clarify the reason behind this and guide you on whether or not it’s still advisable to employ a Registered Agent service for your West Virginia LLC.

To form a West Virginia LLC, you must designate a registered agent as required by state law. An appointed West Virginia Registered Agent is responsible for receiving official and legal documents from the state and also receives litigation-related documents, known as the service of process.

Read this guide thoroughly before hiring a West Virginia Registered Agent. We have included all the necessary information on why you need a registered agent in West Virginia and who can be one for your LLC.

Our #1 recommended Registered Agent service in West Virginia is:

What is a West Virginia Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is someone who accepts legal mail (such as Service of Process) in the event that your LLC is sued. In West Virginia, the Secretary of State is automatically designated as the Registered Agent for all LLCs.

If your LLC faces a lawsuit in West Virginia, the papers will be served to the West Virginia Secretary of State. Afterward, the Secretary of State will send the paperwork to your West Virginia LLC mailing address. Your company’s registered agent accepts service of process and official state notifications on behalf on your business

You may be wondering why you should hire a Registered Agent Service in West Virginia when it’s not mandatory. Although it’s true that you’re not required to do so, there is one reason to consider it – to avoid having your address appear on public records.

Keeping Your Address Off Public Records

The West Virginia Articles of Organization require a few addresses to be listed for your LLC in public records. These include

  • Your business’s physical location,
  • Mailing address for tax returns,
  • Designated office,
  • Principal office (where you keep your business records),
  • Payroll and reporting address,
  • Unemployment compensation payroll report address.

Although it’s possible to provide your own address, some individuals may prefer not to do so. In that case, a Registered Agent Service can be hired to allow the use of their West Virginia office address for all Articles of Organization paperwork.

Is There a Registered Agent Service That Can Help with Both?

We suggest that you use Northwest Registered Agent for your West Virginia LLC filing as they are the only Registered Agent who will let you use their address. By using their address, you can ensure that your home address remains private on public records if privacy is a concern for you.

Does West Virginia Require a Registered Agent?

Contrary to popular belief, not all West Virginia LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. Only two states, West Virginia and New York, do not have such a requirement for LLCs. This information is often not clarified on websites discussing LLC requirements.

According to the West Virginia LLC Act, specifically Sections 31B-1-108 and 31B-1-111, there is no requirement for Registered Agents in West Virginia.

In West Virginia, having a Registered Agent for an LLC is not mandatory. This is because Service of Process is automatically sent to the West Virginia Secretary of State.

So then what’s the point of having a Registered Agent in West Virginia?

Listing a Registered Agent in your LLC paperwork may not be necessary for most people. If you’re forming your LLC on your own, not hiring a Registered Agent Service can save you around $100 to $200 every year.

Alternatively, you can hire a Registered Agent Service to form your West Virginia LLC and also act as your Registered Agent. They will scan and upload any mail related to your LLC to your online account, ensuring that you don’t miss any important notices or Service of Process sent by the Secretary of State.

Hiring a Registered Agent in West Virginia

If you need to hire a registered agent in West Virginia, there are multiple options available to you. In order to become a registered agent, one must meet certain eligibility criteria. As long as the minimum requirements are met, any resident of West Virginia can serve as your LLC’s registered agent.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent

To a registered agent for the LLC, the individual must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a legal and physical address within the state where the LLC will operate
  • Be available during normal working hours in person.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent

You can serve as your own registered agent for your LLC, as can any other members of the LLC, managers, or owners. Additionally, family members such as spouses, relatives, or other individuals associated with the owners can also act as registered agent. Keep in mind that whoever serves as the registered agent must meet the established requirements.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

It is not advisable to be your own registered agent even though many small businesses choose to do so to save money. Acting as the registered agent of your LLC can lead to several challenges such as those listed below.

If you run your business from home or have an online business, your home address will be publicly shared and used for mailing and official purposes, which may affect your privacy. If you choose to be your own registered agent, you will need to be physically available at your official business address only during working hours on all working days for 52 weeks, which could limit your availability for other work.

To ensure that your registered agent information is accurate, please update their address in the Secretary of State portal. We suggest outsourcing the registered agent service as it can help to protect your privacy, particularly if you operate your business from home. It is always wiser to outsource the RA service than to act as your own registered agent.


How to Choose a Registered Agent in West Virginia?

There are two ways to select a West Virginia Registered Agent: hiring an in-house RA or outsourcing the registered agent service cost less. You also have the option to act as your own registered agent. However, it is advised to outsource this service as it is less stressful and more convenient.

In-house Registered Agent

Regarding the in-house registered agent, you have the option to choose someone from the LLC to fill this role, including yourself. Alternatively, you can hire someone specifically for this position, and in that case, your office or home address will serve as the registered agent’s office address. It is mandatory for every LLC to disclose its principal office address, mailing address, and registered agent’s office address on the state public portal. Opting for a registered agent service can simplify this process by allowing you to use their address as your mailing address.

Outsourcing Registered Agent Service

Professional registered agent services are available for you to use. Hiring free registered agent services will guarantee quality representation for your business. We have compiled a list of the best registered agent services for you to choose from and ease your worries.


West Virginia Registered Agent Fee — $39 or $125/year

You are not obligated by West Virginia law to name a Registered Agent when launching your LLC, but it is highly recommended. A Registered Agent in the state of West Virginia essentially receives legal documents and notifications from the government on behalf of your LLC. The registered Agent must be a West Virginia resident. If you choose to omit this field or become your own registered agent then there won’t be any additional charges incurred ($0).

Here are our recommended Agent service providers:

  • Northwest Registered Agent services is the perfect choice for those seeking to establish a new business and gain access to a registered agent, with a full LLC creation package starting at only $39 + state fees.

OR:


What to Consider While Choosing a West Virginia Registered Agent

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a registered agent.

Service Fee

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Choosing the right registered agent is crucial for formal businesses, as it’s mandatory in most states. The cost to hire one usually ranges between $99 and $300 per year. However, considering the amount of time it can save you, this is a worthwhile investment.


Tenure in Business of Registered Agent

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It is important that the best registered agent service you choose has proven procedures for managing documents. We suggest selecting a Registered Agent Service that has a lengthy operating history. They possess the necessary expertise to handle all your documentation.


State Jurisdiction Limitation

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To simplify the process of handling multiple registered agent service providers, it is recommended that your company utilizes the same registered agent service free in all states, in the event of expansion.


Offer Monitoring and Follow-up Services

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To stay informed about the laws and regulations that pertain to your company, it’s important to choose a registered agent service that provides prompt updates and alerts. Look for a provider that offers this feature when selecting your RA service.


How to Appoint a Registered Agent in West Virginia?

The LLC can appoint the registered agent while submitting the Articles of Organization in West Virginia online or by mail and no extra fee will be charged for it. Only the state filing fee needs to be paid.

Appoint Registered Agent Online

You can appoint a registered agent online by visiting the West Virginia LLC Online Filing page and entering your Registered Agent’s information as required.

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

If you want to have a registered agent in West Virginia by mail, follow these steps: download the West Virginia LLC filing form (PDF), fill out the “Registered Agent” section with the registered agent’s name and details, and send it to the SOS office. You can find more information in the West Virginia Articles of Organization.


Why Do LLCs in West Virginia Need a Registered Agent Service

Below are some of the most important reasons why a serious business owner should appoint a registered agent in West Virginia.

  • Confidentiality: By using a commercial registered agent service in West Virginia, you can ensure the privacy of your business and its documentation. Selecting a registered agent company instead of an individual will provide you with privacy and confidentiality agreements in advance.
  • Up-to-date Compliance: If you’re running an LLC or a corporation, you’re responsible for a lot of important paperwork and legal requirements. A registered agent service can help ease that burden by keeping track of all necessary deadlines and maintaining a compliance calendar.
  • Privacy: According to West Virginia law, businesses must submit their address to the Secretary of State’s office. If you use physical street address as your home address for your business, it may not be safe to make it public. However, if you appoint a registered agent service, they will provide their address to the West Virginia SOS instead of your own.
  • Availability: Registered agents must be available during regular business hours on weekdays. If you enlist the services of a registered agent, they can be available during this time without negatively using normal business hours or impacting other tasks at your company.
  • Online Safe Backup: Registered agents from West Virginia or any other state typically create an online backup of all documents and paperwork for LLCs. This guarantees secure storage of these papers in a central system.
  • Lawsuits or Summons: Being served with a summons or involved in a lawsuit can negatively impact employees’ perception of a company. However, having a registered agent can help mitigate this issue as all legal documents will be delivered to the company’s registered agent’s official address, instead of the owner’s office where employees may witness the delivery.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in West Virginia?

To remove a registered agent for an LLC in West Virginia, you need to file an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses with the West Virginia Secretary of State and pay a $15 filing fee.


Best Registered Agent Services for West Virginia

As we mentioned before, being your own Registered Agent isn’t the best option for various reasons. That’s why we recommend hiring true professionals and forgetting all of the headaches of legal papers, being available 24/7, and collecting a ton of business mail.

#1 — Northwest Registered Agent Service

Northwest is one of our (and many others’) top-rated LLC services. They have thousands of positive testimonials and hundreds of thousands happy customers.
You can read our honest review of Northwest Registered Agent here.

$39+State Fees

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Rating: 4.9/5
Review count: 4850+

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Form an LLC today with Nortwest. They have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4150+ verified reviews. They will include 1 year of free registered agent service!


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