Business Structure

The first formal decision in forming a new business requires choosing the legal business structure to form - sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability company, etc. The structure you choose will depend on various factors, such as:

  • the number of people who will control the company
  • how business operation decisions are to be made
  • considerations involving legal and tax implications
  • liability issues
  • management structure
  • the ability to transfer ownership.

Changing a business structure after it has been established can be very time consuming and costly involving multiple application procedures and various filing fees. Be sure to plan accordingly when making your decision.

We strongly recommend you consult with a certified public accountant, corporate attorney and/or qualified business registration agent who specializes in registering businesses before deciding the business structure. View the complete list of business structures for more information on each structure. Use the Business Structure Comparison Chart as a quick reference tool to compare the different structures.

Business structures include those formed through the State Tax Department:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Joint Venture
  • Association

And those formed through the Secretary of State’s Office:

  • Corporation
  • Cooperative Association
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC/PLLC)
  • Limited Partnership (LP)
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Voluntary Association
  • Business Trust
  • Unincorporated Nonprofit Association

If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   Business@wvsos.gov

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