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:
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:
And those formed through the Secretary of State’s Office:
New Business Startup Wizard
Need help choosing a business structure? Use the New Business Startup Wizard to guide you in the right direction when selecting a business structure to suit your business needs. The Office of the Secretary of State can advise you on the type of business structures available, however, we cannot advise you on which structure to form. The wizard is not provided to offer professional legal or tax advice. 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 to form.
Once you've decided the business structure, you may register the business online through the One Stop Business Portal.
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