How to File Virginia Articles of Incorporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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File Virginia Articles of Incorporation

Incorporating a business is essential for entrepreneurs looking to establish their venture as a separate legal entity. By filing Articles of Incorporation, business owners in Virginia can enjoy myriad benefits, such as limited liability, tax advantages, and increased credibility. However, the incorporation process may seem daunting for many, especially those not well-versed in the legal intricacies of their state. This article is a comprehensive guide on how to file Virginia Articles of Incorporation, taking you through the necessary steps and requirements to establish your corporation successfully.

Whether you are a startup founder or a seasoned business owner, understanding the process of filing Articles of Incorporation in Virginia, popularly known as The Old Dominion, is crucial for the seamless formation of your corporation. The following sections will outline the paperwork, fees, and registration procedures specific to Virginia, along with tips on navigating potential roadblocks and ensuring your application is approved. Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of incorporating your business in Virginia.

What is Articles of Incorporation in Virginia?

The Articles of Incorporation is a legal document required to file with the state government to legalize the creation of your corporation. In other words, filing these documents with the Virginia Secretary of State ensures the formation of the corporation in Virginia officially. The Articles of Incorporation is similar to filing the Virginia LLC Articles of Organization while filing an LLC in Virginia.

Virginia, also known as The Old Dominion, has some rules when it comes to file the Articles of Incorporation. We shared the step-by-step process here to file the incorporation document with the Virginia SOS. Checking with the SOS is recommended for more information.

It is always wise to consult a legal professional before you file your company under the Virginia SOS. FIling process can be easy, but it is sensitive. If you miss anything, it can totally stope the filing process.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to File Virginia Articles of Incorporation

You can file the Articles of Incorporation in several ways based on the state you are willing to start your corporation. In Virginia, you can file it in three methods that are online, by mail and in-person. The details are similar to the details you need when forming an LLC. Here are the details you must submit while filing the documents-

Step 1: Get the Form and Enter the Details

The first step is to get the Articles of Incorporation form from the Virginia Secretary of State. You will get both offline and online forms on the site, as available. You must pay the $100 for online and by mail filing or in person filing when submitting the form. Following are the details you must add to your incorporation form-

Name of the Entity

The first thing you need to do is submit your company’s name. Make sure to mention the exact name of the company that you decided on. Like the LLC naming guidelines, you must also follow the Virginia corporation naming requirements too. There are a few points to note when you name your company. They are,

  • You cannot have a name used by other companies or businesses.
  • You cannot have any name that is misleading or the same as government organizations.
  • Banks, Insurance, Insurer, or any such names cannot be used as they reflect the financial organization.
  • You must add terms like corporation, limited, company, incorporated, or incorporation. You can also add abbreviations like co., ltd., inc., and corp instead of the above terms.

Address of the Corporation

The next section of the form is to provide your main address. It is necessary to have a physical street address in Virginia. For those running an online business, you must provide any address in the state (including your home address) where you will receive all the business and legal documents and mail. While sharing your address, make sure not to use abbreviations, such as N.Y. for New York or L.A. for Los Angeles.

Virginia Registered Agent

The next point is to provide information about the Registered Agent. The Virginia Registered Agent is an individual or business entity that is responsible for receiving all the legal and official documents on behalf of the company. They must be aged above 18 years and have eligibility to conduct business in the state. The Registered Agent should be legit and experienced because, in case of any lawsuit, you need an expert to handle your issues. In most cases, the Registered Agent’s official address is the company’s official mailing address. If you form an LLC, hiring a registered agent is the most crucial step in the process.

Shares and Stocks

The next important information you must provide is about the stocks and shares. While filing the Articles of Incorporation, you must mention a minimum of one share. In Virginia, to start a corporation, you need at least One director(s) initially. When filing the incorporation documents, you must provide the share of directors in the corporation. It decides the ownership of the company.

If you amend Virginia Articles of Incorporation in the future, you will not be able to change the initial directors. You might need an additional form to change the initial directors’ details. You must check with the Virginia SOS while filing the Articles of Incorporation amendment.

Additional Documents

You might need additional documents to submit along with the incorporation documents. In Virginia, you can attach a cover letter with the documents as an additional document. if you are willing to start a foreign corporation in Virginia, then you must add one document along with the Articles of Incorporation. Foreign corporations in Virginia must submit the Virginia Certificate of Good Standing along with the incorporation documents.

Signature

Finally, the signature of the directors and shareholders are required on the form. You can have more than one share and director. All your initial directors must submit their official signature while filing the corporation in Virginia. Get their signatures to file the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2: Submit the Articles of Incorporation in Virginia

Once you are done filling up the form, now it is time for you to submit it. The form can be submitted in three methods that are online, by mail and in-person. Checking with a legal professional or a formation service while filing your corporation is recommended. It is sensitive, and one mistake can stop the entire filing process immediately.

  • Online filing: Get the eForm from the SOS site, login/subscribe to the site, fill up the form, submit online
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to or drop it off in person at State Corporation Commission, Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197

Cost of Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Virginia

The cost of filing the Articles of Incorporation in Virginia is an important aspect to consider when starting a new business. This one-time fee is necessary for officially registering your corporation with the Secretary of State and can vary depending on the specific requirements and regulations of Virginia. In some cases, additional fees may be required for expedited processing or other optional services. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to budget for this expense and research the specific costs associated with their Virginia in order to ensure a smooth and successful incorporation process. To file the Articles of Incorporation in Virginia, you must pay a filing fee. The filing fee is $100 for online and by mail filing or in person filing.

FAQs

What is an Article of Incorporation?
An Article of Incorporation is a legal document that is filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission to form a corporation.
What is the purpose of filing Articles of Incorporation in Virginia?
The purpose of filing Articles of Incorporation in Virginia is to create a legal business entity and obtain corporate status from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
What are the requirements for filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
The requirements for filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation include providing the name of the corporation, the purpose of the corporation, the names and addresses of the incorporators, the type of corporate structure, the number of shares of stock the corporation is authorized to issue, and the address of the corporation’s registered office.
How do I file Articles of Incorporation in Virginia?
You can file Articles of Incorporation in Virginia online through the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s website. Alternatively, you can submit a paper copy of the Articles of Incorporation to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
What information must be included in the Articles of Incorporation?
The Articles of Incorporation must include the name of the corporation, the purpose of the corporation, the names and addresses of the incorporators, the type of corporate structure, the number of shares of stock the corporation is authorized to issue, and the address of the corporation’s registered office.
How much does it cost to file Articles of Incorporation in Virginia?
The cost to file Articles of Incorporation in Virginia is $100.
How long does it take to process Articles of Incorporation in Virginia?
It typically takes the Virginia State Corporation Commission up to 3-4 weeks to process Articles of Incorporation.
What type of corporations can be formed in Virginia?
Virginia allows for the formation of both for-profit and non-profit corporations.
Are there any special requirements for forming a non-profit corporation in Virginia?
Yes, there are special requirements for forming a non-profit corporation in Virginia. These include filing additional documents and ensuring that the corporation’s activities are designed to benefit the public in some way.
Is a registered agent required to form a corporation in Virginia?
Yes, a registered agent is required to form a corporation in Virginia. The registered agent must be located in Virginia and must have a physical address where service of process can be accepted.
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is an individual or business who is designated to accept service of process on behalf of the corporation.
Does a corporation need to have bylaws?
Yes, all corporations must have bylaws that govern their internal operations.
What is the minimum number of directors required to form a corporation in Virginia?
The minimum number of directors required to form a corporation in Virginia is three.
What type of business can a corporation in Virginia conduct?
A corporation in Virginia can conduct any type of legal business activity.
What are the tax implications for forming a corporation in Virginia?
The tax implications for forming a corporation in Virginia depend on the type of corporation. Generally, for-profit corporations are subject to Virginia’s corporate income tax, while non-profit corporations are exempt from the corporate income tax.
Is a corporate seal required to form a corporation in Virginia?
No, a corporate seal is not required to form a corporation in Virginia.
Can I reserve a name for my corporation in Virginia?
Yes, you can reserve a name for your corporation in Virginia by filing an Application for Reservation of Corporate Name with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
What is the difference between a corporation and an LLC in Virginia?
The main difference between a corporation and an LLC in Virginia is that a corporation is a separate legal entity, while an LLC is not. Additionally, a corporation is subject to corporate income taxes and has more formal management requirements, while an LLC is not subject to corporate income taxes and has fewer formal management requirements.
Is a Virginia corporation allowed to issue stock?
Yes, a Virginia corporation is allowed to issue stock.
Can a Virginia corporation issue stock without par value?
Yes, a Virginia corporation is allowed to issue stock without par value.
Are there any restrictions on transferring stock in a Virginia corporation?
Yes, there are restrictions on transferring stock in a Virginia corporation. Generally, the transfer is subject to the approval of the board of directors, and the transfer must comply with the corporation’s bylaws and any applicable state laws.
Are there any restrictions on the number of shareholders a Virginia corporation can have?
No, there are no restrictions on the number of shareholders a Virginia corporation can have.
What rights do shareholders have in a Virginia corporation?
Shareholders in a Virginia corporation have the right to vote on matters relating to the corporation and to receive dividends if the corporation earns profits.
How can I change the name of my Virginia corporation?
To change the name of your Virginia corporation, you must file an amendment to the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
How can I change the registered agent of my Virginia corporation?
To change the registered agent of your Virginia corporation, you must file an amendment to the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
How can I change the address of my Virginia corporation?
To change the address of your Virginia corporation, you must file an amendment to the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
How can I dissolve my Virginia corporation?
To dissolve your Virginia corporation, you must file a Certificate of Dissolution with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
What is required to file Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
To file Virginia Articles of Incorporation, you must include the company name, number of shares of stock authorized, address of the principal office, name and address of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the incorporators.
How much does it cost to file Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
It typically costs $100 to file Virginia Articles of Incorporation.
What is the filing process for Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
The filing process for Virginia Articles of Incorporation typically involves submitting the articles to the State Corporation Commission of Virginia, along with the appropriate filing fee.
Is there a filing deadline for Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
No, there is no filing deadline for Virginia Articles of Incorporation.
What is the turnaround time for filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
The turnaround time for filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation is typically between 4-6 weeks.
Is there a fee to make changes to the Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
Yes, there is a fee to make changes to the Virginia Articles of Incorporation, which is typically $15.
How do I obtain a certified copy of the Virginia Articles of Incorporation?
You can obtain a certified copy of the Virginia Articles of Incorporation by submitting a request to the State Corporation Commission of Virginia.

Also Read

Why Virginia Articles of Incorporation is So Important

The Articles of Incorporation is the formal way to establish a business entity as a corporation in the state of Virginia. By filing this document with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the business becomes a separate legal entity from its owners. This separation provides limited liability protection to the owners, meaning they are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation. This protection is crucial for safeguarding personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or financial hardship.

In addition to providing limited liability protection, the Articles of Incorporation also establish the structure and operations of the corporation. This document outlines important information such as the company’s name, address, purpose, duration, and the number and type of shares it is authorized to issue. By clearly defining these details, the corporation can operate with clarity and direction, setting a solid foundation for future growth and success.

Furthermore, the Articles of Incorporation clearly define the rights and responsibilities of shareholders, directors, and officers within the corporation. This clarity helps to prevent conflicts and misunderstandings among those involved in the business and sets expectations for how decisions will be made and carried out. By having these roles and responsibilities clearly outlined, the corporation can operate more smoothly and efficiently, ultimately leading to greater success.

Another important aspect of the Articles of Incorporation is that it provides a public record of the business entity. This document is filed with the state government and becomes part of the public record, making the corporation’s information readily available to anyone who wishes to access it. This transparency helps to establish trust and credibility with customers, vendors, investors, and other stakeholders, as they can easily verify the legitimacy and details of the business entity.

In conclusion, filing the Virginia Articles of Incorporation is not just a legal requirement but a crucial step in establishing a business entity that is protected, organized, and credible. It provides limited liability protection to the owners, establishes the structure and operations of the corporation, defines the rights and responsibilities of those involved, and creates a public record of the business entity. By taking this essential step, businesses can set themselves up for success and navigate the complexities of the business world with confidence and security.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the process of filing Virginia Articles of Incorporation is a crucial step for businesses looking to establish their presence in the state. This legal document serves as the foundation of the company’s structure and outlines essential information, such as the company’s name, purpose, and management team. To ensure a smooth and successful filing process, it is vital for business owners to familiarize themselves with the State of Virginia’s requirements, adhere to the applicable laws and regulations, and provide accurate and complete information in the Articles of Incorporation.

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