The first step in forming an LLC is deciding on a name. Your name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” or “LLC.” For example, our fictional dance studio could be called “Dave’s Dance Studio, LLC.” There are a few prohibited words, however. You cannot choose a title that could be confused with a state agency, such as “Secret Service” or “IRS.”
Once you’ve decided on a name, you will need to do a name search to make sure it’s available. The next step is registering your LLC with the State Corporation Commission. You can do this online or by mail. Upon registration, you will need to select a Registered Agent for your LLC. The registered agent can be a person or a business who is responsible for dealing with all the paperwork, receiving the mail and filing annual state taxes for your LLC. Your registered agent can be someone within the company, including yourself. Some people choose to name their lawyer as their registered agent, because one of the most important responsibilities of the registered agent is to "accept service of process," or be the one to be served with a lawsuit if the business is sued. You must file the Articles of Organization and pay a non-refundable fee of $100.
Once you’ve formed your LLC, don’t forget to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is not required of an LLC in Virginia, but it’s always a good idea to have clear-cut rules and guidelines for your business. An operating agreement is a simple legal document that outlines the operating procedures of your company. If you’re interested in forming an LLC, or if you have already formed an LLC and would like to establish an operating agreement, we can help you draft the professional legal document you need. Contact us for a free consultation.