West Virginia Foreign Qualification

Foreign qualification with the Secretary of State in West Virginia refers to the process by which a business entity formed in another state seeks permission to conduct business in West Virginia. This involves registering with the Secretary of State and fulfilling certain requirements to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.

There are 2 different ways to foreign qualify in West Virginia depending on your legal entity type and tax classification. Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in West Virginia or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register with the Secretary of State in West Virginia.

West Virginia Foreign Registration for LLC

Before conducting business in West Virginia as a foreign limited liability company, you are required to obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State. Like many states, West Virginia provides a non-exhaustive list of activities that do not constitute “transacting business” in lieu of defining “transacting business."

  1. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in West Virginia to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in West Virginia or a company registered with the Secretary of State that has a business office in West Virginia.

  2. Obtain a Certificate of Existence

    West Virginia requires a Certificate of Existence (also known as a Certificate of Good Standing) from your home to state dated within the current tax year to be included as part of your Application for Certificate of Authority.

  3. Submit Your Application for Certificate of Authority

    You may file your Application with an uploaded Certificate of Existence online through your WV One Stop account or by mail.

West Virginia Foreign Registration for C Corporation

Before conducting business in West Virginia as a foreign corporation, you are required to obtain a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State. Like many states, West Virginia provides a non-exhaustive list of activities that do not constitute “transacting business” in lieu of defining “transacting business." Additionally, a foreign corporation is “transacting business” in West Virginia if it: (a) Makes a contract to be performed by an party in the state, (b) Commits a tort within the state, or (c) Manufactures, sells, offers for sale or supplies any product in a defective condition that causes injury to person or property within the state.

  1. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in West Virginia to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in West Virginia or a company registered with the Secretary of State that has a business office in West Virginia.

  2. Obtain a Certificate of Existence

    West Virginia requires a Certificate of Existence (also known as a Certificate of Good Standing) from your home to state dated within the current tax year to be included as part of your Application for Certificate of Authority.

  3. Submit Certificate of Authority Application

    File your Application with an uploaded Certificate of Existence online through your WV One Stop account or by mail.

What else do I need to know?

Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.

Maintaining a Registered Agent

Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in West Virginia.

Annual Reports and Taxes

In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in West Virginia.

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