Virginia Business Registrations
Registering a Business
A business registration is more than just creating an official name for your business. Your business registration serves to identify the type of business formation, that is, the form of tax entity that is being created.
A new business may be incorporated to create an independent tax identity or operated as a sole proprietorship that uses the owner's tax identity. The IRS refers to unincorporated businesses as a "disregarded entity type" business.
Your choice of business structure is a serious legal matter that demands professional guidance. It is always advisable to consult both a lawyer and a certified public accountant before making your decision.
Virginia requires corporate entities to register the business name and service of process address with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
The Virginia SCC - Office of the Clerk website provides the forms and related information needed to successfully file a new corporate business registration.
Many new businesses operate for years without establishing an independent tax identification through incorporation. An unincorporated name registration may be referred to as a Fictitious Name, DBA (Doing Business As) or Tradename registration. The State of Virginia uses the term "Fictitious Name" in reference to the type of registration for an unincorporated businesses.
Fictitious Name Registration
In many cases, your lawyer will register your business name for you. However, if you are starting your business using a Fictitious Name registration, you will need to contact your County Clerk or local registrar to register your business name.
Service of Process
Business registration filings must include a service of process address and the name of the registered agent for the business. The service of process address is where court documents are to be received. The registered agent is the person authorized to receive such documents.
You may also use a third party Incorporation and Registered Agent Service instead of a private attorney or your own name and address. Such services are often able to provide a lower cost alternative to incorporate your business or form an LLC. Using a third party service also helps to protect your privacy and personal assets, strengthen your company's reputation, and reduce the cost of Registered Agent services.
If your business will be providing any of a broad range of professional or trades services, you may also need to register or obtain a professional license. For more information about professional licensing requirements visit the Dept of Professional and Occupational Regulation
County and Local Licensing
Many communities and trading areas also require some form of registration for tax purposes and to ensure the business is in compliance with local ordanances and zoning requirements. For additional information contact the County Clerk for your local community.Continue to Virginia Business Registrations by City