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Starting a Business in West Virginia

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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    Doing Business In West Virginia

    West Virginia Business Facts

    Located in the Appalachian region, West Virginia has some of the most rugged land in the country. The state’s rolling mountains, hills and valleys earned it the nickname of The Mountain State, and it is well-known for its range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and whitewater rafting.

    The cost of doing business in West Virginia is generally 14% lower than the U.S. average

    The state’s 4.5% increase in gross state product was the third-highest rate of growth of any U.S. state in 2011, with real GDP totaling $55.8 billion

    West Virginia has not raised general business or consumer taxes in 18 years

    Pro-growth tax reforms, including reducing the corporate net income tax rate to 6.5% and eliminating the business franchise tax and the state offers a variety of competitive incentives and grants

    Small business and Startup environment

    West Virginia has 119,806 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 119,806 small businesses in West Virginia, 35,621 have employees. The remaining 84,185 are West Virginia small businesses that have no employees.

    Gov. Jim Justice declared March 20 as Small Business Development Center Day. The governor issued a proclamation which states “the Mountain State understands the importance of supporting entrepreneurship as one of the integral pieces of local and regional economic development. West Virginia recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together.”

    Major companies:

    West Virginia is home to large companies such as: WVU Medicine, CAMC Health System, Urgent Care MSO LLC, ESMARK, Ogden Newspapers, Special Metals Corporation, DFS NEWELL, THOMAS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Oglebay Resort, Princeton Community Hospital

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    STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN WEST VIRGINIA

    Business Structure

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    Business Name

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    Business Registration

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    EIN Tax Number

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    Bank Account

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    Licenses & Permits

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    Branding & Marketing

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    Resources

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    Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

    The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

    The most common business structures are:

    Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

    Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

    1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
    2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
    3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
    4. Search and purchase a domain name.
    5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
    6. Conduct a trademark search.

    Step 3: Register Your Business

    Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

    Resale license  

    Department of corporations 

    SBA Office 

    Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

    With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

    Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

    Get Inspired by these West Virginia Startups

    http://www.core10.io/

    Step 5: Open A Bank Account

    – Open a business bank account:

    • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
    • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

    – Get a business credit card:

    • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
    • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

    Step 6: Licenses & Permits

    Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

    Here are some links for West Virginia Businesses:

    Selling products? Check West Virginia Resale Permit

    Business Licensing for the State of West Virginia

    Step 7: Branding & Marketing

    Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

    Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

    Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

    In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

    Join Local Networks

    Small Business Incubation & Acceleration for Southern West Virginia  

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