LLCs are required to appoint an agent of process — also known as a West Virginia registered agent — to accept service of process.
You can be your own agent, or you can hire a registered agent service. Services are generally affordable and can help:
- Reduce risk to your business
- Increase privacy and flexibility
- Ensure documents are stored securely
This article will help you make the best choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in West Virginia
Your West Virginia registered agent will serve as your business’s point of contact with the state, and will also be responsible for receiving notice in the event of a pending lawsuit (i.e., service of process).
In West Virginia, appointing an agent of process can be a legal requirement depending on how your business is registered. This can be an individual — such as yourself — or a registered agent service.
Keep in mind that all prospective West Virginia registered agents will need to satisfy the following requirements in order to be appointed successfully:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a physical address in West Virginia.
- Be available during normal business hours at their registered office address.
West Virginia Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service is significantly more convenient than acting as your own agent. This is because you will not need to be physically present in your office’s address during normal working hours,
- Privacy: Since your registered agent’s address and name will become publicly searchable as soon as you register your corporation or LLC, you can choose to hire a third-party service provider in order to protect your privacy.
- Legal compliance and storage: Most registered agent services offer additional features that can help your business remain compliant, such as annual report reminders and online uploads of legal documents.
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can, although this is generally not recommended.
This is because acting as your own agent involves a certain degree of risk and will also not save you a significant amount of money as a small business (i.e., between $90 and $300 per year).
Additional drawbacks of acting as your agent include:
- Less access to compliance-related resources
- Not as many privacy protections
- Less convenience and flexibility on a day-to-day basis.
If you are planning to form a new LLC soon, we recommend using an LLC formation service with a free year of registered agent services. These can charge as little as $29 per formation, and will go a long way in ensuring that your corporate filings do not get rejected.
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in West Virginia guide.
Best West Virginia Registered Agent Service
If you're in West Virginia and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
Northwest Special Offer
If you haven't formed your LLC yet, consider Northwest's LLC formation package for $29 plus state fees, which includes a free first year of registered agent service.
- Premium customer service
- Streamlined ordering
- Robust privacy features
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 West Virginia registered agent services below.
Top 5 West Virginia Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in West Virginia. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A registered agent service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the West Virginia Business Entity Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in West Virginia
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the West Virginia Secretary of State in order to officially form your LLC (Form LLD-1).
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online at the West Virginia One Stop Business Portal ($100 filing fee required). You’ll gain access to all the resources you need to appoint a registered agent and form your LLC online.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($100 filing fee), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the West Virginia Secretary of State. Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested in Section 5.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in West Virginia
You can appoint a new registered agent online by submitting an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses through West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal.
Keep in mind that a $15 processing fee will need to be paid.
For more information read our how to change registered agents in West Virginia guide.
West Virginia Registered Agent FAQs
Can I be my own registered agent in West Virginia?
Yes, you can.
This can be a good option if you are operating with a small budget (since it’s free), but it is generally not recommended due to the fact that it involves significant drawbacks in comparison to a commercial registered agent service.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our West Virginia Registered Agent article.
Does WV require a registered agent?
This will depend on how your business is registered.
All limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations are required to appoint an agent of process in order to be formed. This is not the case with sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Who can be a registered agent in WV?
As of 2023, anyone can be an agent of process in WV as long as they satisfy the following requirements:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have a physical street address in WV
- Are available for contact during regular working hours at their registered business address.
See our What is a Registered Agent article for more information.
What is an agent of process in WV?
An agent of process — also known as a registered agent or a statutory agent outside of WV — is a business entity or individual that acts as your business’s point of contact with the Secretary of State.
Agents of process are also responsible for receiving service of process in the event of a pending lawsuit.
How do I become a registered agent in WV?
You can become your own agent of process in WV by including your personal details in Section 5 of your LLC’s Articles of Organization (Form LLD-1).
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Secretary of State in order to officially register your LLC.