If you want to operate a Virginia limited liability company (LLC), you'll need to follow Virginia's LLC laws. In addition to filing the proper paperwork to form your LLC, you'll need to prepare and submit various documents with the state throughout the life of your company. Running an LLC in Virginia requires you to pay an annual registration fee, pay business taxes, and file periodic tax returns.
Many people are able to file the necessary paperwork themselves to keep their LLC in good standing with Virginia. However, some businesses have additional legal requirements and considerations or complicated tax structures. If you have legal questions specific to your business or need help filing your paperwork and paying taxes, reach out to a business attorney. They can help you fulfill your LLC's filing and tax obligations.
Unlike most states, Virginia doesn't require LLCs to submit an annual report. However, Virginia does require you to pay an annual registration fee for your LLC. As of 2023, the fee is $50. You can mail in the payment to the State Corporation Commission or use Virginia's Clerk's Information System to pay online.
The annual registration fee is due each year on or before the last day of the month in which your LLC was created. For example, if you formed your LLC on August 6, then your annual registration fee would be due the next year by August 31.
When it comes to income taxes, most LLCs are considered pass-through tax entities. For an LLC, the responsibility for paying federal income taxes passes through the LLC and falls on the individual LLC members. By default, LLCs themselves don't pay income taxes, only their members do.
No franchise tax. Some states do impose a separate tax or fee on LLCs for the privilege of doing business in the state. Virginia does impose an annual registration fee (see above).
Electing corporate tax status. LLCs have a flexible tax structure. You can choose to have your LLC taxed as a partnership or as a corporation. If you elect to be taxed as a corporation, you'll be responsible for paying Virginia's corporate income tax. Use Form 500 to file your corporation income tax return with the Virginia Department of Taxation (DOT). You can find more information on the DOT's corporation income tax webpage.
If your LLC plans to have employees, then you'll probably need to pay employer taxes. You'll be responsible for paying both federal and state employer taxes.
Withholding employee wages. Virginia requires employers to withhold and pay employee income taxes to the DOT. You can register your business with the DOT online using the Virginia Tax Online Services for Businesses (also known as "Business Online Services Account"). Depending on your tax liability, your withholding returns and tax payments will be due either quarterly, monthly, or semiweekly. Every filer must also submit Form VA-6 annually to reconcile your LLC's tax withholding. For more, see the withholding tax section of the DOT website.
Unemployment insurance (UI) tax. You'll also probably need to register to pay state UI taxes to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). You can register your business online to file and pay taxes. The VEC allows you to pay your UI taxes either through:
For more on filing UI taxes, read the tax filing/registration section of the VEC website.
In general, Virginia imposes a sales and use tax on the following:
If your LLC will sell taxable goods and services to customers in Virginia, you'll need to collect and pay sales tax. You can register for sales tax online using Virginia's Business Online Services Account or by mail with the Business Registration Form (Form R-1). You'll need to specifically complete the retail sales and use section of the registration form. After you've applied, you'll receive a sales tax account number and your sales tax certificate of registration.
You'll pay taxes either monthly or quarterly depending on the total amount of sales tax you collect and owe. File Form ST-9 with the DOT.
For more information, check the retail sales and use tax section of the DOT website.
In addition to state sales and use tax, you might be responsible for reporting and paying sales and use tax to your city or county. Make sure you check with your local taxing authorities for your reporting responsibilities.
If you plan to do business in a state outside of Virginia, then you'll probably need to register to do business in that state. Each state has rules for out-of-state (foreign) businesses, including what activities require an out-of-state business to register. For example, many states require a foreign business to register if they have a store, office, or warehouse located in the state. You should check state laws on foreign LLC registration to determine when and how to register your out-of-state LLC.
If you need further guidance, check out our state guide to qualifying to do business outside your state.