Do you have the perfect name idea for a new business entity in the state of West Virginia, but you’re not quite ready to form your company?
West Virginia allows you to reserve a business name until you’re prepared for the business formation process, but how does the reservation process work and how long will the state reserve the name for you? In this guide, we’ll run down all the important details of reserving a business name in West Virginia.
Rocket Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in West Virginia rather than file the extra paperwork to register a business name, there are many good incorporation services that can do it for you.
How to Reserve a Business Name in West Virginia
The first step is to determine if your desired business name is even available in West Virginia to begin with. The state has a convenient business name search tool available on the Secretary of State’s website, which you can access here at any time. Once you’ve determined the availability of your desired name, you can begin the process of reserving it with the state.
Unlike many West Virginia business filings, you cannot submit a name reservation request online ― this request must be made in writing. The simple one-page form you’ll need to fill out to reserve your name is called an Application for Name Reservation, which can be acquired from the Secretary of State. You’ll need to fill out this document with the following information: Charleston Office One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Once you’re finished filling out this form, you’ll need to pay the $15 filing fee. You can pay by cash (in-person filings only), check, money order, or a direct deposit. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the “West Virginia Secretary of State” and mail or drop it off with your completed reservation form to the following address:
Charleston Office One-Stop Business Center 1615 Washington Street East Charleston, WV 25311There are two other offices that you can deliver your filing to; simply find them on the instructions attached to the form. There are also options to expedite your filing if you need it faster than the usual 5-10 business days. Instructions to expedite filings are available as an attachment to the form.
How Long Is My Business Name Reserved For?
Once you submit your Application for Reservation of Name form, the state of West Virginia will reserve your business name for a period of 120 days. No one else will be able to claim your name during that time. However, to officially claim your name, you need to officially form your business with the Secretary of State. Doing so effectively ends your reservation by giving you complete ownership of your business name.
Just because you aren’t ready to form your West Virginia business entity doesn’t mean you can’t lock down your desired business name.
If the name you want is available today, there’s no reason to wait until you form your business to reserve it for your exclusive use. The required form is easily filled out with your basic information, and the filing fee is quite affordable, so you should reserve your name today.