Register A West Virginia Foreign Corporation

If you own a corporation in another state and plan to do business here, you’ll need to register as a West Virginia Foreign Corporation.

We’ll Show You How!

Don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands? The easiest way of registering your corporation here is to hire us—we’ll file all your paperwork for you. But if you want to do it all yourself, you can just follow our Guide to Registering as a Foreign Corporation in West Virginia below.

Still have questions? See our FAQ section for answers.

Register A Foreign Corporation in West Virginia


We’ll get all necessary documents from your home state,
file your paperwork, and provide registered agent service
all for just $149 plus state fees.

How Our Service Works

We not only file all your paperwork for you, we provide top-notch West Virginia Registered Agent service, too. Plus:

  • Year-Round Compliance Monitoring and Annual Report Updates
  • No Hidden Fees, Per-Doc Fees, Upsells or “Introductory Fees”
  • Secure Online Client Account for Storing & Managing Business Docs
  • Digital Client Resource Center w/ All WV Business Filings & How-To Guides
  • Legitimate Use of Our Commercial Registered Office Address
  • Fast Document Uploads & Email Notifications

As your registered agent, we’re here to support you for the lifespan of your business. Our customer service experts are just a call or an email away!

Still want to register your foreign corporation yourself? No problem. You can simply hire us for West Virginia Registered Agent Service and follow our D.I.Y. guide below.

Guide to Registering as a Foreign Corporation in West Virginia

Beyond filing paperwork, you’ll need to tick a few more boxes before you’re able to register your foreign corporation:

1. Get A WV Registered Agent

Every company registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State is required to have a registered agent. This person or entity must physically be here in West Virginia, and must be ready to accept service of process (legal documents) on behalf of your business—during regular business hours.

It can be hard to find someone who fits this bill (without paying top dollar). But that’s where we come in! Our registered agent service is a flat rate of $49 a year, year after year.

2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

This is a document that shows your company is all caught up on payments and filings in your home state. (Some states call it a Statement of Good Standing or Certificate of Existence.) It’s important for showing the West Virginia Secretary of State that your business is fit to operate here.

3. File an Application for Certificate of Authority

The final step for registering your foreign corporation in West Virginia is submitting an Application for Certificate of Authority. This application must include:

  • Name of corporation
  • State of organization
  • Date of incorporation
  • NAIC # (if you own an insurance company)
  • Confirmation of your certificate of authority
  • Address of principal office, and mailing address (if different)
  • Name to be used in West Virginia (either the same name, or a DBA)*
  • Address of physical office in West Virginia and/or mailing address (if applicable)
  • Registered agent name and address (referred to as “Agent for Service of Process”)
  • Business email address
  • Business website (if applicable)
  • Indication of how many businesses you operate in West Virginia (optional)
  • Proposed business purpose
  • Indicate whether your business is a “professional corporation,” “benefit corporation,” “for-profit corporation,” or “non-profit corporation”
  • Names, titles, and street addresses of all officers and directors
  • Include the number of acres of land your corporation owns in WV (if applicable)
  • Contact person (name and phone number)
  • Name, title, and signature of an authorized person

You’ll also be asked if your company is a “consumer litigation financier,” a “scrap metal dealer,” or is “veteran-owned.” Simply indicate yes or no.

*If the name of your corporation is already in-use in West Virginia, you’ll need a DBA name. To get one, just submit an Application for Trade name (DBA) to the Virginia Secretary of State.

West Virginia Foreign Corporation: FAQs

What constitutes “doing business” in West Virginia?

This legal term is not straight forward, however it’s important. In general, “doing business” refers to activities that generate income for your corporation. The West Virginia Tax Division states: “Business activity is broadly defined to include all purposeful revenue-generating activity engaged in or caused to be engaged in with the object of gain or economic benefit, either direct or indirect…”

The state statute (WV Code § 31D-15-1501) contains a list of what does NOT constitute doing business, which also isn’t super helpful. But, in a nutshell, if your business generates ongoing income in West Virginia, you’ll probably need to register as a WV Foreign Corporation.

How do I get a certificate of good standing from my home state?

Certificates of good standing (also known as statements of good standing or certificates of existence) are typically issued by the same office where you filed your formation documents. In most cases, this is the secretary of state’s office. While prices vary by state, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0-$50.

Do foreign corporations in West Virginia have to pay taxes?

Yes. Part of registering your corporation in West Virginia is declaring that your company is making money in West Virginia—you’ll have to pay state (and possibly local) taxes on all income earned in WV.

What’s a professional corporation?

A professional corporation is essentially a regular West Virginia Corporation, except it’s owned by someone (or a group of people) who must have a state-issued license to perform their business services. Chances are you’ll need to form a professional corporation if you work in any of the following fields: law, dentistry, accounting, architecture, social worker, medicine, engineering, psychology, and other such professions.

How do I submit my Application for Certificate of Authority in West Virginia?

You can submit your application in one of the following ways:

Online: WV One Stop Business Portal

Via Email: [email protected]

By Mail or In Person:

Charleston Office
One-Stop Business Center
13 Kanawha Blvd. West, Suite 201
Charleston, WV 25302

Clarksburg Office
North Central WV Business Center
153 West Main Street, Suite G- Third Floor
Clarksburg, WV 26301

Martinsburg Office
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Note that you must include the state’s e-Payment Authorization form if paying with credit card.