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18 Best Business Ideas to Start in West Virginia

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

18 Best Business Ideas to Start in West Virginia

West Virginia has long relied on its mining, energy, manufacturing and service industries. Its economy is starting to rebound from the pandemic, as indicated by the recovery of more than half of the jobs lost in 2020. 

If you’re looking to cash in on this recovery, consider getting into marketing consulting, proofreading, storage, or hospice. There are a lot more possibilities out there — check out our list of great business ideas in West Virginia to find some inspiration.

1. Diamond Jewelry

diamond jewelry business idea

Starting a diamond jewelry business in West Virginia can be rewarding, given the state’s growing interest in luxury goods. It’s important to focus on quality and customer service. West Virginia requires a business license for this type of store, which you can obtain through the WV Business Portal. Additionally, consider the location carefully; high-traffic areas near affluent neighborhoods work best. Building relationships with reliable suppliers and creating a solid online presence are also key steps.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

A health care business, particularly home health or elder care, is in demand in West Virginia due to its aging population. You’ll need to obtain the proper health care licenses from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. It’s crucial to hire qualified staff and ensure they receive ongoing training. Focus on building a reputation for compassionate and professional care. Networking with local health professionals and community centers can also help attract clients.

3. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

Manufacturing can be a lucrative business in West Virginia, especially in industries like chemicals, biotech, or automotive parts. You must comply with both state and federal regulations, and permits can be obtained from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Selecting the right location with access to transportation and raw materials is vital. Consider the benefits of energy cost savings in West Virginia and explore local incentives for manufacturers.

4. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

Real estate in West Virginia offers opportunities due to its diverse landscapes and affordable property prices. Getting a real estate license from the West Virginia Real Estate Commission is the first step. Focus on learning the local market trends and building a network of contacts. Digital marketing plays a crucial role in real estate, so invest in a good website and online advertising. Always stay informed about state and federal property laws.

5. Retail

retail store business idea

Opening a retail store in West Virginia could target areas with high tourist traffic or local needs. You need a sales tax license, which you can get through the West Virginia Tax Division. Location is crucial; consider proximity to main streets or shopping centers. Good customer service and a well-curated product line that appeals to local tastes are essential. Stay adaptable and responsive to market trends to keep your inventory relevant.

6. Stock Trading

stock trading business idea

With the financial sector’s growth in West Virginia, a stock trading business could serve an emerging market of local investors and small to mid-sized companies looking to expand their financial horizons. Providing education and personalized investment services could meet the growing interest in personal finance and wealth management among West Virginians.

7. Marketing Consulting

How to start a digital marketing agency

A marketing consulting firm can thrive in West Virginia by helping local businesses increase their visibility and sales. No specific state license is needed, but a general business license is necessary. Focus on building a portfolio and testimonials from successful projects. Networking with local businesses and offering workshops can establish credibility and attract clients. Keep up with the latest digital marketing trends and tools.

8. LuLaRoe Business

lularoe business

Selling LuLaRoe clothing involves becoming an independent consultant, which is essentially a small home-based business. In West Virginia, a general business license is required. Focus on utilizing social media and home parties to showcase products. Building a loyal customer base through excellent customer service and regular updates on new arrivals can drive sales. Stay informed about company policies and product changes.

9. Online Resale

How to Start a Consignment Shop

Starting an online resale business is popular and can be set up from home. A West Virginia resale certificate allows your business to have tax-exempt status for purchases you make for items you will add to your inventory and intend to resell to your customers.

Focus on a specific niche market to stand out and source quality products reliably. Good photography and descriptive listings will enhance your online presence. Excellent customer service and a user-friendly website are key to attracting and retaining customers.

10. Storage Lot

How to start a self-storage business

A storage lot business in West Virginia can meet the needs for additional space among residents and businesses. You’ll need a business license from the local municipality and possibly zoning approvals. Select a location that is secure and accessible. Offering various sized spaces with competitive pricing can attract a broad customer base. Security is a top priority, so invest in good lighting and surveillance systems.

11. Appliance Repair

How to start a handyman business

Appliance repair services are always in demand. In West Virginia, you may need a contractor’s license from the West Virginia Division of Labor if you perform major repairs. Technical skills and certifications in appliance repair are essential. Offering reliable and timely services will help build a strong customer base. Consider a mobile service model to increase convenience for your clients.

12. Hospice Care

How to start a hospice business

Here you can find Hospice Licensure Rule for West Virginia. Focus on providing compassionate care and support to patients and their families. Hiring experienced healthcare professionals and providing them with continuous training is crucial. Build strong relationships with local healthcare providers and community organizations to enhance your service network.

13. Bottled Water

How to start a bottled water business

Starting a bottled water business in West Virginia involves obtaining a license from the West Virginia Department of Health. The quality of the water must meet state and federal standards, so regular testing is essential. Focus on sustainable practices and packaging to attract eco-conscious consumers. Effective branding and local marketing can help establish your product in the market.

14. Proofreading Service

How to Start a Proofreading Business

A proofreading service requires no specific licensing in West Virginia, but a general business license is recommended. You can run it from home with minimal overhead. Building a strong reputation for accuracy and timeliness is key. Networking with local businesses, academic institutions, and authors can help you build a client base. Maintain high standards and keep your skills sharp through continuous learning.

15. Supplements Store

How to start a supplement business

Opening a supplements store requires compliance with FDA regulations and a business license from West Virginia. Knowledge about health and nutrition is crucial, and so is ensuring your products are sourced responsibly and are of high quality. Educating your customers about the benefits and proper use of supplements can set you apart from competitors. Online sales can supplement your physical store’s income.

16. Fish Table Business

fish table business idea

A fish table business, featuring arcade-style games, can be a unique venture. You’ll need an amusement license from local authorities in West Virginia. Choosing a location that attracts a lot of foot traffic, like near entertainment centers or malls, is ideal. Ensure your machines are fun, fair, and well-maintained. Offering promotions and prizes can keep customers coming back.

17. Excavation

excavation business idea

Starting an excavation business requires a contractor’s license from the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board. It’s important to invest in good quality equipment and hire experienced operators. Safety training and compliance with local regulations are essential. Building relationships with construction companies and real estate developers can provide steady work. Focus on efficient and reliable service to build a solid reputation.

18. Press-on Nail Salon

How to start a press-on nail business

A press-on nail salon is a trendy business idea. In West Virginia, a cosmetology license is required if you are applying the nails directly to clients. A focus on unique designs and quality materials can attract a wide range of customers. Marketing through social media and collaborating with local beauty salons or influencers can increase your visibility. Offering custom designs and online sales can expand your business reach.


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18 Best Business Ideas to Start in West Virginia