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How to Get a Certificate of Existence in West Virginia

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on June 26, 2022

Updated on November 17, 2022

How to Get a Certificate of Existence in West Virginia

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How to Get a Certificate of Existence in West Virginia

In West Virginia, potential creditors or investors might request a certificate of existence for your LLC, and you’ll need to provide one or risk losing crucial financing. Thankfully, this guide provides all the information you need to get this certificate in West Virginia. 

What is a Certificate of Existence for West Virginia? 

In West Virginia, a certificate of existence, known as a certificate of good standing in most other states, verifies that you’re a legally registered business entity that is up to date on all filings and fees and permitted to do business in the state. You do not have to obtain this certificate to do business in West Virginia, or in any state. It is simply used to verify your strong status to third parties such as banks.

closeup view map of west virginia state, usa

Why Do I Need a Certificate of Existence?

Your LLC only needs a certificate of existence if another party requests one. For instance, a bank might request one if you’re opening a bank account or applying for a loan. A credit firm might request one if you apply for a business credit card, or if you set up credit card processing for customer payments.

If you’re registering as a foreign LLC in another state, you will probably be asked for a certificate of existence. 

A foreign entity is simply a business entity doing business in a state other than the one in which it’s registered. For example, if your business is registered in West Virginia but you also do business in Georgia, you’ll need to register a foreign entity in Georgia.

Where to Get a Certificate of Existence in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the Secretary of State issues certificates of existence. Just go to their website to complete the process. NOTE: You will need to enter your entity name or order request number to access your certificate. The cost is $10 and you’ll be able to download your certificate immediately.

Requirements for a Certificate of Existence

You must be registered as a business entity in that state. Operating as a sole proprietorship or a partnership does not require registration in West Virginia, so those entities are not able to obtain a certificate of existence. 

Corporations and LLCs, like your business, must be registered with the state, so they are able to obtain the certificate. 

How Much Does a West Virginia Certificate of Existence Cost?

Again, the fee to obtain a certificate of existence in West Virginia is $10. But it’s well worth it because this is an official document that proves your business’ financial accountability and could open the door to greater investment and expansion.