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West Virginia Business License

Thinking of establishing your new business in West Virginia but don’t know where to start? No worries, this article will serve as a step-by-step guide to discuss all the required information.

We will walk through the main procedures of licensure, talk about state and local requirements for new businesses as well as the obligations of obtaining a business license in West Virginia.

Do I need a WV business license?

The West Virginia State Tax Department states “Before engaging in business activity every individual or business entity must obtain a West Virginia business registration certificate from the State Tax Department”.

This means, regardless of the location or your business type you must hold a business license (also called a business registration certificate) to operate within the state. Even if your business doesn’t file sales taxes or you are not planning to hire employees, you will still need to obtain a business registration certificate.

That’s the law in West Virginia; otherwise, you won’t be authorized to start your new business.

Additionally, there are certain occupations/professions that will also require state-level licensing before offering their services in West Virginia. Such professions/ occupations are handled by the WV Association of Licensing Board that is comprised of over 30 agencies across the state. You can find some examples of professions that have licensing requirements down below:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Barbers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Landscapers
  • Social Workers
  • Massage Therapists
  • And more

Where do I go to get a business license in WV?

West Virginia doesn’t offer a general business license although certain cities in the state have licensing requirements. One by one we will discuss the licensing obligations as well as the process of licensure in the most populated cities in WV.

 Charleston

To start your new business in Charleston, fill out the business registration form. the Charleston Office of the City Collector handles the business license regulations. If your business is operating outside of the physical location the building must be inspected by the Building Department, Fire Department, and the Planning and Zoning Department. A general business license in Charleston is $20 but can be higher due to your business activities.

Huntington

The city of Huntington requires all businesses to obtain a business license from the Finance Division. To obtain a business license fill out the application form and pay the starting fee of $20 (it may get higher depending on your business activities). If your work is from your residence you should obtain a home occupation permit. Businesses in alcohol sales, limited video lottery or tattoo parlors, and body piercing will have additional requirements.

Parkersburg

To establish your new business in Parkersburg, you should first head to the Zoning Office to get permission for the business location. After the location is approved, the inspection should be made by the Code Department and Fire Inspector. Once you complete those steps your business will be eligible for the Parkersburg Certificate of Occupancy and Business License. You can learn more information by City of Parkersburg official website.

How do I register a business in WV?

Every business operating within the state of West Virginia should apply for a business registration certificate from the State Tax Department. You can apply both online through the Business for WV website or file a BUS-APP with the Tax Commissioner.

There are only a few businesses in West Virginia that don’t need to be registered. Such businesses include but not limited to:

  • Occasional or casual sales of property or services by persons not engaged in a business activity
  • Judicial sales directed by law or court order.
  • Sales for delinquent taxes of real or personal property

You can acquire more information about business registration by checking the registration procedures for businesses on the WV State Tax Department.

How do I get a copy of my WV business license?

To request a copy of your business license you should first submit the Customer Order Request Form. After completion of the request form you can bring it in person to the following address:

West Virginia Secretary of State
One Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311

You can also request the copy by calling the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business and Licensing Division at (304) 558-8000.

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.

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