Business Registration Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Required to Register a Business in West Virginia?

Any person who is engaging in any business activity in the state of West Virginia must register with the West Virginia State Tax Division before commencing business activities in the State. This includes, but is not limited to, any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, club, society or other group or combination acting as unit, body politic or political subdivision.

Are Churches and Tax-Exempt Organization Considered to be Businesses if They File an Application for Business Registration?

Churches and nontaxable, nonprofit organizations are not considered to be “businesses” or engaged in business or subject to any other tax laws by the mere completion of the Application for Business Registration.

How Do I Register a Business in West Virginia?

To register with the West Virginia State Tax Division, the West Virginia Secretary of State, and WorkForce West Virginia, please visit the West Virginia One Stop Business Portal.

If you wish to register with the West Virginia State Tax Division only, you must complete the Business Registration Application (Form WV/ BUS-APP).

Remote Sellers: Out-of-state sellers who have no physical presence in West Virginia and no activity in West Virginia other than making sales over the Internet, by telephone, or mail order are considered remote sellers and may use a simplified Remote Seller Registration on MyTaxes.

What Happens After the State Tax Division Has Received My Business Registration Application?

Upon receipt of your Application for Registration Certificate, we will determine the tax types for which you are responsible. For each tax you are responsible for, an account ID number will be assigned. Once your application is processed, you will receive your West Virginia Business Registration Certificate. A list of West Virginia tax accounts and their identification numbers will be provided. Tax returns will be mailed prior to their due dates. After your business is registered, you may choose to file and pay taxes online at MyTaxes.

What Do I Do With the West Virginia Business Registration Certificate?

The Business Registration Certificate must be posted conspicuously in the place where you are conducting business.

Businesses that sell tangible personal property or services from or out of one or more vehicles, must carry a copy of their Business Registration Certificate in each vehicle and publicly display it while business is conducted from or out of the vehicle.

Any person engaging in any contracting business or activity must have a copy of their Business Registration Certificate available at each construction site in West Virginia until their work is complete at that site.

How Long is My Business Registration Certificate Valid?

The Business Registration Certificate is permanent and remains valid until the legal name of the business changes, the physical location of the business changes, the ownership of the business changes, you notify the State Tax Division that the business has closed, or until the business certificate is suspended or revoked by the Tax Commissioner.

Adding, removing, or changing members of a partnership, corporation, LLC, non-profit, or association does not require a new business certificate.

How Do I Change My Business Name/Location Address?

To make a change to your current West Virginia business registration certificate, you will need to complete and submit a Reissuance of Business License (BUS-RBL) form and pay the $30 registration tax. You may find a copy of the form at the link above or you can submit the changes through your MyTaxes account.

What if I Do Not Obtain a Business Registration Certificate Before Commencing Business?

Engaging in business within the State of West Virginia, without obtaining a Business Registration Certificate, is a serious offense and could subject you to penalties of up to $50.00 a month for each month or part of a month you continue to operate your business without a license.

What if I Anticipate Doing Business in West Virginia from Outside of the State and Am Unsure of My Tax Liability to West Virginia?

Download the Nexus Questionnaire (WV/NEXUS). Complete the questionnaire and mail to the address provided at the top of the form. The Nexus Questionnaire will be reviewed to see if the business is required to register for a business certificate in West Virginia.

How Do I Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

The West Virginia State Tax Division does not issue the EIN. You will need to contact the IRS to request an EIN be issued to your business. Visit: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online.

Can I Submit My Business Registration Application or Other Forms by Email or Fax?

No. For security and processing purposes, the West Virginia State Tax Division cannot accept forms or other documentation by email or fax.

How Do I Close My Business?

To close a business, complete the Declaration of Final Business Activity BUS-FIN. Once completed, you must mail or attach the BUS-FIN to a web notice in MyTaxes. Faxed BUS-FIN forms will not be processed.

What is Considered Business Activity?

Business activity is 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. This also includes all activities of this State and its political subdivisions which involve the sale of tangible personal property or the rendering of a service when such service activities compete with or may compete with the activities of another person.

Are All Businesses Required to Obtain a West Virginia Business Registration Certificate?

No. Persons engaged in the following activities are not required to register if they engage solely in these activities:

  1. Judicial sales directed by law or court ordered.
  2. Sales for delinquent taxes of real or personal property.
  3. The conduct of a charitable bingo or raffle in West Virginia Code 47-20 and West Virginia Code 47-21 (A Bingo or Raffle license will be required instead).
  4. Certain activities related to horse or dog racing (See the Business Registration Booklet, page 2, for further information).
  5. Occasional or casual sales of property or services by persons not engaged in a business activity. **

Also, any person engaging in a business activity who meets all three (3) of the following conditions is not required to obtain a business registration certificate:

  1. Is not required by law to collect any tax or withhold a tax; and
  2. Does not claim exemption from payment of the West Virginia Consumers Sales and Service Tax or Use Tax; and
  3. Had a gross income from business activity of $4,000.00 dollars or less from operations in all states during the income tax year most recently completed.

Must Everyone Pay the $30.00 Business Registration Fee?

No. Any person who is engaging in any business activity in this state is required to obtain a Business Registration Certificate, but is not required to pay the $30.00 Business Registration Fee if they meet one of the following conditions:

  1. A non-profit organization which qualifies, or would qualify, for exemption from federal income taxes under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; (501C determination letter must be submitted to the West Virginia State Tax Division)
  2. This State, or a political subdivision thereof, selling tangible personal property, admissions or services when those activities compete with or may compete with the activities of another person;
  3. The United States, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, which is exempt from taxation by the states;
  4. A person engaged in the business of agriculture or farming;
  5. An out-of-state company that does not have nexus in West Virginia and employs a West Virginia resident (Complete the BUS-APP as a “Withholding Only” registration);
  6. A West Virginia private household employing domestic help. Complete the BUS-APP as a “Withholding Only” registration.