Do you own a business operating in the state of West Virginia? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to West Virginia business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in West Virginia?
The state of West Virginia requires a permanent business registration license through the West Virginia Tax Department. This license is required for all businesses in the state. Other than that, there could be several licenses and/or permits that you may be required to obtain depending on the nature of your business.
To determine which permits you need to operate a compliant business, we recommend that you pay a visit to the WV One Stop Business Portal, where you’ll find links and guidance about licenses in the state. You’ll find advice on special licenses, professional licenses, and more.Using the One Stop search, you can search by business type to see which licenses apply to your business, or you can view a full list of the hundreds of available permits.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
The occupational licenses and permits required by the state of West Virginia vary widely, including contractors, builders, and many points in between. Depending on the exact nature of your business, you might need more than one of these permits. The Division of Labor regulates these licenses.
Professional Licenses and Permits
Certain professions in West Virginia are not regulated by the Division of Labor. That said, they still require licenses; the primary difference is that those professions are regulated by specific groups. If you’re a part of such a profession, you’ll need to have your licensing board fill out the Verification of Eligibility and file it with the Secretary of State. Regulated professional industries include acupuncturists, attorneys, psychologists, and more.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for West Virginia Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
As we mentioned earlier, all businesses need to file for a business registration license with the Tax Department. This registration will help register you for important business taxes such as the corporate income tax and more.
There are also many industry-specific tax registrations in the state of West Virginia, from soft drink taxes to health care taxes and many points in between. You can find more information on which ones your business needs at this link.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in West Virginia?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in West Virginia you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by West Virginia localities.
Many counties require local licenses, from occupational permits to general business licenses. Thankfully, West Virginia offers a comprehensive list of counties and contact information for county clerks here.
There are also some requirements on the city/municipality level. Similar to the county listing, West Virginia offers a municipal office list here.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of West Virginia, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of West Virginia. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!