Working in West Virginia
Guide to doing business in the state
One-Stop Online Business Registration
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office offers an optional online processing tool that provides immediate and accurate integration of applicant filings into the Secretary of State’s database as well as communication of registration information to the Tax Department and WorkForce West Virginia (unemployment compensation). A step-by-step process for each participating state agency culminates with registration and payment of any applicable registration fees by credit card.
State Agency Contact Information
For companies without computer access (or those that do not wish to pay registration fees by credit card), contact must be initiated with the agencies identified in this section.
West Virginia Secretary of State
Building 1, Suite 157-K
State Capitol Complex
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Domestic and Foreign Corporations, LLCs, LPs, and LLPs must first register to do business with the Secretary of State’s Office and must then register with the Tax Department. Sole Proprietors are not required to register with the Secretary of State but must register with the Tax Department (note: if a trade name registration is sought, registration with the Secretary of State is required).
An exemption may be granted by the Secretary of State’s Office for an entity that conducts an isolated transaction that is completed within thirty (30) days and that is not one in the course of repeated transactions of a like nature. To determine eligibility, submit a $25 filing fee with one of the following applications:
- Application for Exemption from Certificate of Authority for Corporations
- Application for Exemption from Certificate of Authority of a Limited Liability Company
Even if an entity is deemed exempt by the Secretary of State’s Office, all entities must register to do business with the Tax Department.
West Virginia Tax Department
1001 Lee Street, East
Charleston, WV 25301
Business Registration Unit: 304-558-8614
Sales Tax Unit: 304-558-8639
All persons or entities conducting business in West Virginia must register with the Tax Department. If not using the one-stop portal above, submit one of these forms:
- Business Application (form only, non-fillable version)
- Business Application (form only, fillable version)
- Business Application (form, plus instructions)
Exemption from State Consumers Sales and Use Tax
A person or business entity engaged in the business of producing film industry productions is eligible to claim exemption from the Consumers Sales and Use Tax (see also Incentives section). Following registration with the Secretary of State and/or Tax Department, a Direct Pay Permit application should be submitted to the Tax Department. Once processed and approved, applicant will receive a Direct Pay Permit (aka exemption certificate) to present to vendors in the state at the point of sale.
WorkForce West Virginia
112 California Avenue
Charleston, WV 25305
WorkForce West Virginia is the state’s unemployment agency and the entity that collects required unemployment insurance. Contact the agency for more details.
The WorkForce West Virginia Employer Handbook provides details about laws, rules, claims, and reporting relating to unemployment. When an employer is determined to be liable, or applies for and is approved for voluntary coverage, WorkForce West Virginia issues an Employer’s Certificate of Registration and assigns a ten-digit account number.
Offices of the Insurance Commissioner
1124 Smith Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Toll Free: 888-879-9482
With limited exceptions, workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for all employers who employ one or more employees in West Virginia. Employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance carrier. The list of registered workers’ compensation insurance carriers.
If an employee, whose employment relationship or contract of hire was consummated in a state other than West Virginia, will be working in West Virginia for a period not to exceed 30 days in any 365-day period, the extraterritorial workers’ compensation coverage the employee has from another state can cover said employee if the employer’s coverage extends into West Virginia; there is no requirement that the employee have coverage with a private West Virginia insurance carrier. An employer may choose to apply with the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner for an exemption from West Virginia workers’ compensation.
Employers who wish to self-insure their employees’ injury claims may register under ‘Guaranteed Cost and Self-Insurance Coverage’ provisions with the WV Insurance Commission. View information and application forms about self-insurance or call the Self-Insurance Unit at 304-558-1207.
Child Labor Laws
A brief overview of Child Labor Laws set out in W.Va. Code §§ 21-6-1, et. seq., is available below. For specific questions, contact the West Virginia Division of Labor, Wage and Hour section, at 304-558-7890.
Age specific guidelines for the employment of children in West Virginia are as follows:
- 13 years of age and younger: No permits are required for actors or performers in motion pictures, theatrical, radio, or television productions. (Note, minors 13 years of age and younger cannot be gainfully employed in any occupation except in the exempt occupations – such as actors/performers – identified in W. Va. Code § 21-6-1.)
- 14-15 years of age: Work Permits are required for persons 14-15 years of age (various restrictions associated with work hours; restricted to non-hazardous occupations). Work permits are obtained from the Boards of Education in the counties in which the students live. A copy of the work permit is forwarded to the WV Division of Labor, which is charged with the responsibility of assuring the minor is not working in an unsafe environment or performing duties not suitable to their age.
- 16-17 years of age: Although not a requirement of law, employers may require proof of age for persons 16-17 years of age (work hours unrestricted; may not drive motor vehicles as principal part of employment or for delivery purposes; work limited to age appropriate non-hazardous occupations). Age certificates are obtained from the Boards of Education in the counties in which the students live. A copy of the age certificate is forwarded to the WV Division of Labor, which is charged with the responsibility of assuring the minor is not working in an unsafe environment or performing duties not suitable to their age.