By Mac Warner
WV Secretary of State
West Virginia’s One Stop Business Center (WV One Stop) is proud to announce its fifth anniversary of empowering business growth in the Mountain State. West Virginia leads the nation with our Business One Stop. We were the first in the nation to put four state agencies in one location five years ago, and with the addition of a fifth state agency, today we continue to lead the nation when it comes to the ease of registering a company to do business in the state.
The WV One Stop houses the WV Secretary of State’s Office, the WV State Tax Division, the WV Small Business Development Center, WorkForce-WV and the WV Division of Labor.
Since its inception, the WV One Stop has registered 90,225 businesses, including a record year in 2022 of 19,728 new business registrations throughout West Virginia. In our first five years, The WV One Stop has processed well over one million transactions to promote new business growth and ensure continued compliance with our reporting processes.
From the recent $3.1 billion Nucor investment in Mason County to small local solo entrepreneurs, the WV One Stop services all types of businesses in our effort to power our state’s economy.
It is an honor for West Virginia to have pioneered this effort to make it easy and efficient to do business in our wonderful state. A new business registration that used to take up two weeks to complete can now take as little as 10 minutes. The ease and efficiency of the WV One Stop has garnered national attention, and been recognized by the National Association of Secretaries of State for its innovation.
People looking to form a new business or to register an out-of-state business in West Virginia are encouraged to visit any of our three of WV One Stop physical locations – the main Center in Charleston or satellite offices in Clarksburg and Martinsburg. Visit our online Business Portal at Business4WV.gov.
Our online presence allows us to remain open 24 hours/day. The WVSOS Business Portal provides information to guide a first-time business owner through the process of planning, starting, operating and expanding their business in West Virginia. Our online Business Wizard also provides valuable guidance on starting a business, to include explaining the differences between a corporation, an LLC, sole proprietorship, and more.
While celebrating our first five years of operation, we continue to push the envelope on innovation for the benefit of all West Virginians. Ongoing efforts include The WV One Stop Pop-Up that will debut at the Bridging Innovation Conference in Wheeling, WV in April. In addition, we will soon offer an artificial intelligence-powered knowledge center to help entrepreneurs and business owners. Our motto is, “working at the speed of business.” Like you, we like to innovate, improve, and leverage technology to better provide goods and services to the citizens of West Virginia.
I encourage all business owners to use our Business4WV.gov landing page to file their Annual Report. Reports are due between January 1 and June 30. Be advised there is no need to pay third parties that charge as much as $140 to file an Annual Report; business owners can call our offices directly for help in filing their own annual reports. Filing yourself costs only the statutory rate of $25. My office is also proud to promote our legislature’s effort to facilitate new business growth by offering fee waivers for young entrepreneurs, veterans, and spouses of veterans.
Whether your business is a global Fortune 500 company, or you are operating your first business venture, we’re here to help you. It has never been easier to start a new business in West Virginia.
For more information, please contact the WVSOS Business & Licensing Division at 304-558-8000.