Get Startup Help

Before you register your business you will make many decisions that wil impact the future of your venture.  Here you will find basic information and a library of online resources to help you find the information and help you need. 

Explore our topics below. Each link that takes you off this site will open the new site in a separate window.

Choose from the resource categories below for more information.

Business Types & Structural Requirements

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If you are starting a new West Virginia company, choosing a business structure that is right for you is one of the most important decisions you can make before you register. This decision will affect control of business decisions, ownership of assets, federal and state tax status, and what happens to the company if an owner leaves.

  • It may be a good idea to ask a professional to help you review your options.  An experienced accountant, attorney, business registration service or specialist at the WV Small Business Development Center may help you avoid major pitfalls.
  • Initial decisions about who will own and control the business, what your business will do, where it will be located and when it will start may affect your registration.  Visit the Secretary of State resource Smart Steps to Starting a Business in WV for step-by-step help with the decisions you face.
  • Understanding the differences between business structures can help you choose the best one for your new business or organization. Visit the Secretary of State resource Business Startup in WV: Choose a Business Type for a concise summary of some major differences between structure types.

New Business Training & Assistance

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State and federal business development offices and some non-profit business support organizations provide seminars and other programs that may help you get started.  Look for training opportunities on these sites.

  • The West Virginia Small Business Development Center offers a variety of training opportunities. Check out the Training Calendar for current and future sessions that can help your business.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a Training Network of online courses tailored for new businesses.

Direct counseling and assistance is also available for entrepreneurs.

  • The West Virginia Small Business Development Center provides free consulting services to assist new business owners.
  • SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. SCORE volunteers provide free, confidential face-to-face and e-mail business counseling to America’s entrepreneurs.  Counseling and workshops are offered at 389 chapter offices across the country.

In West Virginia, SCORE volunteers can be contacted at these numbers.

Buckhannon (304) 472-2516
Charleston (304) 347-5463
Fairmont (304) 472-2516
Huntington (304) 523-4092
Lewisburg (304) 647-6582
Wheeling (304) 233-2575


Developing A Business Plan

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A sound business plan is vital to every new business.  Several resources are available to assist you.

  • The WV Small Business Development Center provides a 36-page A Step-By-Step Business Plan Workbook for registered users in Acrobat Reader format.  Registration is free.
  • Guidelines for developing a business plan and a sample plan are also provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Search the web with 'sample+business+plan' for thousands of resources provided by public and private sources.

West Virginia Laws on Business

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Two important sources are available for access to West Virginia Code sections that relate to business and business filings.

  • The Secretary of State provides a Quick Finder Index of selected laws by business type, primarily focused on business formation and subsequent changes that require additional filings.
  • The West Virginia Legislature maintains the complete West Virginia Code in an online searchable database.

Business Rules & Regulations

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The Secretary of State maintains the Code of State Rules (CSR) online. In addition to the specific links below, you may search CSR for rules that may be applicable to your specific business.

  • Go to the Code of State Rules search page. Select Rule Name as the search type and enter the term business in the search box. Click 'Begin Search' to return all of the rules with the term business in the title of the rule.
  • You may also search for other rules relating to your business activity by category, word or agency.

Several federal websites provide searches actual text of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and information about the impact of federal tax rules on businesses.

  • The National Archives and Records Administration provides a searchable database of the full CFR.  Tax laws are found in Title 29.
  • The IRS provides links to pertinent business tax regulations and 'plain English' versions of those regulations.
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