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 Filing Procedures

Preparing the Filing | Request for Service Form | Number of Copies
Filing Fee | Certified Copies of Filings | Mailing & Delivery

Preparing the Filing

Naming the Defendant:

If the defendant is an authorized corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership or limited partnership, you must obtain:

  • the exact name of the company; and 
  • the name and address of its agent of process. 

If the name is not entered exactly as it is filed with the Secretary of State, the filing will be returned.

To obtain the exact company name and agent name and address:

1.  Search the Business Organizations Data System
2.  Call (304) 558-8000 and ask for Process Division

If the defendant is a company based in another state and not registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State, you must provide an address where the notice can be expected to reach the defendant, or the last known address. The Secretary of State will not accept a filing which does not contain a reasonably complete address.

Include a "Request for Service" Form

This form allows the Secretary of State's staff to determine the basis for the filing in order to determine whether the Secretary is authorized to serve the defendant. Go to Request for Service for information about the Request for Service Form which should be attached to each filing, especially those which are not authorized corporations. To review the statutes listed on the form, see WV Code & Rules.

Number of Copies 

For each defendant to be served, file one original summons and two copies of the summons and complaint and other papers to be filed. One copy will be mailed to the defendant, the original will be mailed to the circuit clerk of the county (or magistrate clerk, if applicable), and one copy will remain on file with the Secretary of State's Process Division.

Filing Fee 

The filing fee is $20 for each defendant located in the United States ($15 service plus $5 certified mailing fee) and $30 for each defendant located outside the United States ($15 service plus $15 registered mailing fee).  If you are mailing the filing and fee, please send a check or money order payable to "Secretary of State." If you are filing in person, we will accept check or money order, cash or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover).  Credit cards can be accepted by phone, but only if the completed filing has already been received.  See Ordering & Payment for additional options.

Need a Certified Copy of a Previous Filing?

A certified copy of a previous filing may be obtained for the photocopy charge plus the certification charge. Photocopy charges are set by statute at $1.00 for the first page plus $.50 for each additional page. The certification charge is $10.00.

Mailing or Delivering the Filing Secretary of State Employee Mima Morrow accepts process case

Delivery: Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Secretary of State
Process Section, Room 151
Main Capitol Building, First Floor, West Wing
(Nearest entry from Greenbrier Street)

Mailing/Express Service Delivery:

Process Section
Secretary of State
Building 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770