Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in West Virginia (WV)

West Virginia: wild, wonderful and… potentially lucrative. Offering the 3rd lowest cost of labor, 8th lowest cost of living, and 13th lowest business costs in the country, hopeful entrepreneurs have a good chance of establishing themselves as a local hit in this lovely mountainous region.

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Best Business Ideas for West Virginia

If all you know about your small business is that you want to start one, that’s okay! Here are some of the most popular small business types for West Virginia to spark your imagination:

  • Bait & tackle shop
  • Tanning shop
  • Paintball field
  • Car repair shop
  • Mountain trail tours

Whatever you decide to make your new business around, it’s important to ensure you have a solid business plan. Not sure how? We can help!

Planning Processes

Formulating a business plan can be daunting, we get it. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting up your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, The Trail Mix is an excellent name for your trail tour guide business.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial to get to know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may find out surprising things! The Trail Mix found out it may not have the lucrative market it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC offers favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. Sea For Yourself would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in West Virginia

Get all the info you need about your business. Get your business’ name, the employer identification number (EIN), and the name of your registered agent, then file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congratulations: The Trail Mix is now a registered business in West Virginia!

Best Location for Your Business in West Virginia

Before you decide to set up your business in your grandma’s attic, it’s important to decide what your goals, visions, and needs to maintain your business are. Do you anticipate major growth? Will your business rely heavily on foot traffic? If so, you should set your office in a heavily populated area, such as Beckley or Charleston. Whatever you decide on, it’s important to ensure you have the proper documents to ensure you’re operating legally.

Banking and Accounting

Mixing business and pleasure is never a good idea, and that is still true when it comes to your small business. We recommend having a separate bank account for your business. This will not only help you to better track and monitor your business expenditures but will help to protect your personal assets in the event your business gets sued. You should also consider opening a line of credit in your business’ name, since having established credit can make your business more attractive to a potential lender. We recommend hiring a business accountant or accounting software, as these services can save you thousands of dollars a year!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in West Virginia. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property, or an American black bear deciding to crash your tour. In West Virginia, businesses with one or more employees are required to have worker’s comp insurance. Yes, this includes LLC members and corporate offices.

Permits and Licensing

Depending on what kind of business you’re opening and where you’re planning on opening it, you’ll need different licenses and permits. The best way to determine what you need is to conduct a search on a federal and state level, then call your clerk’s office to determine what is needed locally. We recommend using a professional service for this step to ensure you don’t skip over any important licenses.

Hiring Employees

Hiring can be a very exciting time for a small business. For many new entrepreneurs, it’s the first time things can begin to feel real. However, it’s important to make sure your hiring practices are legal. This includes ensuring you’re registered with IRS employee taxes, reporting your new hires to the state of West Virginia, and registering for both withholding tax and unemployment insurance tax with the state. After curating your perfect team, we recommend setting up a payroll. This will not only ensure your employees are paid on time, but it will help you better manage your time.


Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. How do you make your business small business stand out? First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand and what you offer, and make sure it’s visually pleasing to your customer. The Trail Mix thinks dark green hues and a rough-hewn font works best to express what they do. You may decide light, muted graphics work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe that everyone should be able to explore what the great outdoors has to offer? Do you think there’s absolutely no reason to hire a mountain tour guide when hikers actually just want peace and quiet? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers.

Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, having an online presence for your brand is very important. While this can look like having a website or online store (if applicable), this also means having active Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok business accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is follow trends on social media. It makes you look hip and in-touch, and it will help your business flourish. Get creative!


Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And, if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy and reliable, and it offers all-around better opportunities for branding.

If this seems to be way too much effort, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy to navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can check on your inventory. They’ll help make sure your West Virginia small business is headed for success.

Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

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Start Selling Products & Services Online

You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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