West Virginia Code
Acts, 1963 Reg. Sess., Ch. 193.
No individual, sole proprietorship or general partnership may carry on, conduct or transact any business in this state under any assumed name, or under any designation, name or style, corporate or otherwise, other than the real name or names of the individual or individuals owning, conducting or transacting such business, unless that person or persons shall file with the Secretary of State a form setting forth the name under which such business is, or is to be, conducted or transacted, and the true or real full name or names of the person or persons owning, conducting or transacting the same, with the home and post office address or addresses of such person or persons. Such form shall be executed and duly acknowledged by the person or persons so owning, conducting or intending to conduct such business.
The Secretary of State shall keep a searchable database of all persons filing forms provided for in this article.
(a) No business entity organized as a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, business trust or voluntary association required to register with the Secretary of State in order to conduct business within the state may conduct or transact any business in this state under any assumed name, or under any designation, name or style, corporate or otherwise, other than the name established by the original certificate establishing the business entity or by an amendment thereto, unless the business entity files in the office of the Secretary of State an application for registration of trade name. The application shall set forth:
(1) The name under which the business entity is organized and registered;
(2) The name under which the business of such business entity is, or is to be, conducted or transacted upon approval of the application, which name must be distinguishable from the name of any other corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, business trust or voluntary association, and from any name reserved or registered for any of those business entities;
(3) The address of the principal office within the state or, if no office is maintained within the state, the address of the principal office in the state in which the business entity is established; and
(4) The name, title and signature of a person having authority to make the application.
The Secretary of State shall grant a certificate of registration to any applicant who has met the requirements of this subsection. A new certificate of registration is to be filed if the business entity desires to conduct or transact any business in this state under any other assumed name not on file in the office of the Secretary of State.
(b) One original executed of the application for trade name registration shall be delivered to the Secretary of State. Delivery may be made by electronic transmission if permitted by the Secretary of State. If the filing officer finds that the application for trade name registration conforms to law, he or she shall, when all fees have been paid as prescribed by law, file it and shall deliver to the entity or its representative a receipt for the record and fee.
(c) Upon discontinuing the use of a registered trade name the certificate of registration of trade name shall be withdrawn by filing a certificate of withdrawal with the office of the Secretary of State setting forth the name to be discontinued, the real name, the address of the party transacting business and the date upon which the original certificate of registration of trade name was filed.
(d) Any corporation authorized to transact business in this state shall procure an amended certificate of incorporation in the event it changes its corporate name by filing articles of amendment with the office of the Secretary of State as provided in article ten, chapter thirty-one-d, or article ten, chapter thirty-one-e of this code.
(e) Any limited liability company registering a trade name pursuant to the provisions of this section is subject to the limitations set forth in subsections (b), (c) and (d) section one hundred five, article one, chapter thirty-one-b of this code.
Any individual, sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, business trust or voluntary association or other person owning, carrying on, conducting or transacting business as aforesaid who willfully fails to comply with the provisions of section two or four of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $100, or imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding thirty days, or both fined and imprisoned.