Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
Chapter 12. Virginia Limited Liability Company Act
5/8/2021

Article 10. Foreign Limited Liability Companies.

§ 13.1-1051. (Effective until July 1, 2021) Authority to transact business required; governing law.

A. A foreign limited liability company may not transact business in the Commonwealth until it obtains a certificate of registration from the Commission.

B. Subject to the Constitution of the Commonwealth:

1. The laws of the state or other jurisdiction under which a foreign limited liability company is formed govern its formation and internal affairs and the liability of its members and managers; and

2. A foreign limited liability company may not be denied a certificate of registration by reason of any difference between those laws and the laws of the Commonwealth.

However, a foreign limited liability company holding a valid certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth shall have no greater rights and privileges than a domestic limited liability company. The certificate of registration shall not be deemed to authorize the foreign limited liability company to exercise any of its powers or purposes that a domestic limited liability company is forbidden by law to exercise in the Commonwealth.

1991, c. 168; 2008, c. 108.

§ 13.1-1051. (Effective July 1, 2021) Authority to transact business required; governing law.

A. A foreign limited liability company may not transact business in the Commonwealth until it obtains a certificate of registration from the Commission.

B. Subject to the Constitution of the Commonwealth:

1. Except as provided in §§ 13.1-1099.8 and 13.1-1099.10, the laws of the state or other jurisdiction under which a foreign limited liability company is formed govern its formation and internal affairs and the liability of its members and managers; and

2. A foreign limited liability company may not be denied a certificate of registration by reason of any difference between those laws and the laws of the Commonwealth.

However, a foreign limited liability company holding a valid certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth shall have no greater rights and privileges than a domestic limited liability company. The certificate of registration shall not be deemed to authorize the foreign limited liability company to exercise any of its powers or purposes that a domestic limited liability company is forbidden by law to exercise in the Commonwealth.

1991, c. 168; 2008, c. 108; 2019, c. 636.

§ 13.1-1052. Application for certificate of registration.

A. A foreign limited liability company may apply to the Commission for a certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth. The application shall be made on a form prescribed and furnished by the Commission. The application shall set forth:

1. The name of the foreign limited liability company and, if the limited liability company is prevented by § 13.1-1054 from using its own name in the Commonwealth, a designated name that satisfies the requirements of § 13.1-1054;

2. The name of the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it is formed, its date of formation and period of duration, and if the limited liability company was previously authorized or registered to transact business in the Commonwealth as a foreign corporation, limited liability company, business trust, limited partnership, or registered limited liability partnership, with respect to every prior authorization or registration, (i) the name of the entity; (ii) the entity type; (iii) the state or other jurisdiction of incorporation, organization or formation; and (iv) the entity identification number issued to it by the Commission;

3. The address of the proposed registered office of the foreign limited liability company in the Commonwealth (including both (i) the post office address with street and number, if any, and (ii) the name of the county or city in which it is located) and the name of its proposed registered agent in the Commonwealth at that address and a statement that the registered agent is either (a) an individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth and is either (1) a member or manager of the limited liability company, (2) a member or manager of a limited liability company that is a member or manager of the limited liability company, (3) an officer or director of a corporation that is a member or manager of the limited liability company, (4) a general partner of a general or limited partnership that is a member or manager of the limited liability company, (5) a trustee of a trust that is a member or manager of the limited liability company, or (6) a member of the Virginia State Bar, or (b) a domestic or foreign stock or nonstock corporation, limited liability company, or registered limited liability partnership authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth, the business office of which is identical with the registered office;

4. A statement that the clerk of the Commission is irrevocably appointed the agent of the foreign limited liability company for service of process if the foreign limited liability company fails to maintain a registered agent in the Commonwealth as required by § 13.1-1015, the registered agent's authority has been revoked, the registered agent has resigned, or the registered agent cannot be found or served with the exercise of reasonable diligence;

5. The post office address, including the street and number, if any, of the foreign limited liability company's principal office; and

6. A statement evidencing that the foreign limited liability company is a "foreign limited liability company" as defined in § 13.1-1002.

B. The foreign limited liability company shall deliver with the completed application a copy of its articles of organization or other constituent documents and all amendments and corrections thereto filed in the foreign limited liability company's state or other jurisdiction of organization, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of the limited liability company records in the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it is organized.

C. If the Commission finds that the application complies with the requirements of law and that all required fees have been paid, it shall issue a certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265; 2002, c. 608; 2004, c. 274; 2008, c. 108; 2016, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1053. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2008, c. 108, cl. 2, effective April 1, 2009.

§ 13.1-1054. Name of foreign limited liability company.

A. No certificate of registration shall be issued to a foreign limited liability company unless the name of the foreign limited liability company satisfies the requirements of § 13.1-1012.

B. If the name of a foreign limited liability company does not satisfy the requirements of § 13.1-1012, to obtain or maintain a certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth:

1. The foreign limited liability company may adopt a designated name for use in the Commonwealth that adds the words "limited company" or "limited liability company" or the abbreviation "L.C.," "LC," "L.L.C." or "LLC" to its name or, if it is a professional limited liability company, the words "professional company" or "professional limited liability company" or the initials "P.L.C.," "PLC," "P.L.L.C.," or "PLLC" at the end of its name, if it informs the Commission of its designated name; or

2. If its real name is unavailable, the foreign limited liability company may adopt a designated name that is available, and which satisfies the requirements of § 13.1-1012, if it informs the Commission of the designated name.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265; 2012, c. 63; 2016, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1055. Amendments; amended applications for registration.

A. A foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth shall promptly file with the Commission an amended application for registration on a form prescribed and furnished by the Commission:

1. If any statement in the application for registration was false when made or any arrangements or other facts described have changed, making the application inaccurate in any respect; or

2. To abandon or change the designated name adopted by the limited liability company for use in the Commonwealth pursuant to subsection B of § 13.1-1054.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, the manner by which a foreign limited liability company shall change its registered office or principal office is by filing a statement of change pursuant to § 13.1-1016 or 13.1-1018.1, as the case may be.

C. Whenever the articles of organization or other constituent document of a foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth is amended or corrected, the foreign limited liability company shall promptly deliver to the Commission for filing a copy of the amendment or correction duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of the limited liability company records in the state or other jurisdiction of its organization.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 2003, c. 370; 2008, c. 108; 2009, c. 450; 2016, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1056. Voluntary cancellation of certificate of registration.

A. A foreign limited liability company registered to transact business in the Commonwealth may apply to the Commission for a certificate of cancellation to cancel its certificate of registration. The application shall be on a form prescribed and furnished by the Commission, which shall set forth:

1. The name of the foreign limited liability company, the name of the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it is or was formed, and the identification number issued by the Commission to the foreign limited liability company;

2. If applicable, a statement that the foreign limited liability company was a party to a merger permitted by the laws of the state or other jurisdiction under whose laws it was organized and that it was not the surviving entity of the merger, or has converted to another type of entity under the laws of the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it was formed;

3. That the foreign limited liability company is not transacting business in the Commonwealth and that it surrenders its registration to transact business in the Commonwealth;

4. That the foreign limited liability company revokes the authority of its registered agent to accept service on its behalf and appoints the clerk of the Commission as its agent for service of process in any proceeding based on a cause of action arising during the time it was authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth;

5. A mailing address to which the clerk of the Commission may mail a copy of any process served on him under subdivision 4; and

6. A commitment to notify the clerk of the Commission in the future of any change in the mailing address of the foreign limited liability company.

B. The Commission shall not issue a certificate of cancellation to any foreign limited liability company unless the foreign limited liability company files with the Commission a statement certifying that the foreign limited liability company has filed returns and has paid all state taxes to the time of the certificate, or a statement that no returns are required to be filed or taxes are required to be paid. In that case the foreign limited liability company may file returns and pay taxes before they would otherwise be due. If the Commission finds that the application complies with the requirements of law and all required fees have been paid, it shall issue a certificate of cancellation canceling the certificate of registration.

C. Before any foreign limited liability company registered to transact business in the Commonwealth cancels its existence, it shall deliver to the Commission for filing an application for a certificate of cancellation. Whether or not an application is filed, the cancellation of the existence of a foreign limited liability company shall not take away or impair any remedy available against the foreign limited liability company for any right or claim existing or any liability incurred before the cancellation. Any action or proceeding against a foreign limited liability company whose existence has been canceled may be defended by the foreign limited liability company in its name. The members, managers, and officers shall have power to take any action as shall be appropriate to protect any remedy, right, or claim. The right of a foreign limited liability company whose existence has been canceled to institute and maintain in its name actions, suits, or proceedings in the courts of the Commonwealth shall be governed by the law of the state or other jurisdiction of its organization.

D. Service of process on the clerk of the Commission is service of process on a foreign limited liability company whose certificate of registration has been canceled pursuant to this section. Service upon the clerk shall be made in accordance with § 12.1-19.1, and service upon the foreign limited liability company may be made in any other manner permitted by law.

1991, c. 168; 2008, cc. 588, 770; 2009, c. 167; 2012, c. 130; 2013, c. 17; 2016, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1056.1. Automatic cancellation of certificate of registration.

A. Whether or not the notice described in subsection B of § 13.1-1064 is mailed, if any foreign limited liability company fails to pay its annual registration fee on or before the last day of the third month immediately following its annual registration fee due date each year, such foreign limited liability company shall automatically cease to be authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and its certificate of registration shall be automatically canceled as of that day.

B. If any foreign limited liability company whose registered agent has filed with the Commission a statement of resignation pursuant to § 13.1-1017 fails to file a statement of change pursuant to § 13.1-1016 within 31 days after the date on which the statement of resignation was filed, the Commission shall mail notice to the foreign limited liability company of the impending cancellation of its certificate of registration. If the foreign limited liability company fails to file the statement of change on or before the last day of the second month immediately following the month in which the impending cancellation notice was mailed, the foreign limited liability company shall automatically cease to be authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and its certificate of registration shall be automatically canceled as of that day.

C. The automatic cancellation of a foreign limited liability company's certificate of registration constitutes the appointment of the clerk of the Commission as the foreign limited liability company's agent for service of process in any proceeding based on a cause of action arising during the time the foreign limited liability company was registered to transact business in the Commonwealth. Service of process on the clerk of the Commission under this subsection is service on the foreign limited liability company and shall be made on the clerk in accordance with § 12.1-19.1.

D. Cancellation of a foreign limited liability company's certificate of registration does not terminate the authority of the registered agent of the foreign limited liability company.

2008, c. 108; 2010, c. 703; 2013, c. 17.

§ 13.1-1056.2. Involuntary cancellation of certificate of registration.

A. The certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth of any foreign limited liability company may be canceled involuntarily by order of the Commission when it finds that the foreign limited liability company:

1. Has continued to exceed or abuse the authority conferred upon it by law;

2. Has failed to maintain a registered office or a registered agent in the Commonwealth as required by law;

3. Has failed to file any document required by this chapter to be filed with the Commission;

4. No longer exists under the laws of the state or other jurisdiction of its organization; or

5. Has been convicted for a violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a (f), as amended, for actions of its members or managers constituting a pattern or practice of employing unauthorized aliens in the Commonwealth.

B. Before entering any such order the Commission shall issue a rule against the foreign limited liability company giving it an opportunity to be heard and show cause why such an order should not be entered. The Commission may issue the rule on its own motion or on motion of the Attorney General.

C. The authority of a foreign limited liability company to transact business in the Commonwealth ceases on the date shown on the order canceling its certificate of registration.

D. The Commission's cancellation of a foreign limited liability company's certificate of registration appoints the clerk of the Commission the foreign limited liability company's agent for service of process in any proceeding based on a cause of action arising during the time the foreign limited liability company was registered to transact business in the Commonwealth. Service of process on the clerk of the Commission under this subsection is service on the foreign limited liability company and shall be made on the clerk in accordance with § 12.1-19.1.

E. Cancellation of a foreign limited liability company's certificate of registration does not terminate the authority of the registered agent of the foreign limited liability company.

F. Any foreign limited liability company convicted of the offense listed in subdivision A 5 shall immediately report such conviction to the Commission and file with the Commission an authenticated copy of the judgment or record of conviction. A certificate of registration canceled pursuant to subdivision A 5 shall not be eligible for reinstatement for a period of not less than one year.

2008, c. 108; 2009, c. 167.

§ 13.1-1056.3. Reinstatement of a certificate of registration that has been canceled.

A. A foreign limited liability company whose certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth has been canceled may be relieved of the cancellation and have its certificate of registration reinstated by the Commission within five years of the date of cancellation unless the certificate of registration was canceled by order of the Commission entered pursuant to subdivision A 1 of § 13.1-1056.2.

B. To have its certificate of registration reinstated, a foreign limited liability company shall provide the Commission with the following:

1. An application for reinstatement, which may be in the form of a letter, that includes the identification number issued by the Commission to the limited liability company;

2. A reinstatement fee of $100;

3. All annual registration fees and penalties that were due before the certificate of registration was canceled and that would have been assessed or imposed to the date of reinstatement if the limited liability company had not had its certificate of registration canceled;

4. A duly authenticated copy of any amendments or corrections made to the articles of organization or other constituent documents of the foreign limited liability company and any mergers entered into by the foreign limited liability company from the date of cancellation of its certificate of registration to the date of its application for reinstatement, along with an amended application for registration if required for an amendment or a correction, and all fees required by this chapter for the filing of such instruments;

5. If the name of the foreign limited liability company does not comply with the provisions of § 13.1-1054 at the time of reinstatement, an amended application for registration to adopt a designated name for use in the Commonwealth that satisfies the requirements of § 13.1-1054, with the fee required by this chapter for the filing of an amended application for registration; and

6. If the foreign limited liability company's registered agent has filed a statement of resignation and a new registered agent has not been appointed, a statement of change pursuant to § 13.1-1016.

C. If the foreign limited liability company complies with the provisions of this section, the Commission shall enter an order of reinstatement, reinstating the foreign limited liability company's certificate of registration to transact business in the Commonwealth.

2008, c. 108; 2013, c. 17.

§ 13.1-1057. Transaction of business without registration.

A. A foreign limited liability company transacting business in the Commonwealth may not maintain any action, suit, or proceeding in any court of the Commonwealth until it has registered in the Commonwealth.

B. The successor to a foreign limited liability company that transacted business in the Commonwealth without registering in the Commonwealth and the assignee of a cause of action arising out of that business may not maintain a proceeding based on that cause of action in any court in the Commonwealth until the foreign limited liability company or its successor has registered in the Commonwealth.

C. The failure of a foreign limited liability company to register in the Commonwealth does not impair the validity of any contract or act of the foreign limited liability company or prevent the foreign limited liability company from defending any action, suit, or proceeding in any court of the Commonwealth.

D. If a foreign limited liability company transacts business in the Commonwealth without a certificate of registration, each member, manager or employee of the limited liability company who does any of such business in the Commonwealth knowing that a certificate of registration is required and has not been obtained shall be liable for a penalty of not less than $500 and not more than $5,000 to be imposed by the Commission, after the limited liability company and the individual have been given notice and an opportunity to be heard.

E. Suits, actions, and proceedings may be initiated against a foreign limited liability company that transacts business in the Commonwealth without a certificate of registration by serving process on any manager, managing member, or agent of the limited liability company doing such business or, if none can be found, on the clerk of the Commission or on the limited liability company in any other manner permitted by law. If any foreign limited liability company transacts business in the Commonwealth without a certificate of registration, it shall by transacting such business be deemed to have thereby appointed the clerk of the Commission its agent for service of process. Service upon the clerk shall be made in accordance with § 12.1-19.1.

1991, c. 168; 2006, c. 912; 2008, c. 523; 2013, c. 17.

§ 13.1-1058. Actions by Attorney General.

The Attorney General may bring an action to restrain a foreign limited liability company from transacting business in this Commonwealth in violation of this article.

1991, c. 168.

§ 13.1-1059. Transactions not constituting doing business.

A. The following activities of a foreign limited liability company, among others, do not constitute transacting business within the meaning of this article:

1. Maintaining, defending, or settling any proceeding;

2. Holding meetings of its members or carrying on any other activities concerning its internal affairs;

3. Maintaining bank accounts;

4. Maintaining offices or agencies for the transfer, exchange and registration of the foreign limited liability company's securities or maintaining trustees or depositaries with respect to those securities;

5. Selling through independent contractors;

6. Soliciting or obtaining orders, whether by mail or through employees or agents or otherwise, if the orders require acceptance outside this Commonwealth before they become contracts;

7. Creating or acquiring indebtedness, deeds of trust, and security interests in real or personal property;

8. Securing or collecting debts or enforcing deeds of trust and security interests in property securing the debts;

9. Owning, without more, real or personal property;

10. Conducting an isolated transaction that is completed within 30 days and that is not one in the course of repeated transactions of a like nature;

11. For a period of less than 90 consecutive days, producing, directing, filming, crewing or acting in motion picture feature films, television series or commercials, or promotional films that are sent outside of the Commonwealth for processing, editing, marketing and distribution; or

12. Serving, without more, as a general partner of, or as a partner in a partnership that is a general partner of, a domestic or foreign limited partnership that does not otherwise transact business in the Commonwealth.

B. The term "transacting business" as used in this section shall have no effect on personal jurisdiction under § 8.01-328.1.

C. The list of activities in subsection A of this section is not exhaustive. This section does not apply in determining the contracts or activities that may subject a foreign limited liability company to service of process or taxation in this Commonwealth or to regulation under any other law of this Commonwealth.

1991, c. 168; 1996, c. 265; 2004, c. 601.

§ 13.1-1060. Merger of foreign limited liability company registered to transact business in Commonwealth.

A. Whenever a foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth is a party to a merger permitted by the laws of the state or other jurisdiction under whose laws it is organized, and that limited liability company is the surviving entity of the merger, it shall, within 30 days after the merger becomes effective, deliver to the Commission for filing a copy of the instrument of merger duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of limited liability company records in the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it is organized. However, the filing shall not be required when a foreign limited liability company merges with a domestic corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, business trust, or partnership; the foreign limited liability company's articles of organization or other constituent documents are not amended by the merger; and the articles or statement of merger filed on behalf of the domestic corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, business trust, or partnership pursuant to § 13.1-720, 13.1-1072, 13.1-1261, 50-73.48:3, or 50-73.131 contains a statement that the merger is permitted under the laws of the state or other jurisdiction in which the foreign limited liability company is organized and that the foreign limited liability company has complied with that law in effecting the merger.

B. Whenever a foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth is a party to a merger permitted by the laws of the state or other jurisdiction under the laws of which it is organized, and that limited liability company is not the surviving entity of the merger, the surviving partnership, limited liability company, business trust, limited partnership, or corporation shall, if not continuing to transact business in the Commonwealth, within 30 days after the merger becomes effective, deliver to the Commission a copy of the instrument of merger duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of limited liability company records in the state or other jurisdiction under whose law it was organized, and comply in behalf of the predecessor limited liability company with § 13.1-1056. If a surviving business trust, registered limited liability partnership, limited liability company, limited partnership, or corporation is to continue to transact business in the Commonwealth and has not registered as a foreign registered limited liability partnership, limited liability company, business trust, or limited partnership or received a certificate of authority to transact business in the Commonwealth as a foreign corporation, as the case may be, it shall, within 30 days after the merger becomes effective, deliver to the Commission an application, if a foreign registered limited liability partnership, for registration as a foreign registered limited liability partnership, if a foreign limited liability company, for registration as a foreign limited liability company, if a foreign business trust, for registration as a foreign business trust, if a foreign limited partnership, for registration as a foreign limited partnership, or, if a foreign corporation, for a certificate of authority to transact business in the Commonwealth, together with a duly authenticated copy of the instrument of merger and also a copy of its partnership certificate, statement of registered limited liability partnership, articles of organization, articles of trust, certificate of limited partnership, or articles of incorporation and all amendments thereto, duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of registered limited liability partnership, limited liability company, business trust, limited partnership, or corporate records in the state or other jurisdiction under whose laws it is organized, formed, or incorporated.

C. Upon the merger of a foreign limited liability company with one or more foreign partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts, limited partnerships, or corporations, all property in the Commonwealth owned by any of the partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts, limited partnerships, or corporations shall pass to the surviving partnership, limited liability company, business trust, limited partnership, or corporation except as otherwise provided by the laws of the state or other jurisdiction by which it is governed, but only from and after the time when a duly authenticated copy of the instrument of merger is filed with the Commission.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 575; 1997, c. 190; 2004, c. 274; 2008, c. 108; 2016, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1060.1. Entity conversion of foreign limited liability company registered to transact business in Commonwealth.

A. Whenever a foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth converts to another type of entity, the surviving or resulting entity shall, within 30 days after such entity conversion becomes effective, file with the Commission a copy of the instrument of entity conversion duly authenticated by the Secretary of State or other official having custody of limited liability company records in the state or other jurisdiction under whose laws such entity conversion was effected; and

1. If the surviving or resulting entity is not continuing to transact business in the Commonwealth or is not a foreign corporation, business trust, limited partnership, or registered limited liability partnership, then, within 30 days after such entity conversion, it shall comply on behalf of the predecessor limited liability company with the provisions of § 13.1-1056; or

2. If the surviving or resulting entity is a foreign corporation, business trust, limited partnership, or registered limited liability partnership and is to continue to transact business in the Commonwealth, then, within such 30 days, it shall deliver to the Commission an application for a certificate of authority or registration to transact business in the Commonwealth or, in the case of a foreign registered limited liability partnership, a statement of registration.

B. Upon the entity conversion of a foreign limited liability company that is registered to transact business in the Commonwealth, all property in the Commonwealth owned by the foreign limited liability company shall pass to the surviving or resulting entity except as otherwise provided by the laws of the state or other jurisdiction by which it is governed, but only from and after the time when a duly authenticated copy of the instrument of entity conversion is filed with the Commission.

2004, c. 274.