West Virginia Business Opportunities

Harpers Ferry changed hands a dozen times during the American Civil War and was annexed by West Virginia
Harpers Ferry changed hands a dozen times during the American Civil War and was annexed by West Virginia[1]

A Quick Glance at West Virginia

West Virginia, whose nickname is The Mountain State, first obtained its statehood in 1863. With a population of 1,854,304 people, West Virginia is the thirty-eighth most populated state in the United States.

If you are considering starting your new business in West Virginia, you might want to look into one of West Virginia's top three most populous cities - Charleston (which is also the state's capital), Huntington or Parkersburg.

Top Industry

The largest industry in the state of West Virginia is mining, except oil and gas.

  • The gross domestic product (GDP), of this industry, is roughly $6.2 billion and accounts for 8.7% of West Virginia's GDP.
  • Mining, except oil and gas also employs 2.1% of West Virginia's private workforce.

Small Businesses

In the United States, the more than 600,000 plus franchised small busineeses account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), their standard definition of what constitutes as a small business includes a maximum of 500 employees or operations with and/or up to $7 million in revenue, depending on the industry.

  • There are 288,211 small businesses, in the state, of West Virginia.
  • Small businesses in West Virginia, make up 37% of the state's private workforce.

State and Local Taxes

Listed below are the state and local taxes, for the state of West Virginia, and how they rank against other states in the U.S.

State Tax Rate Avg. Local Tax Rate Combined Rate Combined Rank* Max Local Tax Rate
6% 0.29% 6.29% 34 1%
*Combined Rank is rank from highest to lowest tax percentage

California has the highest state tax rate in the United States at 7.25%, but Lousinana has the highest combined tax rate, overall, at 9.98%. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon share the spot for lowest combined tax rates at 0%.

Additional Information

If you need additional information about how to start a business in West Virginia, their official state page might be a good place to start. If you are looking to own your own established franchise in West Virginia, we have collected a comprehensive list of companies that are actively looking to expand in West Virginia, for you to explore.


  1. By Picture taken by Kevin Smith - Own work, Copyrighted free use
  2. Census.gov
  3. Comparison between U.S. states and countries by GDP (nominal) from Wikipedia
  4. Largest Industry in Each State from 24/7 Wall St.
  5. 2017 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  6. Small Business Trends from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  7. Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment by State from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  8. State and Local Sales Tax Rates in 2017 from the Tax Foundation

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