West Virginia is located in the heart of Appalachia offering access to major metropolitan areas. Our solid infrastructure, road-to-rail accessibility and unbeatable security give your business unrivaled advantages. Let our strategic location work for you.
West Virginia has a low cost of doing business and a track record of fiscal responsibility. Let us show you how our business climate can put your company at an advantage. Learn more about our business climate today.
West Virginia provides development assistance in the form of tax credits, financing programs and workforce training programs. This support can reduce startup costs and operating costs and provide for enhanced productivity that will allow your business to grow and prosper in West Virginia. Let us assist you today.
West Virginia has an advanced community and technical college system that works, employee recruitment services offered by WorkForce West Virginia, and an award-winning program that provides new and expanding businesses with technical and financial assistance to train, retrain and upgrade the skills of their employees. Be a part of our success.
West Virginia has made it a top priority to ensure a high quality of life for not only our current residents, but those who may one day call the Mountain State their home. Find out why West Virginia is more than just a place for business.
Quality of Life
West Virginia is more than just a place for business.
It’s a place where companies, their employees, and their families live and thrive for generations.
We understand large-scale business decisions directly affect the individuals behind the day-to-day operations, which is why we have made it a top priority to ensure a high quality of life for not only our current residents, but those who may one day call the Mountain State their home.
We provide our residents with a low cost of living and high quality of life across the board.Cost of living in West Virginia is 14% below the national average. The home ownership rate is the highest in the nation, with affordable and safe housing options to meet every individual or family’s needs. Residents can choose to live in urban or suburban communities, small towns or rural areas – all within short commutes to major destinations. West Virginia also offers its residents a merit-based financial aid program called the Promise Scholarship, where students can receive annual awards up to $4,750 to cover in-state tuition costs.
West Virginia is rich in history and culture.Residents and visitors can see the state’s artisanship, history and culture through the many museums found throughout West Virginia. Museums like The Blenko Glass Company Studios & Gallery, Civil War Living History Museum, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum, and West Virginia State Museum are wonderful places to visit for residents and visitors alike. In addition, the state has a vast collection of state, county and city-wide fairs and festivals held annually to provide exciting cultural experiences.
Our communities are best places to live, work and raise a family.
The ArtsWest Virginia has active arts and music communities. The state is home to three symphony orchestras, Mountain Stage, a live audience music production broadcasted on public radio, the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in West Virginia, and many performing arts centers and stages that host performances from ballets and theatre productions throughout the state.
Community EventsWhen it comes to weekend activities, you will find that West Virginia’s cities and regions are busy with 5k run/walks, outdoor entertainment, festivals and much more.
SportsSports enthusiasts and fans can take advantage of the state’s two university athletic programs: West Virginia University Mountaineers and the Marshall Thundering Herd, or visit The West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park or the West Virginia Black Bears at Monongalia County Ballpark to watch the state’s two minor league baseball teams. Prefer to play? Youth and adult sports programs are offered throughout the state.
ShoppingWest Virginia’s cities and communities are booming with an array of shopping options, ranging from local boutique shops and antique stores to major shopping centers. No matter what you’re searching for, you can find it in West Virginia.
What makes West Virginia great is the ability to see and experience all four seasons, and we have recreational offerings to match this year-round atmosphere. Both residents and visitors alike can participate in a number of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, golf, tennis, skiing, boating and much more. In addition, West Virginia is home to world-class whitewater rafting companies and one of the largest ATV trail systems in the country.
West Virginia also has more than 40 state parks and forests to discover and explore, some including mountain lodges and cozy cabins. You can also find rails-to-trails for walking, running and biking throughout West Virginia’s communities.
Let us help your business succeed.West Virginia makes it a priority to meet the needs of our business partners. To help, the state provides development assistance in the form of tax credits, financing programs and workforce training programs. This support can reduce startup and operating costs and provide for enhanced productivity that will allow your business to grow and prosper in West Virginia.
Learn about our tax credits.
Aircraft ValuationAircraft owned or leased by commercial airlines, charter carriers, private carriers and private companies are valued for property tax purposes at the lower of fair market salvage value or five percent of the original cost of the property.
Commercial Patent Incentives CreditThe Commercial Patent Incentives Tax Credit can offset up to 100 percent of the corporation net income tax, or in the case of individual taxpayers, the personal income tax. The credit is based on a percentage of royalties, license fees and other considerations for developers of a patent or a percentage of net profit attributable to a patent used in a manufacturing process or product when that patent has been developed in conjunction with an agreement with Marshall University or West Virginia University.
Corporate Headquarters CreditCompanies that relocate their corporate headquarters to West Virginia are eligible for tax credits if 15 new jobs (including relocated employees) are created within the first year. The credit can offset up to 100 percent of the tax liability for business and occupation tax, corporate net income tax, and personal income tax on certain pass through income, for a period of up to 13 years.
Economic Opportunity CreditFor qualified companies that create at least 20 new jobs within specified time limits (10 jobs in the case of qualified small businesses) as a result of their business expansion projects, the State's Economic Opportunity Tax Credit can offset up to 80 percent of the corporate net income tax and personal income tax (on flow through income only) attributable to qualified investment. If a qualified company that creates the requisite number of jobs pays an annual median wage higher than the statewide average non-farm payroll wage, then the qualified company can offset up to 100 percent of the corporate net income tax and personal income tax (on flow through income only) attributable to qualified investment.
For qualified businesses creating less than 20 new jobs within specified time limits, or for a qualified small business creating less than 10 new jobs, a $3,000 credit is allowed per new full-time job for five years, providing the new job pays at least $32,000 per year and the employee has employer-provided health insurance benefits. The $32,000 figure is adjusted annually for cost of living.
Qualified businesses include only those engaged in the activities of manufacturing, information processing, warehousing, non-retail goods distribution, qualified research and development, the relocation of a corporate headquarters, or destination-oriented recreation and tourism.
The Freeport AmendmentThe Freeport Amendment exempts property from the West Virginia ad valorem property tax in two ways. First, manufactured products produced in West Virginia and stored in the state for a short time before moving into interstate commerce are exempt from property tax. Second, goods transported into West Virginia from outside of the state, which are held for a short time in a warehouse and then shipped to a destination outside of West Virginia, are exempt from the property tax.
The exemption does not apply to inventories of raw materials or goods in process.
Five for Twenty-Five Program - $2 Billion Primary (Fractionating) Plants, Secondary Plants and Tertiary PlantsFor 25 years, qualified plants receive a special property tax valuation of five percent of the cost of the qualified property instead of fair market value.
Five for Ten Program – Fractionating Plants and Secondary PlantsSpecial property tax valuation applies for 10 years to real property (excluding the value of unimproved land) and personal property of facilities that are or will be classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) with the six digit code number 211112 (natural gas liquid extraction "fractionating" plants) and to manufacturing facilities that use products produced at a facility with a 211112 NAICS code.
The special property tax valuation applies to qualified capital additions of more than million made to pre-existing manufacturing facilities that have a value in place before the capital addition of more than million. The special property tax valuation is 5 percent of the cost of the qualified property instead of fair market value.
In the absence of a pre-existing manufacturing facility owned or operated by the person making the capital addition, multiple party projects may be established to meet the million pre-existing investment requirement.
High-Tech Manufacturing CreditBusinesses that manufacture certain computers and peripheral equipment, electronic components or semi-conductors and which create at least 20 new jobs within one year after placement of qualified investment into service, can receive a tax credit to offset 100 percent of the business and occupation tax, corporate net income tax, and personal income tax on certain pass through income for 20 consecutive years.
High Technology Valuation Act (Data Centers)Tangible personal property, including servers, directly used in a high-technology business or in an internet advertising business, is valued for property tax purposes at five percent of the original cost of the property. In addition, sales tax is eliminated from all purchases of prewritten computer software, computers, computer hardware, servers, building materials and tangible personal property for direct use in a high-technology business or internet advertising business.
Lodging ExemptionsFor lodging stays in excess of 30 consecutive days per person at the same facility, there is an exemption from the state consumers sales and service tax (six percent) and exemption from the local hotel/motel tax (tax rate varies per region.)
Manufacturing Inventory CreditOffsets the corporate net income tax in the amount of property tax paid on raw materials, goods in process and finished goods manufacturing inventory.
Manufacturing Investment CreditA tax credit is allowed against up to 60 percent of corporate net income tax and based on qualified investment in eligible manufacturing property, with no new job creation required.
Manufacturing Sales Tax ExemptionPurchases of materials and equipment for direct use in manufacturing are exempt from the six percent state sales and use tax, including building materials and process equipment purchased for construction of a manufacturing facility.
Research and Development Sales Tax ExemptionPurchases of tangible personal property and services directly used in research and development are exempt from the consumer sales tax.
Sales Tax Exemption for Certain E-Commerce Businesses
Some computer-related sales of tangible personal property and services are exempt from the consumer sales and services tax.
Sales Tax Exemption for Certain Warehouse and Distribution CentersPurchases of certain tangible personal property in qualified warehouse and distribution centers may be exempt from the consumer sales and service tax.
Tax Increment FinancingAllows increases in property tax based on the improvement associated with qualified economic development and public improvement projects to assist with their long-term financing.
The Tourism Matching Advertising Partnership Program
In order to extend advertising resources for the promotion of tourism through partnerships, this program provides reimbursable matching funds for direct advertising. Business applicants and their partners must provide a minimum of 50 percent of the total cost for programs at the, 000 + level. For programs not exceeding, 500, business applicants must provide 25 percent of the total cost.
West Virginia Film Industry Investment ActUp to 31 percent of direct-production and post-production expenditures can be converted to transferable tax credits to offset state taxes. Also, purchases and rentals of tangible personal property and purchases of services (excluding gasoline or special fuel, food or beverages) directly used in the activity of manufacturing a motion picture, TV program, music video, or commercial are exempt from the consumer sales and service tax and use tax.
Read about the ways we can offer direct financial assistance.
Direct Loan ProgramsThe West Virginia Economic Development Authority can provide up to 45 percent in financing fixed assets by providing low-interest, direct loans to expanding state businesses and firms locating in West Virginia. Loan term is generally 15 years for real estate intensive projects and five to 10 years for equipment projects. Loan proceeds may be used for the acquisition of land, buildings and equipment. Working capital loans and the refinancing of existing debt are not eligible.
Indirect LoansThe West Virginia Economic Development Authority provides a loan insurance program through participating commercial banks to assist firms that cannot obtain conventional bank financing. This program insures up to 80 percent of a bank loan for a maximum loan term of four years. Loan proceeds may be used for any business purpose except the refinancing of existing debt.
Industrial Revenue BondsThis program provides for customized financing through federal tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds. Of the state's bond allocation,757,600 is reserved for small manufacturing projects; ,073,600 for qualifying projects in Enterprise Communities, and ,904,800 for exempt facility projects.
West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development CouncilThe fund can be used for financial assistance to private companies, public utilities, and county development authorities for infrastructure improvements to support economic development projects.
West Virginia Jobs Investment TrustWest Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (JIT) is a public venture capital fund created to develop, promote and expand West Virginia's economy. The program makes investment funds available to eligible businesses, thus stimulating economic growth and providing or retaining jobs within the state.
Create paid, specialized training for your employees.
Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force ProgramThis flexible, customized training program under the West Virginia Department of Commerce, offers assistance to eligible companies and businesses by providing funding that directly supports the transfer of knowledge and skills. Companies must create a minimum of 10 net new jobs within a 12-month period.
Let’s Train WVLet’s Train WV provides employers with access to a new pool of candidates with untapped potential to become highly-skilled, dedicated employees. It allows employers to train employees their way at their worksite. Employers receive paid training for employees up to 6 months, wage reimbursement up to $10,000 per eligible recipient and the ability to custom design training programs to meet specialized company needs.
Workforce Innovation & Opportunity ActThe Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was created to provide state and local areas the flexibility to collaborate across systems in an effort to better address the employment and skills needs of current employees, jobseekers, and employers.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act aligns training with needed skills and matches employers with qualified workers. It provides incumbent worker training and promotes work-based training— increasing on-the-job training reimbursement rates to 75 percent. On-the-Job Training (OJT) provides opportunities for participants to "learn as they earn." The employer also benefits by being reimbursed for part of the participant's wages during the training period, while having the services of a full-time employee.
West Virginia Advance Program
This flexible program offers customized job training awards to new and existing businesses. The program offers development and delivery of training services that will support a company's startup and ongoing employee development initiatives through a local Community and Technical College.
Connect with a business navigator to learn more.
Specialized Training & Education
We have made workforce training a top priority.
An advanced community and technical college system that works.West Virginia offers business and industry the opportunity to partner with our Community and Technical College System to develop specialized education and training programs. Over the last decade, West Virginia’s Community and Technical Colleges have created nearly 150 new customer training programs, many in partnership with local companies and business investors.
WorkForce West Virginia is comprised of a network of workforce development services for employers, including pre-screened pools of candidates, assistance throughout the hiring process, and support for employee training and education. The team at WorkForce West Virginia stands ready to also help your company with the unemployment process and offers detailed information on tax incentives and labor market data. These services are available at 13 comprehensive career centers across the state. In addition, WorkForce West Virginia has the largest online database of job seekers and job openings in the state.
A state agency dedicated to building relationships among employers and employees
The Governor’s Guaranteed Work Force Program (GGWFP) provides new and expanding businesses with technical and financial assistance to train, retrain and upgrade the skills of their employees. Overall funding levels are based on wages and benefits, location of facilities, number of employees and number of individuals needing training. Small businesses eligible for this program may receive up to 75 percent of actual training cost (maximum of $5,000) for preapproved technology, technical and regulatory compliance training. Since the program’s launch, more than $54 million has been awarded to employers and nearly 200,000 employees have received training.
An award-winning program designed to help Governor’s Guaranteed WorkForce Program
If you are a current West Virginia employer or would like to relocate your business to West Virginia, we look forward to helping you enhance your work force. Let us show you how you can be a part of our success.
Let our low business costs and history of fiscal responsibility lead to your long-term success.
Low cost of doing businessWest Virginia's cost of doing business is among the lowest in the country and ranks 7th best in CNBC's America's Top States for Business 2015 "cost of doing business" category.
Our electricity rates are 33 percent lower below the national average and are lower than all of our neighboring states. Employee turnover in West Virginia is below the national average at 8.8 percent, compared to the national average of 9.1 percent. We have the fifth lowest turnover rate in manufacturing at 5 percent, compared to the national average of 6.1 percent. And to top it off, our overall cost of living is 14 percent lower than the national average.
A track record of fiscal responsibilityWest Virginia has made it a top priority to address and respond to the needs of today’s companies by ensuring we offer a stable and predictable business climate.
Thanks to aggressive pro-business legislation, West Virginia has some of the lowest worker’s compensation rates in the country. In fact, the state just announced its 12th reduction in workers' compensation rates, which collectively, have saved employers more than $352 million since the fund was privatized in 2006.
West Virginia eliminated its Business Franchise Tax in 2015, saving taxpayers more than $450 million from the first reduction to the final elimination. The state's Corporate Net Income Tax rate was reduced to 6.5 percent in 2014, helping corporations to realize more than $53 million per year in net annual tax savings. West Virginia also removed approximately $180 million of business tax burden in FY 2014 and more than $660 million over the past eight years.
More importantly, however, our state has not added any new business taxes in the last 20 years.
According to the Tax Foundation's 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index, West Virginia is rated 21st nationally – better than any neighboring state. We also have the third best cash surplus in the U.S. and a “A” Cato Institute Fiscal Policy rating.
Let us show you how our business climate can put your company at an advantage.
Contact for Media:
Chelsea A. Ruby
Director of Marketing and Communications
West Virginia Department of Commerce