BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The deadline for businesses to register with the State Tax Department in West Virginia draws near.

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner took a tour of multiple counties to remind businesses to file.

Before someone can conduct business in West Virginia, every person or business must get a registration certificate from the State Tax Department. The certificate should be renewed every year. When an owner registers a business, it makes it legal, secures the owner’s reputation as a legitimate business and builds trust among employees, suppliers, and customers. It also helps business owners receive approval for business loans.

Warner and the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce both remind Raleigh County businesses to register before the deadline. Warner said there are around 148,000 businesses and organizations in the state. His office uses technology to make it easy for business owners to register online.

“June 30 is your deadline for getting your registrations kept up to date,” said Warner. “After that then there’s a penalty that’s imposed, and I never like to impose a penalty on somebody for being late.”

Several new businesses opened in Raleigh County during the last two years. Chamber President Michelle Rottellini said they work with the Secretary of State’s Office to remind business owners to register.

Warner reported there are 3,672 registered businesses in Raleigh County. More than two thousand still need to register by the deadline. He added it is not just Raleigh County, but businesses throughout the entire Mountain State who need to remain aware of the deadline.

Warner said the registration process offers a level of protection for consumers as well. Consumers may check the list of registered businesses to ensure a business is licensed. They may also use the list to report an alleged violation.

Filing by mail is available, but Warner said the One Stop Business Portal is quick and easy. It has links for new business owners and reminders for upcoming deadlines.