(a) A foreign corporation may not conduct affairs in this state until it obtains a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State.
(b) The following activities, among others, do not constitute conducting affairs within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section:
(1) Maintaining, defending or settling any proceeding;
(2) Holding meetings of the board of directors or shareholders or carrying on other activities concerning internal corporate affairs;
(3) Maintaining bank accounts;
(4) Selling through independent contractors;
(5) Soliciting or obtaining orders, whether by mail or through employees or agents or otherwise, if the orders require acceptance outside this state before they become contracts;
(6) Creating or acquiring indebtedness, mortgages and security interests in real or personal property;
(7) Securing or collecting debts or enforcing mortgages and security interests in property securing the debts: Provided, That this exemption does not include debts collected by collection agencies as defined in subdivision (b), section two, article sixteen, chapter forty-seven of this code;
(8) Owning, without more, real or personal property;
(9) Conducting an isolated transaction that is completed within thirty days and that is not one in the course of repeated transactions of a like nature;
(10) Conducting affairs in interstate commerce;
(11) Granting funds or other gifts;
(12) Distributing information to its shareholders or members;
(13) Effecting sales through independent contractors;
(14) The acquisition by purchase of lands secured by mortgage or deeds;
(15) Physical inspection and appraisal of property in West Virginia as security for deeds of trust, or mortgages and negotiations for the purchase of loans secured by property in West Virginia;
(16) The management, rental, maintenance and sale or the operating, maintaining, renting or otherwise dealing with selling or disposing of property acquired under foreclosure sale or by agreement in lieu of foreclosure sale;
(17) Applying for withholding tax on an employee residing in the State of West Virginia who works for the foreign corporation in another state; and
(18) Holding all, or a portion thereof, of the outstanding stock of another corporation authorized to transact business in the State of West Virginia: Provided, That the foreign corporation does not produce goods, services or otherwise conduct business in the State of West Virginia.
(c) The list of activities in subsection (b) of this section is not exhaustive.
(d) A foreign corporation is deemed to be transacting business in this state if:
(1) The corporation makes a contract to be performed, in whole or in part, by any party thereto in this state;
(2) The corporation commits a tort, in whole or in part, in this state; or
(3) The corporation manufactures, sells, offers for sale or supplies any product in a defective condition and that product causes injury to any person or property within this state notwithstanding the fact that the corporation had no agents, servants or employees or contacts within this state at the time of the injury.
(e) A foreign corporation's making of a contract, the committing of a manufacture or sale, offer of sale or supply of defective product as described in subsection (d) of this section is deemed to be the agreement of that foreign corporation that any notice or process served upon, or accepted by, the Secretary of State in a proceeding against that foreign corporation arising from, or growing out of, contract, tort or manufacture or sale, offer of sale or supply of the defective product has the same legal force and validity as process duly served on that corporation in this state.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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