Apply For A Business License Norfolk, Virginia

How easy is it to apply for a business license in Norfolk, Virginia?

Very easy! Although many cities do not allow the business license application to be submitted through an online avenue, the City of Norfolk does. The City of Norfolk wants your application process to be quick, clean, and efficient. You can apply right online and there are no fees to apply! Take note that in order for your application to be accepted, you must digitally sign it through the PDF “signing process.”  Please understand that this signature, although digitally created, is legally binding and in many cases is less susceptible to forgery. To apply now go to the official Norfolk city website.

If I want to apply in person. What do I do?

Before you go to the City Office, please have the following list with you:

- Lease or letter of permission from the homeowner
- State Corporation Commissioner Certificate or Corporate Charter (if needed)
- Proper identification, a valid DMV-issued driver’s license or photo I.D.
- Zoning approval, $15.00 fee, call (757) 664-4752
- Meal Tax Bond, food establishment fees vary, call (757) 664-7886
- Register Trade Name or Partnership, $10.00 fee, call (757) 664-4580
- Estimate of gross receipts
- Permits

Please have separate checks when you arrive at the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office. Each fee demands a separate check. Expect that it will take approximately an hour to finish applying.

What will be the cost of my Business License Tax?

Fortunately there is no cost to submit your business license application. Yet, there is still an annual tax that will be due that you should prepare for. The cost or tax is called the Business License Tax, also known in the State of Virginia as the Business License or Business, Professional, and Occupational License (BPOL).

The cost is determined from the gross annual receipts that your business will accrue every calendar year. The fee begins from the date your business opens to December 31st. The fee must be paid by March 1st of the following year, otherwise interest and additional charges may accrue. The minimum Business License Tax is $50.00, however, if you anticipate that you will earn more than $100,000 then there will be a tax rate that will be applied to your estimate. For your ease, here is the list:


$0.20 per $100 of gross receipts

Repair, Personal, and Business Services

$0.36 per $100 of gross receipts

Wholesale Business

  $50 flat rate fee and $0.15 per $100 gross purchases - $100,000 threshold doesn’t apply

Financial, Real Estate and Professional Services

$0.58 per $100 of gross receipts


$0.16 per $100 of gross receipts       

Do you have questions or concerns?

If you are unclear about the application process or simply just want to speak to someone, please do not hesitate to call the Commissioner of the Revenue at (757) 664-7890. If you want to go to the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office in person:

Commissioner of the Revenue
City Hall Building, First Floor
810 Union Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

To mail your application:
Commissioner of the Revenue
P.O. Box 2260
Norfolk, VA 23501-2260

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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