licenses do I need to conduct business in Virginia?
The state of Virginia does not have a general business
license that all businesses must have to conduct business
in the state. However, it does regulate certain occupations
and professions through the use of licensing boards.
These licensing boards are overseen by the Department
of Professional and Occupational Regulation and include
professions such as auctioneers, barbers, home inspectors,
engineers, and real estate agents to name a few. Licensing
through these boards varies by profession but normally
involves meeting certain education standards and successfully
passing an administered examination. If your occupation
is one that is covered by a licensing board, then
all licensing and certification must be completed
prior to your business opening.
|CLICK THE LINKS TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE
What are the registration requirements for
my business in Virginia?
All businesses operating in Virginia except for sole
proprietors must register with the State Corporation
Commission. Many of these businesses must also renew
their registration annually. In addition, any business,
including sole proprietors, that operates in Virginia
under a name other than their legal name must register
a fictitious name certificate with the Office of the
Clerk for the Circuit Court in the county or city
where they are located. Corporations, limited liability
companies, and limited partnerships who file fictitious
names certificates must also file the certificate
with the State Corporation Commission.
Are there local business license requirements?
The common form of local business licenses in Virginia
is the license tax. Typically, this is an annual application
that all businesses must file where the fee is a calculation
based off your gross receipts from the previous year.
Some businesses may be subject only to a flat fee
charge or be exempt altogether depending on the local
regulations. While the license tax is normally paid
to the city, in some places such as Arlington the
license tax is paid to the county rather than the
city where the business is located. In others, the
county is responsible for all licensing outside of
specific incorporated areas. In addition to the license
tax, businesses that are typically subject to inspection
such as restaurants or entertainment venues may need
additional licenses and permits in order to operate
in a city. Because local business licenses are set
by city ordinance and are subject to change without
notice, you should always check with your local city
and/or county government to find out exactly what
licensing requirements your business must satisfy.
Disclaimer: 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.