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Virginia Business License

Do you have an outstanding business plan that you want to bring into reality? Are you looking to start your business in Virginia and need every little detail of the licensing process to run your business legally? Say no more, we know how frustrating it could be to deal with legal paperwork especially when you don’t know where to start.

Here, we have created a step-by-step guide of licensing in Virginia and covered topics such as:  how to obtain a license, the necessity of getting a business license in Virginia, state and local level requirements, costs of the licensure and registration, and more.

Do I need a business license in VA?

The necessity of obtaining a business license in Virginia depends on your profession and the nature of your business. For instance, if you are a writer or designer, you may not need a license to operate your business in the state.

Although some professions may be off the hook, we strongly recommend following up with your local city or county as some municipalities may require obtaining a business license and zoning approvals.  There are certain trades and professions issued by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations that demand licensing in Virginia, no matter what. Here are the most common trades and occupations that require a license:

  • Engineers
  • Barbers
  • Real Estate agents
  • Home Inspectors
  • Architects
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Contractors
  • Cosmetologists
  • And more

How much does a business license cost in VA?

The business license cost largely depends on the profession and the type of work you perform. In addition to the payment of licensing fee if you are establishing a new company in Virginia you should form your business structure and pay the annual registration fee. For instance, to start an LLC business you must file the Articles of Organization which costs $100.

Additionally, you should also pay $50 annually to the State Corporate Commission and if you fail to pay your annual registration fee you will be charged $25 Moreover, after three months your LLC business will be dissolved if you don’t pay the required payments.

How do I register to do business in Virginia?

Prior to your business license application, you must register your business to legally operate in Virginia. We have outlined the main steps you need to take to register your business in the state:

  • Select the type of business structure you will need: You can pick your business structure to be a corporation, LLC, etc
  • Choose the official name and register your business: Once you select your business structure it’s time to form your business. If you want your business to be LLC you should file Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation if you select your business structure as a corporation
  • Hire a professional Registered Agent
  • Obtain your EIN from the IRS

Once you carry out these steps, you will be ready to apply for a license or permit. In your application, you will be asked to provide personal information and details about your business (name, address, EIN, phone number, you driver’s license number). Additionally, you must indicate a solid business plan, a certificate of insurance, and a seller’s permit (if you sell goods)

Can you run a business without a business license in VA?

Virginia federal government usually doesn’t require licensing or permits from small businesses operating in the state. However, there are several business activities that are regulated by federal agencies and may require federal licenses or permits.  Those business activities are as follows:

  • Agriculture
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Aviation
  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Commercial fisheries
  • Maritime transportation
  • Mining and drilling
  • Nuclear energy
  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Transportation and logistics
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