Two: Operating a Business
a business is easier than you might think. In the case of a sole proprietorship
or general partnership, often the only requirement is that you register
your business and its trade name and you will be in business. Some counties
do not even require a business license for many businesses.
To find out if a business license is required in your
locality and for information about licensing your business, please contact
the Commissioner of Revenue in your city or county. Some counties require
that you come in person to apply for a license and other areas may allow
you to apply for your license on-line.
For information on forming a corporation or limited
liability company, please click here.
If you have additional questions about applying for
a business license or registering a trade name, please contact your
local economic development department or the Virginia
Department of Business Assistance.
your business grows, so will the requirements. As you make money, you
pay taxes. In general, businesses are required to report tangible personal
property used in the transaction of business and to pay taxes on this
property. Many businesses must also collect, report, and remit appropriate
fiduciary taxes. Fiduciary Taxes are collected by businesses on behalf
of the city or state.
For more information about tax requirements in your
city or county, please contact your local economic development department
and/or your local Commissioner of Revenue.
Commonwealth of Virginia Requirements (return
If your business is a corporation, a limited liability
company or a limited partnership, you must register it with the Virginia
State Corporation Commission (SCC). The type of registration form you
use will depend on the type of business you are starting.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission maintains
registration forms on-line. To access them, please go to: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/division/srf/webpages/forms.htm.
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may
obtain information about the required SCC forms, by calling toll-free
1-866-722-2551 (Virginia only).
For more information about the Virginia State Corporation Commission,
you may view its home page at: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/
Other Virginia requirements deal with issues related
to taxes, employees and specific industry regulations, including health
and safety issues. For Virginia’s requirements related to taxes
and employees, click
here to go to that particular section on this CD. For information
related to specific industry requirements, please consult the Virginia
Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) web site. This site contains
a guide to licenses and permits within Virginia. It provides a listing
by business type or activity and also by agency. If you do not have
Internet access, you may contact the Virginia DBA Information Center
Federal Requirements (return to top)
Similar to many of the Commonwealth of Virginia requirements,
many of the Federal requirements for small businesses relate to taxes
and employment. For information on federal requirements related to taxes
and employees, you may click
here to go to that particular section on this cd. Your business
may be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This
number identifies your business to the Internal Revenue Service and
the Social Security Administration. For more information on the EIN, click here.
Federal requirements for businesses deal with environmental issues.
For information on Federal environmental requirements, please consult
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Gateway at: http://www.epa.gov/smallbusiness/ or you may address your questions to the Small Business Ombudsman at
As a small business owner, you should be aware that,
depending on what type of business you own, you may have to abide by
health and safety requirements. For federal requirements dealing with
health and safety, review the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational
Health & Safety Administration’s (OSHA) web site at: http://www.osha.gov.
In addition, federal law requires that certain specialized
businesses obtain and maintain licenses. The following types of businesses
require a federal license:
- Meat processors, drugs (required by the FDA, http://www.fda.gov);
- Interstate delivery people (required by the Department
of Transporation, Federal Highway Administration http://www.fhwa.dot.gov);
- Investment services (required by the SEC, http://www.sec.gov);
- Radio and TV stations (required by the FCC, http://www.fcc.gov);
- Tobacco products, alcohol, firearms (required by
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, http://www.atf.treas.gov);
- Export licenses (required by the Bureau of Industry
and Security, http://www.export.gov/exportcontrols.html).
Information about federal permits may be found at: http://business-law.freeadvice.com/permits.htm.
Laws change, so if you
are in doubt as to whether a special federal license is required for
your business, consult an expert.
Please address any questions about requirements that
you still may have to the Virginia Department of
Go to: Step
Two: Operating a Business, Employees
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