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About the VDBA Step One: Getting Started Step Two: Operating a BusinessStep Three: Business Plan

Step Two: Operating a Business


Local Requirements

Businessman in VirginiaStarting 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.

Local Taxes

Help is a click away.As 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
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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:

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:

Patrick Henry

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 at 1-866-248-8814.

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.

Virginia Scottish games in AlexandriaOther 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: or you may address your questions to the Small Business Ombudsman at 1-800-368-5888.

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:

In addition, federal law requires that certain specialized businesses obtain and maintain licenses. The following types of businesses require a federal license:

Information about federal permits may be found at: Laws change, so if City of Alexandria, Virginiayou 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 Business Assistance.

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