How to Start a Business in Virginia

State by State Guide

Starting a Business in Virginia

According to Forbes Magazine’s Best States for Business list, Virginia is the #1 state for business . Virginia has been in the top 2 for the past 8 years Forbes Magazine has started the list, and in 2013, Virginia got back the top spot. Virginia has business-friendly government policies and offer strong incentives for businesses.

Here are steps and resources to help you start a business in Virginia:

Business Registration

  • Go to the Virginia Business One Stop website, which is run by Virginia Department of Business Assistance, and use their Online Business Registration system. The Business One Stop business will assist you in registering your business with several Virginia state and local agencies at the same time.
  • To create a Virginia Limited Liability Company or a Virginia Stock Corporation, use the eFile system by the State Corporation Commission
  • To register a sole proprietorship, simply register your trade name and obtain a business license in your locality. Go to the Circuit Court’s Clerk Office in your county or city.

Business Licenses and Permits

  • Contact your city/county Commissioner of Revenue or Department of Finance for business licensing
  • Contact your city/county Zoning Office for zoning permits.
  • Go to DBA website to check for the required state occupational, professional or specialty licenses

Business Name


  • Check with the IRS if you need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). You will need an EIN if you have employees, if you will register your business as a corporation or partnership, you have a Keogh plan, and you will withhold taxes on income to a non-resident alien, among other requirements.
  • All businesses in Virginia must register with the Virginia Department of Taxation. Use the VATAX Online Services to register your business. Once you have registered your business, you will be assigned a Virginia tax account number.

Other Things You Need to Know About Starting a Business in Virginia

Where to Get Help

There are a number of ways to get more information and help in starting a business in Virginia.

Mentorship, Counselling and Assistance

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