Virginia Business License
It's possible to obtain a Virginia business license online or by mail.
Here's the information and resources needed to get the appropriate Virginia business licenses. This includes federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your small business, including the Virginia seller’s permit.
But if it is in your budget, we highly recommend using a professional service for compliance reasons: Incfile ($99)
How to Get a Business License in VA
You can get a business license in Virginia for your limited liability company or other registered business entity either online or by mail. You'll apply through the correct licensing or regulatory agency for your business.
Business licensing requirements mostly depends on your business’s activity. The location also plays a role (zoning requirements) along with professional and occupational regulation which may require occupational licenses for various business activities and regulated professions.
You may need one or more licenses besides the statewide business license (general business license).
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
State of Virginia Business Licensing
The only state-level permit or license in Virginia is the sales tax certificate, also known as a seller’s permit. This is the main general business license (state license) used to collect sales tax from customers.
You must obtain a sales tax certificate if you:
- Are engaged in business in Virginia
- Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Visit Virginia Tax Online to obtain a sales tax certificate.
Additionally, businesses in certain professions or industries need specific licenses or permits. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation provides additional information about different state licenses and permits and how to get them.
Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Virginia
Virginia Sales Tax Certificate
You can register for a Virginia sales tax certificate online, by mail, or by fax.
- OR -
OPTION 2: Apply by Mail or by Fax
Virginia Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 1114
Richmond, VA 23218-1114
Fax: (804) 367-2603
Other Virginia Business Licenses
The processes for obtaining other Virginia business licenses vary. Check with the relevant state or local government office for more information.
A Virginia sales tax certificate does not need to be renewed.
Check with the relevant state or local government office for the renewal requirements of any other licenses or permit you may have.
In Virginia, you may need other licenses or permits from your local level (e.g., city or county, or unincorporated area) government depending on your business activity or location.
For example, the City of Richmond requires all businesses to have a city business license. This license must be renewed each year.
Contact your local Virginia town, city, or county government office for more information.
Federal Licenses and Permits
You can get a business license by applying with the correct licensing and regulatory agency for your business. Business licensing requirements depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).
If your business conducts activities that are regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate business license or permit.
Choose a business activity below to learn how to apply:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Mining and drilling
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
Recommended: Consider having a professional service help you research and apply for business licenses and permits. They can also help you with acquiring the proper federal license and also assumed or fictitious name permits.
VA Business License FAQ
Who needs a Virginia business license?
Every business that sells products that are subject to Virginia sales tax must have a sales tax certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other specific licenses.
What licenses do I need to open a business in Virginia?
Many businesses will at least need a Virginia sales tax certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need other specific licenses.
What is a seller’s permit?
A seller’s permit is the common name for a license or permit that allows you to sell products or services. In Virginia, this is called a sales tax certificate.
How much does a Virginia business license cost?
There is no registration fee for a Virginia sales tax certificate. The cost of other licenses or permits varies.
How do I get a Virginia business license?
You can register for a Virginia sales tax certificate online with the Virginia Tax website or by mail.
Do I have to renew my Virginia business license?
A Virginia sales tax certificate does not need to be renewed. Check with the relevant state or local government office for the renewal requirements of any other licenses or permit you may have.