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A business license is required of almost all businesses operating in or from Albemarle County.  The amount of business license fee is based on calendar year gross receipts.   The business license is renewed each year and the application must be filed by March 1st.  New businesses are required to make an estimate of gross receipts and must file a business license application within 30 days of beginning their business.  Businesses with gross receipts less than $5,000 per year are generally exempt from obtaining the business license.  Itinerant merchants and peddlers must obtain their license prior to any sales.  Click Here for a business license application or contact the Business License Department at (434) 296-5852.

ACCORDING TO STATE AND COUNTY CODE, ANY BUSINESS OWING DELINQUENT PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES WILL NOT BE ISSUED A BUSINESS LICENSE UNTIL ALL TAXES ARE PAID IN FULL.


The following actions must be taken before a business license can be issued:

1.  Register a Business Name
All businesses and trade names must be registered with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.  

Clerk of the Circuit Court
501 East Jefferson Street
Charlottesville,  VA  22902
(434) 972-4084

2.  State Corporation Registration 
General partnership, limited partnership, corporation, business trust, or limited liability company conducting business in Virginia must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

State Corporation Commission
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond,  VA  23209
(804) 371-9733

3.  Zoning Requirements for a Certificate of Use
Zoning ordinances allows businesses of various kinds to be located in some areas, but not in others.  Special use permits are required for certain businesses, and there are many areas in which no businesses of any kind are allowed.  A zoning clearance is required of all businesses.  If you work out of your residence, you must obtain a home occupation permit.

Community Development Department
County of Albemarle
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902-4596
(434) 296-5832


CONTRACTORS
All contractors who bid upon or undertake single jobs of $1,000 or more must register with the State Board of Contractors.

Board of Contractors
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Richmond,  VA  23233
(804) 367-8511

Testing:  National Assessment Institute
1-800-356-3381


ALCOHOL BEVERAGE IMPORTATION AND SALE 
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control exercises a monopoly over the importation and sale of alcoholic beverages other than beer or wine.   Licenses are issued for the manufacturer of liquors, the wholesaling of beer or wine, the sale of beer or wine, and the sale at retail of spirits by the drink.

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
900 Natural Resources Drive
Charlottesville,  VA  22903
(434) 977-2974


FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
A food establishment license cannot be issued by the Business license department until a Health Department permit is obtained.

Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department
1138 Rose Hill Drive
Charlottesville,  VA  22903
(434) 972-6269

Internal Revenue Service
Federal Courthouse
255 West Main Street
Charlottesville,  VA  22903
Assistance:  1-800-829-1040
Tax Forms:  1-800-829-3676

Employers are required to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).  To apply for the number, file Federal form SS-4, which can be obtained from any office of the Internal Revenue Service.  Sole proprietors must obtain an EIN if they pay wages on one or more employees or if they file an excise tax return.

Employers are required to withhold Social Security (FICA) taxes from the wages of employees and are liable for the taxed whether or not they have been collected.  Employers are required to withhold income tax.  The taxes should be filed quarterly on Federal forms #941 and deposited in any authorized bank with coupon #8109.

Individual, partnership, and corporate income taxes must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  IRS Publication #334, "Tax Guide for Small Businesses", discusses the various federal tax requirements in more detail.

Federal Unemployment tax, also known as FUTA, is assessed on the employer only.  An annual tax return, form #940, must be filed by January 31st.  Quarterly deposits can be made to any authorized bank using coupon #8109.

Any employer who has three or more employees is required to furnish Worker's Compensation Insurance at no cost to the employees.  The insurance may be purchased through private insurance companies or the employer can apply to the Worker's Compensation Commission to be self-insured.

Virginia Worker's Compensation Commission
1000 DMV Drive
Richmond,  VA  23220
(804) 367-8600

Every hotel, motel, tourist home, or other lodging place that for compensation, furnishes lodging to any person on a transient basis (30 consecutive days or less) must collect the appropriate transient tax.  Those entities collecting such tax are required to register with the Director of Finance and file the appropriate returns on a monthly basis.  The tax rate is 5% of the hotel/motel bill.


HELPFUL NUMBERS

Charlottesville/Albemarle Chamber of Commerce
Fifth and East Market Streets
P.O. Box 1564
Charlottesville,  VA  22902
(434) 295-3141

Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia
Local (434) 971-3707
Richmond (804) 648-0016

Small Business Development Center
210 Ridge-McIntire Road, Suite 250
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 295-8198

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Chamber of Commerce Center
East Market & Fifth Streets, Suite 200
P.O. Box 865
Charlottesville,  VA  22902
(434) 295-6712
www.score-494.org

For more information, please call the Business License Office at (434) 296-5852. 


IMPORTANT LINKS