Business License Frequently Asked Questions

I want to start a business in the county, do I need a business license?
The filing for a business license and payment of the tax is only required for those businesses that have annual gross receipts over $750,000. However, other regulations may apply regardless of the gross receipts.

How do I obtain a business license?
If the business will be physically located in Spotsylvania County and the annual gross receipts are over $750,000 you will need to file an application with the business license office and pay the applicable tax. The following requirements need to be completed prior to submitting the registration form and before a license will be issued.

1. An approved zoning use permit must be issued. 

2. If you have a trade name and are not using your full legal name as the name of the business, then the fictitious name certificate needs to be completed and recorded with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.                    

3. If you are classified as a contractor by State Code you will need to complete and submit the Workers’ Compensation Form 61A as required by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia states that a business license will not be issued if this completed form is not returned to our office. Code of Virginia 58.1-3714 (B)

How long does it take to get a license?
A business license will only be issued if the business has gross receipts over $750,000 per calendar year. The time frame will vary depending on the different requirements and how long it takes for the other offices to process their paperwork. After the registration, all necessary documents and payment are received; the license will be printed and mailed within approximately 10-14 days. A business license will only print after the account is paid in full.

Where do I get the form to file a zoning use?
Community Development
9019 Old Battlefield Blvd Ste 300 (3rd Floor)
Spotsylvania, VA 22553
Phone: 540.507.7222
Fax:     540.507.7281
Email:   zoning@spotsylvania.va.us
Permit Center  

Where do I get the form to file a trade name?
The form for filing may be obtained at the Clerk of the Circuit Court and will need to be notarized. You should register this name before having business cards printed, creating a website, opening a checking account or placing an ad in a magazine or newspaper, etc. 

Where do I get the form to file a partnership agreement?
This is a written agreement between all parties involved in the business and will need to be notarized and filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. There is no special form to use or file. You may want to check with the library for books on how to write this agreement or go to the Clerk’s Office to view agreements already registered. Once the business is classified as a partnership, a tax return for a partnership will be filed at the end of the year. If each party decides to file a Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business) to report money earned, each is responsible for their own license. Filing a Schedule C is for a sole proprietor, not a partnership.  Please consult with a income tax professional.        

I am going to be a contractor; do I need a state license?
You could be required to obtain a license with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations(DPOR)  in addition to the County business license. The State classifications are either a Class A, B or C License. Generally this license is needed, when you accept or bid on any jobs over $1,000. Once the State license has been issued, this does not exempt you from any county or city license. For more information please call the State Board for Contractors at 804-367-8511 or visit their site at www.dpor.virginia.gov

I already have a State contractor’s license; do I need to obtain a contractor’s license for every county/city in which I perform work?
Yes, if that locality has a business license tax. (State and Counties/Cities are governed by separate regulations). Since each locality sets their own tax rates (not to exceed the State limits) the business license tax will vary. Not all localities in Virginia have the business license tax, so please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue or Director of Finance in each locality where the work is performed for your tax liability.

Do I need a Tax Identification Number?
There are two different tax identification numbers that are commonly referred to as “Tax ID Number”. 

1. Sales Tax - This is a State requirement for Virginia. If you will be buying wholesale or selling wholesale and /or retail, more than likely you will need to file Form R-1 with State. Please contact the Virginia Dept of Taxation at 804-367-8037,  www.tax.virginia.gov or register online at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/content/register-business.

2. Federal Identification (Employer Identification #) – Form SS-4. This number is used to identify the tax accounts of employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts and other entities. You will need an EIN if you have employees, a Keogh plan, operate your business as a corporation or partnership or file a tax returns for either employment, excise or Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms. www.irs.gov or apply online at http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-to-Apply-for-an-EIN.

Is a business required to pay a business property tax?
Businesses located in Spotsylvania County on January 1 are subject to a property tax for the full year on machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures, as well as motor vehicles. Property forms should be filed by February 1 on each year to avoid penalties. Please visit Business Tangible Property division for more information. 

What are the requirements for a food establishment?
In addition to the zoning use, registering the trade name and/or other liabilities, you will need to contact the following:

1. Meals Tax Division - A registration form needs to be completed and filed with the Meals Tax office. You will be responsible for the collecting and remitting the County meals tax of 4% on all prepared foods (in addition to the State sales tax). The 4% meals tax is remitted to the County on the 20th of each month for the money collected the preceding month. 

2. Health Department - For health permit requirements please call 540-507-7386.

3. Alcohol & Beverage Control Board - If alcohol is going to be served on or off the premises, please call 804-213-4440 or click visit www.abc.state.va.us

Do I need to obtain a license for door-to-door solicitation?
You do not need a business license if your annual gross receipts are $750,000 or less. However, regardless of the business license, you will need to obtain a solicitation permit if you are going to solicit business in residential areas. Applications are available at the Treasurer’s Office. A fee of $20 is required at the time the application is picked up. Once completed, take the application and paid receipt to the Sheriff’s Office for processing. For questions & processing please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 540-507-7120 and for application & payment please contact the Treasurer’s Office at 540-507-7058.

Additional Links

Contact Information

Main: 540-507-7051 
  Fax:  540-582-7190

E-Mail: 
businesslicense@spotsylvania.va.us 

Mailing Address:
Attn: Business License Division
Commissioner of the Revenue
PO Box 175 
Spotsylvania VA 22553-0175

Physical/Overnight Addr: 
Directions
Richard E Holbert Bldg
(1st Floor)
Attn: Business Tax Division
Commissioner of the Revenue
9104 Courthouse Rd 
Spotsylvania VA 22553

Office Hours:
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Monday through Friday